Berkshire is a county in the south-east region of England, and these are a collection of local and regional recipes handed down within families who have lived and worked in the Berkshire area. All of the recipes below are regionally authentic, originally coming from recipe books published in the 1800s or 1900s, with the weights and measurements adjusted (alongside the old standards) where appropriate for the modern kitchen.
Get a flank of beef weighing 14lb – 16lb (7 Kg) which is cut wide and thin so that it can be rolled up later. Mix a rub together of salt, prunella and a bit of brown sugar. Rub well into the meat (left somewhere protected, cool and dry to hang like in a larder or store area) every day for a week. After a week take it down, wash, spread out and cover with finely chopped parsley, a few chopped bay leafs and crushed peppercorns. Roll the meat up with this spice and herb mix inside, tie the ends of the meat with string and then boil till tender for several hours. Take out of the pot, allow to cool, put a clean lid on it with a heavy weight on it to press the meat overnight. The next day put it into an oven tray and glaze with honey and sprinkle over bread crumbs – put it into the oven to crisp up the outside and bake the bread crumbs golden.
Take a pig’s eye-piece (the chaps were separate) 2 feet and 2 hocks. If very salty, soak a bit. Boil slowly until the meat easily comes off the bones. In another saucepan put an old hen (fat) with a few onions, carrots, a turnip and the outside leaves of celery. Simmer until very tender. Take out, pick all the meat from the bones, put the bones back into the saucepan and boil again. This makes lovely soup skimmed and thickened (add some cream).
Mix the two sorts of meat finely chopped together, boil the pig bones fast till greatly reduced, then add a cupful of stock to the meat. Put into round cake tines. It will not need pressing but will turn out clear and shining. If you have the pig’s tongue, skin and put it in whole in the middle of the brawn.
POOR KNIGHTS OF WINDSOR
Ingredients : –
- 8 slices of fresh bread, cut 3cm thick
- a little white wine
- a little milk
- a little butter
- a little lard
- a little sugar
- a little Jam
- a pinch of cinnamon
Put the white wine, milk and sugar into a dish, mix it thoroughly; dip the bread into it, on both sides, let it soak up some of the liquid (add more liquid to the dish for each slice). Then fry the bread gently, on both sides, in a little hot fat, half lard and half butter. Dish up on a hot plate and spread a little jam over the toasted bread and then sprinkle some sugar and cinnamon over it.