Monday, December 3

Holiday Throwback Recipes: It's Game Time

We've got a pretty solid collection of community cookbooks here in the office—and many more in our staffers' home libraries. And the holidays seem like the right time to whip them out and share some choice recipes with you, our readers. So fix yourself an eggnog, pull up a seat, and check back often between now and New Year's for our Holiday Throwback Recipes.



Today's Cookbook:
Talk about Good!
"Le Livre de la Cuisine de Lafayette" 
Published by the Service League of Lafayette, Louisiana
First edition 1967; annual subsequent printings 1968–1971

It's game time, folks—and no, we're not talking about the college football post-season. Think wild game from land, air, and marsh: venison, quail, duck, and the like. We're not exactly avid outdoorsfolk here at SFA world headquarters, but you don't have to have a Mossy Oak wardrobe to notice that hunting season is in full swing. And really, we think it's pretty darn festive to serve up a holiday main dish you—er, bagged, yourself.

Apparently, the ladies of the Lafayette Service League were in agreement with us. Except they had a better idea of what they were doing with that deer (and rabbit, and goose, and squirrel...) 

To wit, the following recipes and tips, culled from an entire chapter of possibilities:

Hints to Game Cookers
Don't be afraid to season thoroughly with salt, red and black pepper.
Bell pepper compliments the flavor.
Too much garlic isn't good.
Don't hesitate to cook until it nearly falls apart.
"Steam" heat is the best method.
By all means use plenty of parsley.
—Mrs. F. M. McGinn

Goose Casserole
Soak 1 1/2 quarts white beans overnight in cold water. Drain. Place in a large kettle with:

3/4 lb salt pork
1/2 lb fresh pork rind
1 carrot
1 onion stuck with 2 cloves
1/4 tsp ground thyme
fresh ground pepper
Bouquet Garni composed of 3 cloves garlic, 4 sprigs parsley, 3 sprigs celery tops and 1 bay leaf (all tied together in a cheesecloth bag)

Cover mixture completely with boiling water and simmer very gently for 1 1/2 hours.
Meanwhile, heat 4 tablespoons goose fat or lard in a large skillet and ad 1 1/2 pounds loin of pork and 1 pound boned breast of lamb, both well seasoned with salt and pepper. Brown meat on all sides and add 2 onions, finely chopped and continue to brown a little. Add:

2 cloves garlic, mashed
1/2 cup meat stock

Cover. cook slowly for 1 hour, or until meat is tender, adding more stock from time to time. When beans have cooked 1 1/2 hours, remove carrot, onion and Bouquet Garni. Put mixture in a large kettle and add to it the cooked meat (reserving the meat juice). Add also:

1 garlic sausage (about 1 lb.)
3 fresh pork sausages
all the meat from a roasted goose

Simmer slowly 1 1/2 hours. Remove meat. Cut lamb, pork, and goose in small slices, pork rind in rectangles; remove skin from garlic sausage, cut it in thick slices and cut pork sausages in halves. Cover the bottom of 2 large earthenware casseroles with the pork rind. Add to each a layer of beans, then a layer of the meats, and sprinkle with some of the meat juice. Continue the layers to the top, sprinkling each also with coarse black pepper and a little salt. On the last layer of beans, place a few slices each of salt pork, pork rind and garlic sausage. Add enough bean broth to cover and sprinkle top with coarse bread crumbs, dotted with butter. Bake, covered, at 300 degrees for 1 1/2 hours. Remove cover and bake 30 minutes more.

This recipe will serve at least 20 people, and costs $7.50 per portion at the Four Seasons Restaurant in New York.

—Mrs. A. J. Shepard