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Ox Cheek

Game and Offal

Usually boiled and sliced (Soyer 1845)

Original Receipt in 'A Shilling Cookery for The People' by Alexis Soyer (Soyer 1845);

30. Ox Cheek.- Boil half a large cheek for twenty minutes in two quarts of water, to set it; take it out, cut it into thin slices, or small pieces, and then proceed exactly as for giblets. Serve when tender.

35. Ox Cheek in Baking Pan.- Get half a one ready boned, if not to be had, get the half head with the bone, in which case they should be broken small and put in the broth; but it gives more trouble than it is worth. The solid meat at threepence per pound is more economical. Wash it well, cut off the white part, put the cheek in the pan, and proceed exactly as above; only give it three or four hours to bake. A little mixed spice improves the flavour. Take the fat off, remove the meat, cut it into small pieces, put it into the tureen, and pour the broth over.

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

(Good, and not expensive.)
Cleanse, with the greatest nicety, a fresh ox-cheek by washing, scraping it lightly with a knife, and soaking out the blood; then put it into plenty of warm water, and boil it gently for about an hour. Throw in a large teaspoonful of salt, and carefully remove all the scum as it rises to the surface. Let it cool after it is lifted out, and then take away the bones, remembering always to work the knife close to them, and to avoid piercing the skin. When the cheek has become cold, put into it a good roll of forcemeat, made by the receipt Nos. 1, 2, or 3, of Chapter IX., or substitute the oyster or mushroom forcemeat which follows; but in any case increase the quantity one-half at least: then skewer or bind up the cheek securely, and send it to a moderate oven for an hour or an hour and a half. It should be baked until it is exceedingly tender quite through. Drain it well from fat, dish it, withdraw the skewers, or unbind it gently, and either sauce it with a little good brown gravy, or send it to table with melted butter in a tureen, a cut lemon, and cayenne, or with any sauce of Chapter V., which may be considered more appropriate.

Original Receipt in 'The Book of Household Management', 1861, edited by Isabella Beeton (See Mrs.B)

176. INGREDIENTS: An ox-cheek, 2 oz. of butter, 3 or 4 slices of lean ham or bacon, 1 parsnip, 3 carrots, 2 onions, 3 heads of celery, 3 blades of mace, 4 cloves, a faggot of savoury herbs, 1 bay-leaf, a teaspoonful of salt, half that of pepper, 1 head of celery, browning, the crust of a French roll, 6 quarts of water.
Mode: Lay the ham in the bottom of the stewpan, with the butter; break the bones of the cheek, wash it clean, and put it on the ham. Cut the vegetables small, add them to the other ingredients, and set the whole over a slow fire for 1/4 of an hour. Now put in the water, and simmer gently till it is reduced to 4 quarts; take out the fleshy part of the cheek, and strain the soup into a clean stewpan; thicken with flour, put in a head of sliced celery, and simmer till the celery is tender. If not a good colour, use a little browning. Cut the meat into small square pieces, pour the soup over, and serve with the crust of a French roll in the tureen. A glass of sherry much improves this soup.
Time: 3 to 4 hours.
Average cost: 8d. per quart.
Seasonable: in winter.
Sufficient: for 12 persons.

638. INGREDIENTS: 1 cheek, salt and water, 4 or 5 onions, butter and flour, 6 cloves, 3 turnips, 2 carrots, 1 bay-leaf, 1 head of celery, 1 bunch of savoury herbs, cayenne, black pepper and salt to taste, 1 oz. of butter, 2 dessertspoonfuls of flour, 2 tablespoonfuls of Chili vinegar, 2 tablespoonfuls of mushroom ketchup, 2 tablespoonfuls of port wine, 2 tablespoonfuls of Harvey's sauce.
Mode: Have the cheek boned, and prepare it the day before it is to be eaten, by cleaning and putting it to soak all night in salt and water. The next day, wipe it dry and clean, and put it into a stewpan. Just cover it with water, skim well when it boils, and let it gently simmer till the meat is quite tender. Slice and fry 3 onions in a little butter and flour, and put them into the gravy; add 2 whole onions, each stuck with 3 cloves, 3 turnips quartered, 2 carrots sliced, a bay-leaf, 1 head of celery, a bunch of herbs, and seasoning to taste of cayenne, black pepper, and salt. Let these stew till perfectly tender; then take out the cheek, divide into pieces fit to help at table, skim and strain the gravy, and thicken 1-1/2 pint of it with butter and flour in the above proportions. Add the vinegar, ketchup, and port wine; put in the pieces of cheek; let the whole boil up, and serve quite hot. Send it to table in a ragout-dish. If the colour of the gravy should not be very good, add a tablespoonful of the browning, No. 108.
Time: 4 hours.
Average cost: 3d. per lb.
Sufficient: for 8 persons.
Seasonable: at any time.

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