I love old recipe books, not just the large hardback books, but the little ones produced by manufacturers, or in the case of the National Mark Calendar of Cooking, produced by the Ministry of Agriculture.

here is a recipe which I can’t imagine anyone making these days, nor can I actually imagine eating it, to be honest! A curiosity!

Beef creams

  • 6 oz lean beef
  • ¾ oz butter
  • ¾ oz flour
  • ¼ pint good stock or gravy
  • 1 tsp cream
  • 1 egg
  • salt, pepper and ground mace
  1. shred or mince the beef very finely after removing all the fat
  2. melt the butter in a pan, stir in the flour, add the stock and boil until it thickens (stirring vigorously all the time) and leaves the sides of the pan
  3. add the beef and pound the mixture well
  4. add salt, pepper and mace, cream and beaten egg and bend all ingredients thoroughly
  5. rub through a coarse hair or fine wire sieve.
  6. put the mixture into well-buttered moulds, cover with greased paper and steam for 20 minutes or until it is firm to the touch
  7. serve with beef gravy or beef tea. A garnish of carrots would be an improvement

These creams are particularly suitable for anyone who has a weak digestion, or who is convalescent and does not require large portions of meat. For anyone with a normal appetite, it is not necessary to rub the mixture through a sieve before cooking.

I have mentioned before about there always being a section of ‘invalid foods’ in old recipe books… and here it is again, but it is within a context… someone who is ‘convalescent and does not require large portions of meat’. This has often struck me when I have been in hospital or visiting someone there, the meals offered (which always seem to have been ok to me) are always for people with a normal hearty up and about appetite… it’s not just that people who are ill or are recovering don’t fancy certain things, they don’t need as much, do they? Obvious, really… well done (again) National Mark!

One thought on “Beef creams

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