Serving
(click to enlarge)

Norfolk Pottage
England - East Anglia

Makes:
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:
6-1/2 quart
***
4 hr  
Yes

The amounts given here may seem huge, but they are tiny compared to the original 18th century recipe - scaled to feed 40 or more. In any case, this recipe is a bit involved, so best to reserve it for large groups. The variety of ingredients and the nutmeg spicing harken back to Medieval times, but it would have had to be made with turnips instead of potatoes then. As with other traditional dishes, exact ingredients and proportions are flexible. This dish reheats very well, but the peas quickly loose their bright green color.





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2-1/2
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T

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Beef (1)
Chicken (2)
-- Options (3)
Kidneys
Tongue
Sweetbreads
----------
Bacon, smoked
Onions
Carrots
Potatoes (4)
Mushrooms
Artichoke Hearts (5)
Butter
Thyme sprig
Nutmeg
Cloves
Peas, frozen
Lemon Juice
Salt
Pepper
-- Serve With
Green Dumplings
Prep   -   (1-1/4 hrsr)
  1. Trim the BEEF of any excess fat and cut into slices about 1/4 inch thick and about 1-1/4 inches square. Put the beef in a pan with cold water to cover well and bring to a boil for just a minute, then drain and rinse. This will improve the color of the stew.
  2. Trim CHICKEN meat as needed, and cut into chunks about 1-1/2 inches on a side.
  3. If using, place KIDNEYS, cut into 3/4 inch cubes. Place in a saucepan with salted water to cover well and bring to a boil for 1 minute. Strain and rinse. 6 ounces raw will yield 4 ounces.
  4. If using, place SWEETBREADS in a saucepan with water to cover and juice of 2 lemons (or 2 t Citric Acid). If using lemons, toss in the peels too. Bring to a boil and simmer 10 minutes. Drain and cool. Cut into 3/4 inch cubes.
  5. If using, place TONGUE into a pot with water to cover well. Bring to a boil and simmer until done (1-1/4 hr for pig tongue 1 hour per pound weight for beef) drain, cool and peel skin (if beef). Cut into about 3/4 inch cubes.
  6. Chop BACON small.
  7. Cut ONIONS in half lengthwise, then slice medium crosswise. Peel CARROTS and cut into pieces about 1/2 inch on a side. Mix.
  8. Peel POTATOES and cut into about 1 inch cubes. Place in a saucepan with water to cover, bring to a boil and simmer until just cooked through.
  9. Slice MUSHROOM stems flush with the caps. Cut caps in half if large, quarters if huge.
  10. Cut ARTICHOKE HEARTS into squares about 1 inch on a side. Fry in butter, tumbling for about 6 minutes. You will see some browning.
  11. Grind NUTMEG fine.
Run   -   (2 hrs)
  1. In an 8 quart heavy bottomed pot, spread the Onion mix. On top spread the Beef, Bacon, Kidneys. and . Add 2-1/2 t Salt, 1/2 t Pepper, the Nutmeg, Cloves. Lemon Juice and Thyme. Pour in enough water to just cover. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer slowly, covered for about 45 min.
  2. Stir in the Chicken, Sweetbreads. pre-cooked Tongue and Mushrooms. Add water only if needed to just about cover (don't try to cover the floating mushrooms). Bring back to a boil and simmer another 45 min or until the beef is tender.
  3. Taste for salt and pepper. Stir in Potatoes and bring back to a boil. Stir in the Peas, and by time you can get it back to a boil, it's done.
  4. Strain the liquid and set the solids aside. At this point I usually transfer the solids to a slow cooker for serving. Most of them, anyway - my biggest slow cooker is only 5 quarts.
  5. De-fat the liquid (using your gravy separator). If you have too much boil it down to the amount and consistency you want. You can thicken the sauce with some blonde roux if you wish. The pattern recipe did this, but served "family style" on a shallow platter with the thickened sauce to be pored over. I serve buffet style out of a slow cooker, so a more liquid sauce is better.
NOTES:
  1. Beef:   Weight is after removing all bones and excess fat. Any flavorful stewing cut will work.
  2. Chicken:   Weight is skinless, boneless and with excess fat removed. The pattern recipe called for a whole 2-1/2 pound chicken, cooked in a separate pot (with half the vegetables and seasonings). When done, the skin was stripped off and bones removed before final assembly. This seems overly complex, so I used the convenient skinless, boneless leg meat now common in our markets (since the Russians aren't buying it up anymore) to make a 1 pot recipe. I avoid the dry, cardboard flavored breast meat we get here in North America. Of course the original 18th century recipe used a mix of game birds instead of chicken, again harkening back to Medieval times, but those are a bit scarce and costly around here.
  3. Options:   Weight is measured after preparation as noted in the steps above, and should total about 1 pound, in whatever proportion works for you. The writer of the pattern recipe admitted she'd replaced the original Cocks Combs, Sweetbreads and Ox Pallets (tongues) with just Lamb Kidneys (pork kidneys will work fine, but beef kidneys have a much different flavor). Since my local market had just put out fine looking trays of sweetbreads and pig tongues (less fatty and more manageable than cow tongue), I used those and let the kidney stand in for just the cock's combs. Cock's combs are not readily available in Los Angeles - not even in the Asian markets. For details see: Beef Tongue / Veal Tongue   -   Pork Tongue   -   Lamb Kidneys   -   Pork Kidneys   -   Sweetbreads.
  4. Potatoes:   White Rose potatoes are fine for this use. Red potatoes will work too, but will thicken the sauce more. Avoid "Yukon Gold" type potatoes which disintegrate into mush if cooked just a bit long. The pattern recipe called for tiny New Potatoes and left them whole, but those paper skinned potatoes are nearly impossible to find in North America. The tiny "fingerling" potatoes common in the yuppie outlets have tough skins, and I'm not real fond of the flavor. For details see our Potatoes page.
  5. Artichoke Hearts:   These should be water packed (just water, salt and citric acid) in a jar or can. A 32 oz jar holding 6 large hearts yielded 12 oz drained weight.
  6. Serving:   The writer of the pattern recipe served this "family style", with the drained solids arranged in a large shallow platter. The thickened sauce is for pouring over (I don't know what she did with the rest, her platter certainly wouldn't hold more than a couple of quarts - and I don't know how much sauce she intended because the photo clearly had none).
    Since I serve this at buffet parties, I put the solids in a large slow cooker (set to "keep warm"), defat the liquid and pour it over, unthickened, until it doesn't quite cover the solids.
  7. Green Dumplings   Suet dumplings are traditional with stews and potages in England. The ones specified by the pattern recipe were made green by chopped parsley. They work with "family style" service, but I consider them impractical for uncontrolled buffet service and don't use them there. They are not exactly "lean cuisine" in any case. The photo for the pattern recipe included no dumplings (though it is possible they were in a covered dish nearby). If you want them, here is our recipe: Suet Dumplings / Green Dumplings.
  8. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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