Take several fine large terrapins, the fattest and thickest you can get. Put them into a large pot of water that is boiling hard; and boil them half an hour or more. Then take them out of the shell, pulling off the outer skin and the toe-nails. Remove the sand-bag and the gall, taking care not to break it, or it will render the whole too bitter to be eaten. Take out also the entrails, and throw them away; as the custom of cooking them is now, very properly, exploded. Then cut up all the meat of the terrapins, taking care to save all the liquid that exudes in cutting up, and also the eggs. Season the whole with pepper, mace, and nutmeg, adding a little salt; and lay among it pieces of fresh butter slightly rolled in flour.
Have ready an ample quantity of paste, made in the proportion of a pound of butter to two large quarts (or pounds) of flour, or a pound and a half of butter to three quarts of flour, and rolled out thick. Butter the inside of an iron pot, and line the sides with paste, till it reaches within one-third of the top. Then put in the pieces of terrapin, with the eggs, butter, etc, and with all the liquid. Lay among the terrapin, square pieces of paste. Then pour in sufficient water to stew the whole properly. Next, cover all with a circular lid, or top-crust of paste, but do not fit it so closely that the gravy cannot bubble up over the edges while cooking. Cut a slit in the top-crust. Place the pot-pie over a good fire, and boil it till the whole is thoroughly done, which will be from three-quarters to an hour, (after it comes to a boil;) taking care not to let it get too dry, but keeping a kettle of hot water to replenish it if necessary. When done, take it up in a deep dish, and serve it hot. Then let every one add what seasoning they choose.
It may be much improved by mixing among the pieces of terrapin (before putting them into the pie) some yolks of hard-boiled eggs, grated or minced. They will enrich the gravy.
Take a sufficiency of tender beef-steaks from the sirloin, removing all the fat and bone. Season them slightly with pepper and salt; adding also some nutmeg. Put them into a pot with plenty of water, and par-boil them. Meanwhile, make a large portion of paste, (a pot-pie with but little paste is no better than a mere stew,) and roll it out thick. If you use suet for shortening, allow to every two quarts or two pounds of flour a large half-pound of suet, divested of the skin and strings, and minced as finely as possible with a chopping-knife. Sprinkle in a very little salt. Mix the suet with the flour in a large pan, rubbing it fine with your hands, and adding gradually sufficient cold water to make a stiff dough. Then transfer the lump of dough to the paste-board; divide it into lumps. Roll out each lump of the dough into a sheet; reserving the largest for the top. Line the sides of a pot with a portion of the dough. Then put in the beef; adding for gravy the liquid in which it was boiled, and a little hot water. Also, some potatoes sliced or quartered. Intersperse the meat with square slices of paste. Finish by covering it with a lid of paste, having a slit in the top: but do not fit the lid too closely. Then placing the pot over the fire, let it boil from three-quarters to an hour, (after it comes to a boil,) replenishing it, if necessary, with more hot water. This will be found an excellent family dish.
Cut up, and par-boil a pair of large fowls, seasoning them with pepper, salt, and nutmeg. You may add some small slices of cold ham; in which case add no salt, as the ham will make it salt enough. Or you may put in some pieces of the lean of fresh pork. You may prepare a suet-paste; but for a chicken pot-pie it is best to make the paste of butter, which should be fresh, and of the best quality. Allow to each quart of flour, a small half-pound of butter. There should be enough for a great deal of paste. Line the sides of the pot, two-thirds up, with paste. Put in the chickens, with the liquor in which they were parboiled. You may add some sliced potatoes. Intersperse the pieces of chicken with layers of paste in square slices. Then cover the whole with a lid of paste, not fitting very closely. Make a slit in the top, and boil the pie about an hour or more.
Instead of ham, you may add some clams to the chicken, omitting salt in the seasoning, as the clams will salt it quite enough.