Aspic is very useful in the preparation of cold dishes, and much care should be given to having it perfectly clear and well flavored. The second one of the two receipts given below is so simple that the most inexperienced cook can easily make it. With aspic, cold meats and salads can be made into most attractive dishes; and it is well worth while to learn and ornamenting with it. (See opposite pages 326, 328).
1 shin of beef.
1 knuckle of veal.
1 stock of celery.
½ package Cox's gelatine.
1 cupful of sherry or Madeira.
Put the chicken, beef, and veal in a pot. Cover them well with cold water, and let simmer for five or six hours, with the pot covered closely. An hour before removing from the fire, add the carrot cut into dice, the cloves, and bay-leaf. Fry in butter the onions and celery (cut into pieces) to a dark brown, and add them to the stock at the same time. Remove from the fire, strain, and add one half package of gelatine (which has been soaked for an hour in one cupful of water) and one cupful of sherry or Madeira. Stir until the gelatine is dissolved. Set away until the next day. There should be two quarts of jelly. If it is not solid enough to stand, more gelatine may be added at the time of clearing. Boiling down jelly will not make it more firm.
Remove all the grease from the top of the jelly, and wipe it off with a cloth wet in hot water, so every particle of grease will be removed. Stir into the cold jelly the beaten whites and the shells of three eggs (do not froth the egg). Put it on the fire, and continue to stir until it boils. Let it boil for five minutes; then strain it through a double cloth. If not perfectly clear, strain it a second time. Let the jelly drain through the cloth without pressure.
Put into a saucepan one and a half cupfuls of cold water, a tablespoonful each of chopped carrot and celery, a slice of onion, sprig of parsley, one bay-leaf, and three cloves; add also one teaspoonful of beef extract (obtained in jars) dissolved in one cupful of hot water. Cover, and let simmer for half an hour; then add one half box of Cox's gelatine, which has been soaked in one half cupful of cold water for one hour. Stir until the gelatine is dissolved. Season with salt and pepper. A tablespoonful of sherry improves the flavor. If a deeper color is wanted add a few drops of kitchen bouquet or of caramel. Strain through a double cloth. If it is for molding it can be used at once, as there is no grease to be removed. If for garnishing, turn it into a shallow pan to set. It can be stamped or cut into fancy shapes more easily if cooled in layers of the right thickness. Gelatine added to a good, clear consomme will give the same results. Observe always the proportion of one box, or one and a half ounces, of gelatine to one and a quarter quarts (five cupfuls) of liquor. This simple method of making aspic is very quick, and is entirely satisfactory.