This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
"The average weight of grouse, partridges, and pheasants, when prepared for the spit, is as fol -lows: Grouse, 16 oz.; partridge, 3/4 lb.; pheasant (on the average), 2 1/2 lbs. The following are the various lengths of time which game requires for cooking, a point: Cock pheasant, three quarters of an hour; hen, twenty-five minutes; half-grown bird, a quarter of an hour; hare, one hour and a half; woodcock, half an hour; snipe, twenty minutes; quail, twenty minutes; golden plover, twenty minutes; teal, a quarter of an hour; capercailzie, an hour and a quarter; and wild goose, an hour".
" 'In the preparation of game,' wrote recently an eminent Parisian chef, 'abstain from too much seasoning. Do not use spicy herbs of any-kind, and scrupulously avoid all garlic, shallot, and other onion-flavored vegetables. These ingredients destroy the delicate intrinsic savor of game.' The same person states thatgrives - thrushes - should be served eji'couronne - i. e., in a circle, round a bouquet of smallage and of autumn marguerites. Pheasants should be trimmed with the tail and wing-feathers, and be served holding a rose in their beaks".
" It is wickedness to drench roast game with sauce. Sydney Smith says, in describing a dinner at which he was present: ' I heard a lady who sat next to me say in a low, sweet voice: 'No gravy, sir!' I had never seen her before, but I turned suddenly round and said: 'Madam, I have been looking for a person who disliked gravy all my life; let us swear eternal friendship.' She looked astonished, but took the oath, and what is better, kept it".
Pheasants, partridges, quails, grouse, and plovers may all be cooked by the following directions, and they will be found to be very nice: A quart of large chestnuts are boiled and mashed, one-half of itmixed with 3 oz. butter, I cup cracker-dust, salt, pepper, chopped parsley. Birds stuffed with it, wrapped in thin slices of cooked ham, then in vineleaves tied on them; baked; leaves and ham removed, chestnutsauce made with remainder of puree added to gravy made of the livers, etc.
"This ducal dish, for which Alnwick Castle has been for centuries famed, is made thus: A good raised pie-crust is made, such as one would prepare for a large batch of pork-pies, or raised pies. The crust is firm, yet mellow, and will not be like some Melton (?) pies I know (nothing melting about them), which require a hatchet to break them. These cases are quite monsters. The inside consists of 24 pigeons cooked and boned, the flesh pounded in a mortar with the gravy in which they were stewed added; then 24 fowls served in the same way; a layer of fine sausage-meat may be put round the pigeons, which are formed into a long roll, then the fowls, next slices of ham, then boned rabbit, pheasants, partridge, hare, tongue in slices, turkey-flesh, until all is in one huge mass, then the bones of ham shanks, couple of cows' heels, or a knuckle of veal are stewed for hours. The meats are laid into the case; the liquor, when nearly cold and freed from grease, is poured in; the cover put on the pie; baked, then glazed with egg, and the ornaments put on.
These will be popular on smaller scales, and to the restaurateur they are valuable as they use up odds and ends of game, etc., which whilst being perfectly good are not exactly presentable at table, and too good for the stockpot, their ultimate destination".
"This recipe is to be found in the books of the Salters' Company, and having been tested by their cook, was found to produce an excellent pie; which proves that our ancestors excelled in cookery more than four centuries and a half ago. It is a recipe for making a game-pie for Christmas in the reign of Richard II. Take a pheasant, a hare, a capon, two partridges, two pigeons, and two rabbits; bone them and put them into paste the shape of a bird, with the livers and hearts, two mutton kidneys, forcemeats and eggballs, seasoning, spice, ketchup, and pickled mushrooms; filled up with gravy made from the various bones".
Raised-pie cases 3 or 4 inches diameter are made and baked with a filling of flour to keep them in shape; when done, the flour brushed out, and cold galantines of game and imitation foie-gras cut small and mixed filled in, and aspic jelly poured in to level up; lids separately baked put on and decorated.
Is made in the following manner: Rub the inside of a deep dish with two ounces of fresh butter and spread over it some vermicelli. Then line the dish with puff paste; have ready some birds seasoned with powdered nutmeg and a little salt and pepper; stuff them with oysters or mushrooms chopped fine; place them in the puff-paste lined dish with their breasts downward. Add some gravy of roast veal or poultry (it may be cold gravy saved over from a recent roast), and cover the pie with a lid of puffy paste. Bake it in a moderate oven; and when done, turn it out carefully upon a dish and send it to the table. The vermicelli, which was originally at the bottom, will then be at the top, covering the paste like thatch upon a roof. Trim off the layers so as to look neat.
The game is boiled in stock or water with carrots, onions, celery and herbs; when tender, the meat mashed, rubbed through a strainer, mixed with bread-crumbs, and the stock strained to it. Served with croutons of fried bread. (See Grouse aud other kinds).