Nottinghamshire is a county in the central region of England and these are a collection of local and regional recipes handed down within families who have lived and worked in the Nottinghamshire 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.
Young rooks, flaky pastry, a little butter, flour, stock, salt, pepper.
Pluck draw and skin the rooks and remove the backbone, which is bitter. Season with salt and pepper. Stew in a little water. Place the birds in a pie-dish and cover with stock, thicken with butter and flour. Cover with pastry, and bake for 1 1/2 hours in a moderate oven 330F (160C).
Use full-cream-milk – 2 gallons (9 Litres) will make two small cheeses. Heat the milk to 90 degrees F. Mix in rennet in the proportion of 1 drachm to 1 1/2 gallons of milk (1 drachm equals 1 teaspoonful for every 7 Litres of milk). So for 2 gallons (9L) of milk use 1 large teaspoon or 1 1/2 small teaspoons. Top-stir till curd forms, then leave in a covered bucket for 1 1/2 hours. Mark the top of the curd with the Colwick hoop, slice off the two ‘tops’ and put them on one side. Line the two hoops with your muslin, then ladle the curd into the hoops. Leave to drain a little, then slide on the two tops and fold the muslin over the top of the hoop. Leave to drain again, then pull the cloths up and inwards, pulling the curd away from the edge of the hoop. Do this several times and while draining is going on. This will then produce the characteristic curling over of the edge of Colwick cheese. After 24 hours of draining the cheese should be firm enough to handle – do not turn Colwick cheese during draining. When really firm the hoop can be removed and the cloth pulled away; it is then ready to eat.
RUDBY SWAN PIE
Swan meat, 2 onions, a little sugar, mixed herbs, salt, pepper, suet pastry.
Use only the finest meat of the swan, cut up into small pieces and stew gently for 3 hours in water seasoned with salt, pepper, herbs and onions. Strain and put meat into pie-dish lined with a suet pastry (make it with double the flour to just under half the fats – use half suet and half butter rubbed in to the flour and a little water to bind). Add chicken stock to the strained herb and onion water and reduce to a thick gravy. Add gravy, cover the pie, and bake at 400F (200C) for 30 minutes.