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Potato Table Pasty

Meat and Meat Dishes

A 19th Century dish of meat cooked below and potato mash above in a distinctive baking and service dish incorporating a trivet to separate the two. Known from several cookbooks of the time.

See: Shepherd's Pie

Table Pasty cooker from
'Modern Cookery for Private Families' by Eliza Acton (Acton 1845)

Original Receipt from Mrs.B

1332. INGREDIENTS. - 1-1/2 lb. of rump-steak or mutton cutlets, pepper and salt to taste, 1/3 pint of weak broth or gravy, 1 oz. of butter, mashed potatoes.

Mode. - Place the meat, cut in small pieces, at the bottom of the pan; season it with pepper and salt, and add the gravy and butter broken, into small pieces. Put on the perforated plate, with its valve-pipe screwed on, and fill up the whole space to the top of the tube with nicely-mashed potatoes mixed with a little milk, and finish the surface of them in any ornamental manner. If carefully baked, the potatoes will be covered with a delicate brown crust, retaining all the savoury steam rising from the meat. Send it to table as it comes from the oven, with a napkin folded round it.
Time. - 40 to 60 minutes. Average cost, 2s.
Sufficient for 4 or 5 persons. Seasonable at any time.

Original Receipt from 'Modern Cookery for Private Families' by Eliza Acton (Acton 1845);

Modern Potato Pasty; (an excellent family dish.)
A tin mould of the construction shown in the plate, with a perforated moveable top, and a small valve to allow the escape of the steam, must be had for this pasty, which is an excellent family dish, and which may be varied in numberless ways. Arrange at the bottom of the mould from two to three pounds of mutton cutlets, freed, according to the taste, from all, or from the greater portion of the fat, then washed, lightly dredged on both sides with flour, and seasoned with salt and pepper or cayenne. Pour to them sufficient broth or water to make the gravy, and add to it at pleasure a tablespoonful of mushroom catsup or of Harvey's sauce. Have ready boiled, and very smoothly mashed, with about an ounce of butter, and a spoonful or two of milk or cream to each pound, as many good potatoes as will form a crust to the pasty of quite three inches thick; put the cover on the mould, and arrange these equally upon it, leaving them a little rough on the surface. Bake the pastry in a moderate oven from three quarters of an hour to an hour and a quarter, according to its size and its contents. Pin a folded napkin neatly round the mould, before it is served, and have ready a hot dish to receive the cover, which must not be lifted off until after the pasty is on the table.
Chicken, or veal and oysters; delicate pork chops with a seasoning of sage and a little parboiled onion, or an eschalot or two finely minced; partridges or rabbits neatly carved, mixed with small mushrooms, and moistened with a little good stock, will all give excellent varieties of this dish, which may be made likewise with highly seasoned slices of salmon freed from the skin, sprinkled with fine herbs or intermixed with shrimps; clarified butter, rich veal stock, or good white wine, may be poured to them to form the gravy. To thicken this, a little flour should ba dredged upon the fish before it is laid into the mould. Other kinds, such as cod, mackerel in fillets, salt fish (previously kept at the point of boiling until three parts done, then pulled into flakes, and put into the mould with hard eggs sliced, a little cream, flour, butter, cayenne, and anchovy-essence, and baked with mashed parsneps on the top), will all answer well for this pasty. Veal, when used for it, should be well beaten first: sweetbreads, sliced, may be laid in with it.
For a pasty of moderate size, two pounds, or two and a half of meat, and from three to four of potatoes will be sufficient: a quarter-pint of milk or cream, two small teaspoonsful of salt, and from one to two ounces of butter must be mixed up with these last.*
* A larger proportion of cream and butter well dried into the potatoes over a gentle fire, after they are mashed, will render the crust of the pasty richer and liner.

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