Nac Mac Vegan: adventures in rabbit food

22/02/2009

1913 Nut Galantine

Filed under: Experiments, Historic — Tags: , , — Feòrag @ 19:32
The cover of Sidney H. Beard's "A Comprehensive Guide-Book to Natural, Hygienic, and Humane Diet"

The cover of the book from which this recipe was taken

Sidney H. Beard’s A Comprehensive Guide-book to Natural, Hygienic, and Humane Diet was published in 1913 by an organisation called The Order of the Golden Age (note this site uses Javascript menus which do not actually work!), an explicitly religious vegetarian group. Although basically Christian, the influence of Spiritualism and Theosophy is apparent in the Order’s publications. My copy of this book is currently working its way through Distributed Proofreaders (assuming there was a back-up!) and will hopefully appear on Project Gutenberg soon.

This recipe is rather oddly named. Your actual galantine is a deboned bird rolled around a stuffing, poached, allowed to cook and then decorated and coated in aspic. Beard’s galantine is a nut and pasta roast, which he recommends be served cold with a salad, though he also regards it as being good warm. His original recipe isn’t vegan, but is trivially made so:

Take ½-lb, ground walnuts, ¼-lb. cooked spaghetti, 2 onions, 1 small tomato, 1-oz. butter, 1 dessertspoonful of Carnos, a little stock, pepper and salt to taste. Fry the onions and tomato in the butter, and then add the other ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes. Put into a greased mould, cover with a greased paper, and bake in a slow oven for 1 hour. Turn out when cold and serve with salad and Mayonnaise sauce. This dish may be served hot as a roast with red currant jelly and browned potatoes.

The observant will note that there is just not quite enough information there! How should I cut the onions and tomatoes? What size and type of mould do I need? What is a “slow oven” anyway? What’s Carnos? That last question is straightforward—it was a fake meat extract and can be replaced with yeast extract. For the others, I made an educated guess and this is what I came up with:

Ingredients
225g mixed nuts (I had no walnuts on their own)
100-125g pasta (any sort – I used wholemeal macaroni)
2 onions
1 small tomato
a generous forkful of vegan margarine
2 tsp Marmite
approximately ¾ cup water
a big pinch of stock powder
black pepper

Method
Cook the pasta until al dente according to the instructions on the packet. While this is cooking, grind the nuts finely, and cut the onions and tomatoes into 1cm dice. Drain the pasta when ready and put to one side.

Turn on your oven and start to pre-heat to 150°C. Heat up the margarine slowly in a large frying pan and put in the onions and tomatoes. Fry until they are nice and soft then add the cooked pasta, ground nuts, Marmite, water and stock powder. You might find it easier (i.e. I should have done this) to boil the water and dissolve the Marmite and stock powder in it first, before adding the mixture to the pan. Grind as much black pepper as you like into it, and then simmer for 15 minutes.

Grease a 1 Kg loaf tin (I think this is a 2lb loaf tin in old money), pausing to moan at your partner who put it away whilst still wet, causing a rust patch to form. Put the mixture in the loaf tin and cover with greased paper—Waitrose’s own brand baking parchment is siliconised, and doesn’t need greasing. The oven should have heated up by now, so put it in and try to ignore it for an hour.

Not the prettiest of dishes, but it tasted good.

Not the prettiest of dishes, but it tasted good.

Results
It felt quite soft when it came out of the oven, but firmed up a little as it cooled down. It crumbled a little when I got it out of the tin, mostly in the form of pieces of pasta. It wasn’t very photogenic, but I took pictures anyway! It does not slice easily when warm, and I would consider preparing it as individual portions if making it as a roast. The outside was dark brown and crisp, the inside paler and softer. It tasted good though, the pasta giving it a bizarre, slightly chewy texture. A solid, satisfying winter dish which would go well with any sort of vegetable, though a sauce is necessary—I had potatoes and peppers in a simple white sauce, but a tomato sauce, or a gravy would go well.

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