THE importance of casserole cookery can scarcely be over-emphasized in this day of high cost of living. Some foods are necessarily better if cooked by a long slow process, and cheaper foods are rendered more palatable than expensive ones. The earthenware dishes, moreover, are always attractive, whether encased in silver or not. The quaint artistic shapes make even a very common article of food look interesting and attractive.
The French, who have gained a name for economy in household matters, have reduced casserole cooking to a science; and it would be worth the while of any American housekeeper to see what others have done. Then, if she is thrifty, she will serve instead of sirloin steak at thirty cents a pound, rump steak en casserole at twenty. Instead of roasting she will buy stewing meats, at about half the price; instead of an untempting hash she will have some dainty, tasty viand (made from left-overs) in ramekins. And her family will in no wise suffer by her economy.
All casserole and ramekin foods are served in the dishes in which they are cooked; so there is no loss of heat in transference. There is also economy in pans and dishes, if that is a consideration. The ramekins should rest upon paper or linen doilies.
2 tablespoons butter 2 cups hot water
1 carrot cut in cubes
2 potatoes cut in cubes
Flour and water
Prepare the chicken as for fricassee; saute in butter in a frying pan; transfer to casserole; add hot water and cook in a moderate oven for about one hour and a quarter. Before the time is up saute the vegetables in butter until brown; remove to the casserole; add the seasoning; cover and return to the oven for another half hour. To retain the flavor press dough upon the dish where vessel and cover meet; remove before serving.
Dainty Luncheon En Casserole
Courtesy of the Guernsey Earthenware Co.
1 pound round steak
2 carrots cut in cubes 2 turnips cut in cubes ½ dozen tiny onions
1 bay leaf
1/2 tablespoon kitchen bouquet 1½ cups boiling water Salt and pepper
Have the steak one or one and a half inches thick; leave it whole or cut it into large square pieces; sear on both sides in a hot frying pan; then remove to the casserole, with the other ingredients. Cover and cook gently for about an hour and a half.
The sticking piece, shinbone and brisket may also be served en casserole, but will require longer cooking.
1 pound lamb (fresh or cooked) Butter
Salt and pepper
2 carrots cut in cubes
1 tablespoon currant jelly
Have the lamb cut in a slice or slices one or one and a half inches thick; sear in a frying pan; put in the casserole, brushing first with butter and seasoning. Cook until tender; parboil the carrots and saute them in the drippings with the onion; add the carrots, the potatoes and brown sauce to the meat; cook until the potatoes and carrots are tender and serve from the casserole.