Today’s recipes come from the French cookbook Le Nouveau Cusiner Royal et Bourgeois, by François Massialot. A number of editions were printed from 1691 onward, beginning with one volume and expanding to three. Along with recipes, it also includes advice on different combinations of dishes for serving at banquets and a few fold-out plates showing plating and seating arrangements. These recipes come from the 1730 edition, volume one. Aside from some minor corrections and changes for ease of understanding, they’re left in their original form, so they may be a little awkward or strange to read.

Lamb Ragout, or “Agneau en Ragoût”:

“One needs to have a quarter of lamb, and cut it in quarters. After having larded it with medium lard, and having given it a little color in the pan, cook it with broth, salt, pepper, cloves, mushrooms, and a bouquet of herbs. Once it’s cooked, put a veal coulis on it, and serve them.”

Stuffed sirloin, or “Aloyau farci”:

“You can stuff it with a salpicon* which you will find under the letter S**. Once your sirloin is almost cooked to the spit, you take the flesh of the middle, that you chop fairly thinly with bacon, fat of beef, herbs, spices, and good toppings; you stuff your sirloin, between the skin and the bone, and you sew it cleanly, lest the flesh fall into the pan. In finishing cooking you garnish your dish of sliced beef with chopped cutlets, and with fried bread, and being on the table, one takes off the skins to have the freedom to eat it with a spoon.”

*: According to CookThink, a salpicon is “a mixture of finely diced ingredients bound with a sauce”.

**: this means under the letter S section in the book’s contents, not some crazy French stuffing method. That one took me a while.

Asparagus with butter, or “Asperges au Beurre”:

“Cook asparagus in water with a little salt; be careful that they do not cook too much. When they are about cooked pull them out and let them drain; dress them in a dish, and make a sauce with butter, salt, vinegar and nutmeg, or white pepper, stirring it continually. Pour in your asparagus when they are upright.”

Artichokes in White Sauce, or “Artichaux à la Sausse Blanche”:

“Cook small artichokes in water and a little salt. When they are cooked, pass the artichokes in the saucepan, with butter and parsley, season with salt and white pepper; And make a sauce with eggs yolks, a drizzle of vinegar, and a little broth.”

Considering that this is a French cookbook from the 18th century, I thought the recipes would be crazier than they were. Most of the dishes seem relatively sensible- or at least those that I’ve read. Speaking to the book’s target audience, there’s quite a few recipes for meatHowever, compared to the English recipes I transcribed in this post, these involve more ingredients, with a greater diversity among those ingredients. They also tend to be longer- these here were some of the shortest- and more complicated as far as technique goes. More recipes, both English and French, are to follow in part three and beyond. Questions or comments, or want a transcription of the original French text? Comment down below.

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