Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Bull Cook

I start today's post with a disclaimer. Wednesday is usually hot sauce day on this blog and today it doesn't get any hotter than Worcestershire Sauce. It's a deliberate stretch because it gives me the opportunity to showcase my favorite cookbook, Bull Cook and Authentic Historical Recipes and Practices.

I love Bull Cook more for sentimental than practical reasons. The book was presented as a gift to my dad in 1962, shortly before he died. It's been passed from my mother to my brother and finally to me.

It has to be one of the strangest cookbooks I've ever read. Written in 1960 by George Leonard Herter and Berthe E. Herter the book contains curious recipes and arcane information of all sorts. Want the recipe for a peanut butter sandwich? It's in there. Need to know how to make an "Authentic Martini Drink?" It's in Bull Cook. Want to make your own gin for the Martini? That's here, too. So is helpful information on staying healthy in the wilderness, tips for removing hair from squirrell carcasses and the Indian method of quitting smoking. What a book!

I was actually able to find a few used copies of Bull Cook on Amazon. I strongly recommend it as a buy for you or as a gift for cooks you know.

Here's the Bull Cook's recipe for Worcestershire Sauce. Keep in mind when you see references to prices and easily fooled housewives that this book went to press in 1960. And pay heed to the cautionary note about tamarinds!

Original Worcestershire Sauce by John Crafton

"This famous sauce was originated in Worcester, England by John L. Crafton, a chemist and is an adaptation of early French sauces. He wanted desperately to make his every day food taste better and he certainly succeeded. The sauce was first called Worcester sauce then changed to Worcestershire sauce by commercial companies that tried to vaguely copy the original sauce.

"The original recipe is nothing at all like the present day commercial recipes. Commercial recipes for the most part are a black looking watery mixture of water, soy sauce, pepper and vinegar. They might be alright on chow mein or chop suey but hardly on anything else.

"Real Worcestershire sauce is a light reddish brown in color, is not at all watery but quite a heavy bodied liquid. It contains very little water, has no soy sauce flavor at all although it does contain a limited amount of soy sauce.

"Made by the original recipe it costs only about 75 cents a gallon to make. People really like it and your family will use a lot more of it than catsup if you have it available for them. Make up some for your church suppers also and put it on the table in old peanut butter jars with a spoon in it. It will create a real sensation whenever you serve it.

"Worcestershire sauce is not at all difficult to make. "Take an old gallon vinegar jug or one gallon jar and put in the following: Take one 15 ounce can of red kidney beans, (costs about 10 cents) drain and pass through a food mill. Commercial makers list tamarinds as a part of their recipe so that housewives will think that they cannot make their own as tamarinds are hard to find. Actually tamarinds are nothing but the pod from a tree in India that is nothing but poor cattle food and if eaten in any quantity is a severe laxative. One 6 ounce bottle of soy sauce.

"1 level teaspoon of garlic powder, two State of Maine American sardines packed in soy bean oil. They come packed in six sardines to a can and cost about 10 cents a can. Remove two sardines, put them into a small bowl of vinegar and wash them off. Remove and mash up with a fork and add. Commercial recipes say that they use anchovies to confuse housewives. Anchovies are actually nothing but a salt cured sardine.

"Take about six or seven quarts of apples, either green or ripe. Peel them and slice them up and place them in about a six or eight quart cooking pot. Cover them just to the top with brown vinegar. Add one onion sliced up about three inches in diameter. Add the following to the sliced apples: Three level tablespoons of ground cloves, two level tablespoons of ground turmeric, two level tablespoons of ground nutmeg, three level tablespoons of ground all spice, three level tablespoons of powdered coffee or three cups of boiled down black coffee. Bring to a boil and slowly boil for two hours. As the water in the vinegar evaporates add half water and half vinegar to replace it. Stir frequently as apples burn easily, and also tend to stick to the bottom of the pan. Remove and run through a food mill and add eight cups of the puree to the jub or jar.

"Now add: two level teaspoons of red ground pepper, four level tablespoons of corn syrup, six level tablespoons of salt, three level tablespoons of mustard, one level tablespoon of sugar.

"Now fill the balance of the jug or jar up with vinegar. Shake up well and leave stand for 24 hours and then it is ready for use."

That was simple, wasn't it?

1 comment:

Chef JP said...

Dynamite post about ye old worcestershire sauce. I've tried making my own but I think Ol' Bull is the way to go. Thanks, chefjp