To dress a Turtle weighing one hundred and twenty pounds. Having cut off the head close to the shell, hang up the turtle till the next day, then open it, bearing the knife heavily on the back of the animal in cutting it off all round; turn it on its end, that al. the blood and water may run out, then cut the flesh off along the spine, sloping the knife towards the bones so as to avoid touching the gall, and having also cut the flesh from the legs and other members, wash the whole well and drain it. A large vessel of boiling water being ready on the fire, put in the breast shell, and when the plates will separate easily take them out of the wafer; boil the back and belly in water till the softer parts can be taken off easily; but before they are sufficiently done, as they are to be again boiled in the sauce, lay them to cool singly in earthen vessels that they may not stick together, let the bones continue to stew for some time, as the liquor must be used for moistening the sauces.
Ail the flesh cut from the body, the four lei's and head must be stewed in the following manner. Lay a few slices of ham on the bottom of a large stewpan, and over the ham two or three knuckles of veal, then above the veal, the inside flesh of the turtle, and that of the members over the whole, adding a large bunch of sweet herbs, such as sweet basil, sweet marjoram, lemon thyme, a handful of parsley, and green onions, and a large onion stuck with six cloves. Then partly moisten it with the water in which the shell is boiling, and when it has stewed some time, moisten it again with the liquor in which the back and belly have been boiled. When the legs are tender, take them out, drain, and put them aside to be afterwards added to the sauce; and when the flesh is completely done, drain it through a silk sieve, and mix with the sauce some very thin white roux; then cut all the softer parts, now sufficiently cold, into pieces about an inch square, add them to the sauce, and let them simmer gently till they can be easily pierced; skim it well.
Next chop a small quantity of herbs, and boil them with a little sugar in four bottles of Madeira till reduced to two, then rub it through a tammy, mix it with the turtle sauce, and let it boil for a short time. Make some forcemeat balls as follows: - Cut off about a pound of meat from the fleshy part of a leg of veal free from sinews or fat, soak in milk about the same quantity of crumbs of bread; when quite soft, squeeze and put it into a mortar, together with the veal, a small quantity of calf's udder, a little butter, the yolks of four hard-boiled eggs, a little cayenne, salt and spices; pound the whole very finely, then thicken the mixture with two whole eggs and the yolk of a third, throw a bit into boiling water, and if not sufficiently firm, add the yolk of another egg, and for variety some chopped parsley may be mixed with half of the forcemeat. Let the whole cool so that it may be formed into balls about the size of the yolk of an egg, poach them in boiling water, and add them to the turtle. Before serving, mix a little cayenne with the juice of two or three lemons, and add it to the soup. It is generally preferable to prepare the soup the day before it is required for use, and it will be best heated in a water bath, or flat vessel containing water, which is always kept very hot, but not allowed to boil. By the same method, sauces, stews, and other made dishes may be kept hot.
When the fins of the turtle are to be served as a side dish, they must be first parboiled, then skinned, and stewed in a little turtle sauce, with some Port wine, and seasoned with cayenne, salt, and a little lemon-juice, and thickened with butter and flour.
Fricandeaux and Blanquettes may also be made of the flesh of the turtle, in the same way as those of veal.
The day before you dress a turtle, chop the herbs, and make the forcemeat; then, on the preceding evening, suspend the turtle by the two hind fins with a cord; and put one round the neck, with a heavy weight attached to it to draw out the neck, that the head may be cut off with more ease; let the turtle hang all night, in which time the blood will be well drained from the body. Then, early in the morning, having your stoves, and plenty of hot water in readiness, take the turtle, lay it on the table on its back, and with a strong pointed knife cut all round the under shell, (which is the callipee); there are joints at each end, which must be carefully found, gently separating it from the callipash (which is the upper shell); be careful that in cutting out the gut you do not break the gall. When the callipee and the callipash are perfectly separated, take out that part of the gut that leads from the throat; that, with the three hearts, put into a basin of water by themselves; the other interior part put away. Take the callipee, and cut off the meat which adheres to it in four quarters, laying it on a clean dish. Take twenty pounds of veal, chop it up, and set it in a large pot, as directed for espagnole, putting in the flesh of the turtle at the same time, with all kinds of turtle herbs, carrots, onions, one pound and a half of lean ham, pepper corns, salt, a little spice, and two bay leaves, leaving it to stew till it takes the color of espagnole; put the fins (the skin being scalded off) and hearts in, half an hour before you fill it, with half water, and half beef stock; then carefully skim it; put in a bunch of parsley, and let it boil gently, like consomme. While the turtle is stewing, carefully scald the head, the callipee, and all that is soft of the callipash, attentively observing to take off the smallest particle of skin that may remain; put them with the gut into a large pot of water to boil till tender; when so, take them out, and cut them in squares, putting them in a basin by themselves till wanted for the soup. The next thing is the thickening of the soup, which must be prepared in the same manner as sauce tournee. The turtle being well done, take out the fins and hearts, and lay them on a dish; the whole of the liquor must pass through a sieve into a large pan; then, with a ladle, take off all the fat, put it into a basin, then mix in the turtle liquor (a small quantity at a time) with the thickening made the same as sauce tournee; but it does not require to, neither must it be, one twentieth part so thick; set it over a brisk fire, and continue stirring till it boils; when it has boiled two hours, being skimmed all the while, squeeze it through the tammy into another large stewpan, put it on the fire, and stir it as before, till it boils; when it has boiled gently for one hour, put in the calli-pee and callipash, with the gut, hearts, and some of the best of the meat and head, all cut in squares, with the forcemeat balls and herbs, which you should have ready chopped and stewed in espagnole; (the herbs are parsley, lemon thyme, marjoram, basil, savory, and a few chopped mushrooms). It must be carefully attended to and skimmed, and one hour and a half before dinner, put in a bottle of Madeira wine, and nearly half a bottle of brandy, keeping it continually boiling gently, and skimming it; then take a basin, put a little cayenne pepper into it, with the juice of six lemons squeezed through a sieve. When the dinner is wanted, skim the turtle, stir it well up, and put in a little salt, if necessary; then stir in the cayenne and lemon-juice, and ladle it into the tureen. This receipt will answer for a turtle between fifty and sixty pounds.
For Mock Turtle and other Soups, See Soups.