Old Recipes and Rabbits Surprised


Illustration of Frederick Nutt from The Imperial and Royal Cook photocopy of 1809 edition.

I’ve found some unusual receipts in my grandmother’s recipe book. Receipt is an old fashioned word for recipe. Dishes such as Ragout and Gallentine I’d never heard of  so after a bit of research I found some very old recipe books featuring similar dishes and recipes to some in my grandmother’s book.

Many of these recipes date back to the 1700s. The books I managed to track down included Frederick Nutt’s, The Imperial and Royal Cookbook 1809, and The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy by Hannah Glasse, an 1805 revised edition of her 1747 classic first edition.

These books are full of interesting tips. For example; to dress a hare (or rabbit) for the table, Frederic Nutt advises to “draw the jaw bones and stick them in the sockets of the eyes; let the ears lay back and stick a sprig of myrtle in the mouth.”

All I can say is that I’m grateful I found grandmother’s book. Now these family favourites have come down through the generations to me.

Below is a recipe from Hannah Glasse:


Skewer and stuff two young rabbits as for roasting; roast them, and take the meat from the bones, which must be left whole; chop the meat fine with shred parsley, lemon-peel an ounce of beef marrow, a spoonful of cream, and a little salt; beat the yolks of two eggs, boiled hard, with a piece of butter in a mortar; mix all together, and stew it five minutes; lay it on the rabbits when the meat is off, and put it down close and even, to make them appear whole; then, with a salamander, brown them all over; pour a good gravy, made as thick as cream, into the dish, and stick myrtle in their mouths; serve them up with the livers boiled and frothed.


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