10 September 2012

The Sporting Wife

In our ongoing love of game cookbooks, we recently snagged a lovely copy of The Sporting Wife: Game and Fish Cooking.  Barbara Hargreaves set out to make game cooking a bit more diversified.  She published The Sporting Wife and The Complete Angler's Wife, both to favorable reviews.  After receiving recipes and suggestions, she combined the two in a large revised edition of The Sporting Wife.

Hargreaves was striving for something a bit more than the usual roasted joint.  The book is filled with vintage engravings, mostly by Thomas Bewick whose 1790 work A General History of Quadrupeds brought the engraver much fame.   She included a special section on sauces and a bit of advanced bird anatomy to determine the age and viability of of the hubby's catch.

The book is a very good take on cooking whatever might get dragged in through the mud room.  It has the solid feel of a pair of Wellies.  One might imagine Queen Elizabeth or even maybe Queen Victoria pointing out a recipe to be served at Balmoral.

As you know, we have a profound love of giblets, and while the rabbit is lacking our favorite gizzard, we were taken by this recipe.

Savory Rabbit Giblets

Head, split in half lenghtwise
12 oz. fat bacon
2 oz. plain flour
1 onion
1 pint water
lemon juice of red wine
Salt and pepper

For those who like to finish up all the odds and ends, this is a good way to make a savoury supper dish.  Sweet and sour.

Wash the giblets and cut into small pieces, fry with the diced onion and the chopped bacon, dredge in the flour, stirring all the while and fry until brown. Then add the water and season well.  Simmer gently until the meat is tender.  Just before serving, season the gravy to taste with lemon juice or red wine and sugar, remove bones and serve with lots of mashed potato.

I admit to being a little confused by the frying  THEN dredging instruction.  I think she means to fr y the meats and onion together and as it is getting done, add the flour.  This is a hard recipe to replicate unless the hubby is bringing home the rabbit, as most domestic rabbit in America is lacking in that nice bag of giblets stuffed inside.

for the hunter in the house or that little lady that cooks for him, this is a great book for a hostess gift or and other holiday for that matter.

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