This is best done by the directions given for making Espagnole. An ounce or two of the loan of unboiled ham, cut into dice and coloured slowly in a small stewpan, or smoothly tinned iron saucepan, with less than an ounce of butter, a blade of mace, two or three cloves, a bay-leaf, a few small sprigs of savoury herbs, and an eschalot or two, or about a teaspoonful of minced onion, and a little young parsley root, when it can be had, will convert common shin of beef stock, or even strong broth, into an excellent gravy, if it be gradually added to them after they have stewed slowly for quite half an hour, and then boiled with them for twenty minutes or more. The liquid should not be mixed with the other ingredients until the side of the stewpan is coloured of a reddish brown; and should any thickening be required, a teaspoonful of flour should be stirred in well, and simmered for three or four minutes before the stock is added: the pan should be strongly shaken round afterwards to detach the browning from it, and this must be done often while the ham is stewing.
* Harvey's sauce, cavice and soy are very little known in America; these flavourings, when named, may be dispensed with, or pepper sauce or tomato sauce substituted instead.
The cook who is not acquainted with this mode of preparing or enriching gravies, will do well to make Herself acquainted with it; as it presents no difficulties, and is exceedingly convenient and advantageous when they are wanted in small quantities, very highly flavoured and well coloured. An unboiled ham, kept in cut, will be found, as we have already said, a great economy for this, and other purposes, saving much of the expense commonly incurred for gravy-meats. As eschalots, when sparingly used, impart a much finer savour than onions, though they are not commonly so much used in England, we would recommend that a small store of them should always be kept.
There is no better foundation for strong gravies than shin of beef stewed down to a jelly (which it easily becomes), with the addition only of some spice, a bunch of savoury herbs, and a moderate proportion of salt; this, if kept in a cool larder, boiled softly for two or three minutes every second or third day, and each time put into a clean, well-scalded pan, will remain good for many days, and may easily be converted into excellent soup or gravy. Let the bone be broken in one or two places, take out the marrow, which, if not wanted for immediate use, should be clarified, and stored for future occasions; put a pint and a half of cold water to the pound of beef, and stew it very gently indeed for six or seven hours, or even longer should the meat not then be quite in fragments. The bones of calf's feet which have been boiled down for jelly, the liquor in which the head has been cooked, and any remains of ham quite freed from the smoky parts, from rust and fat, will be serviceable additions to this stock.
A couple of pounds of the neck of beef may be added to six of the shin with very good effect; but for white soup or sauces this is better avoided.
Shin of beef, 6 lbs.; water, 9 pints; salt, 1 oz.; large bunch savoury herbs; peppercorns, 1 teaspoonful; mace, 2 blades.