Rump steak "à la Napoléon Ier"

Stew (“Le bouilli”)

The stew (“pot-au-feu”, or “bouilli”) reigned supreme at 19th century dining tables. While soup whetted the appetite for a good meal to come, the stewed meat dish really ushered in the festivities, before the arrival of more sophisticated dishes.
This recipe gives a good idea of the richness of Second Empire middle-class cooking: not one, but two joints of meat are cooked. The stew is served with not one, but two purées. Meat stock was highly regarded, believed capable of restoring even the weakest and most ill. One cannot help but be struck by how “rich” this recipe is: the quantities of bacon, oil, and sauce are equal to those of vegetables! This is a far cry from our modern ideas and preferences about nutrition and diet.

Period Recipe

Take a rump steak and boil it in water, adding to the pot when the steak is three-quarters cooked a large young turkey. Serve the two meats separately. Garnish the turkey with rice 'alla Milanese' to which you will have added some steamed mushrooms. Garnish the beef with mashed potato made with bacon (the potatoes having been boiled in water flavoured with thyme). Blanche some broccoli and sauté them with a small garlic clove. In a sauce boat, serve a purée of leeks which you will have made with very good hollandaise sauce.  This purée should be thick like a soubise sauce (béchamel flavoured with steamed, minced onions). Add only a little of the cooking stock made from the beef and turkey to the serving dish. Bon appétit!  * Sauce made from onions, butter and flour.** German sauce, made from mushrooms, eggs and parsley.F.Grandi, Les nouveautés de la gastronomie princière, Paris: Audot, 1866, (212 p.) p.75

Bon appetit


Type of Recipe