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Farced Eggs

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HistoricFoodie View Drop Down
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    Posted: 18 May 2012 at 20:26

In 18th century England and its New World colonies, fancy dishes were the pride of every housewife and professional cook. They were called “made” dishes, and reflected the individual cook’s skill and creativity. Nowadays we might call them signature dishes.

In addition to pulling out all the stops in creating the actual dish, garnishes were on the upscale side as well. A chicken dish, for instance, might be garnished with oyster fritters, arranged artfully around the outside edge of the platter, or chicken croquettes might be used to garnish a pork dish.

Forcemeat balls were a common garnish for made dishes. These consisted of a combination of ground meats (veal was almost always one of them), flavored with herbs and spices, rolled in flour, and fried. Perhaps the ultimate version of this was farced eggs. Similar to the modern Scotch egg, they were made by wrapping a hard-cooked egg in forcemeat and fried.

Here is our adapted version. The basic forcemeat recipe can be found in the first volume of our A Colonial Virginia Book of Cookery, but this is the first time we’re publishing the full recipe for farced eggs. We prefer making them with quail eggs, but regular hen’s eggs will do just fine:

Farced Eggs

12 quail eggs or 4-6 hen’s eggs, hard cooked and peeled.

½ lb country ham, ground

½ lb chicken, venison, beef, or veal, ground

2 tbls sweet herb mixture*

1 tsp nutmeg

½ tsp mace

2 egg yolks

Salt & pepper to taste

Flour for dusting

Oil for frying

 

Mix the ham, other meat, herbs, and seasonings until well combined.

 

For quail eggs, take about 1 ½ tablespoons of the mixture and form it into a ball. Adjust accordingly if using hen’s eggs. Flatten the ball in the palm of your hand (it helps if your hands are slightly damp). Place an egg in the center of this patty and wrap the forcemeat around it, keeping the thickness as even as possible and covering the egg completely. Roll in flour, shaking off any excess, and set aside until all the eggs are ready.

 

Heat enough oil to come halfway up the eggs, until very hot---about 350F. Fry the balls in batches, turning frequently, until golden brown on all sides, about three minutes in total. Drain on a rack.

 

Serve as a garnish to a fancy dish, or as an appetizer.

 

*Sweet herbs were a basic addition to many 18th century dishes. Typically, such mixtures included parsley, thyme, chives, and chervil, but others are referred to as well, such as rosemary, savory, marjoram, and sorrel. Even basil can be used.

 

Our preferred mix, using dried herbs, consists of:

 

3 tbls parsley

1 tbls savory

1 tbls leeks

1 tbls marjoram

2 tsp tarragon

1 tsp thyme

 

Pound herbs in a mortar until coarsely ground and well combined. Store in an airtight container. Use as needed.

 

If using fresh herbs, combine them on a three-to-one basis compared to dried to maintain the same flavor intensity and profile.

 

 

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote africanmeat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 May 2012 at 03:07
interesting  , thanks it gos to my to do list.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ChrisFlanders Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 May 2012 at 06:52

We have an identical, very popular dish in my country which is probably also quite old. We call it "vogelnestjes" or translated in english; "bird's nests". They are usually served with a simple tomato sauce and mashed potatoes. A very good version can be seen on video by this no-nonsense cook, awarded with 1 Michelinstar. He wants the eggs to be runny when you cut the whole thing, so he boils the eggs precisely for 4,5 minutes and cools them asap. Then they are gently peeled and wrapped in pork minced meat, breaded, et voilà. You can watch him making them; http://www.njam.tv/recepten/vogelnestjes

Other videos by this chef, wo is well known for his traditional french-belgian cuisine; http://www.njam.tv/chefs/johan-segers

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Karl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2012 at 16:33
Thank you for posting this recipe.  Where is the word "farced" derived?  From forced meat? 

When was it first published?  For that matter, what is the earliest documented appearance of a Scotch or Farced Egg recipe? 

Is this a "cousin recipe?"    http://www.historicfood.com/Farced%20crab.htm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Daikon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2012 at 17:54
"Farced" is of Latin origin, coming into English by way of Old French and Middle English.  It essentially means stuffed or having to do with stuffing (L. farcire -- to stuff.)  Many such stuffings were made from minced or ground meat, from which the slightly altered form "forcemeat" came into being.  So, farced eggs are "eggs wrapped with the kind of ground meat mixture found in stuffing."
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 23 May 2012 at 19:13
That pretty much sums it up. Thanks for saving me the trouble, Daikon.
 
I don't know how far back use of the word farce or its derivatives goes, Karl. The recipe you linked to is dated 1660, and it was common all through the 1700s. Recipes using it usually are titled "To Farce XYZ," or "Farced XYZ." However, the word "force" was sometimes used as a synonym. Forcemeat balls are but one example.
 
The farced eggs recipe was adapted from Hanna Glasse's The Art of Cookery Made Plain and Easy, first published in 1745, when "farce" was used. In the 1796 edition this had morphed to "force," and the recipe title is Forced Eggs.
 
Most of the time, as Daikon implies, it applied to a stuffing, often made with a forcemeat, but not always. Also looking at Hannah Glasse we find, for instance, a recipe "To Force Cucumbers," which uses fried oysters as a stuffing. In another section of the book, however, she has a different recipe "To Farce Cucumbers," which uses a vegetable stuffing (onions, cabbage, pickled mushrooms, parsley, etc.) mixed with hard cooked eggs.  
 
I'm sure Elizabeth Smith used only "farce" in her 1729 Complete Housewife. My copy is at the Fort, however, so won't be able to check until tomorrow.
 
In his 1792 The London Art of Cookery, John Farley only uses "forced."
 
By 1828, the word "stuff" is apparently in common usage, as in Mary Randolph's "To Stuff and Roast Calf's Liver," found in her The Virginia Housewife.
 
I've no idea when the term Scotch Egg originated. Do you have access to an OED? I'm sure you'd find the derivation there.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Karl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 May 2012 at 15:47
Scotch eggs is one of those recipes that snuck into the SCA decades ago.  I was taught to make them with quail eggs and wrapped in a dough "St. Andrew's cross" by a now deceased USAF cook, Halderman.  I really cannot tell where he came up with baking them with a dough cross instead of frying them in bread crumbs but he was an exceptional cook. 

The best that I have for their origin is 1738 by: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scotch_egg  One of the next questions would be when did they appear in India?  (And what are some of the origianl Indian recipes?)

I have introduced these anachronistic goodies to SCA around the world and they have become a local favorite here in Juneau.  A few folks ask to make sure that they are on the menu before committing to come to feasts.  Oh well, I also picked up the 18th century reenacting habit where they are much more appropriate. 

http://foodsoftheworld.activeboards.net/scotch-eggs_topic1353.html

Here is one of many similar Indian recipes that I found for nargisi kofta: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/hyderabadi-nargisi-kofta/


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 May 2012 at 10:47
Finally got around to checking The Compleat Housewife. Elizabeth Smith only uses "force," as it turns out. And she only has three uses. In "To Make Forc'd-meat" she uses it like any other sample we've had; combining minced meats and shaping the mixture into balls.
 
Her other two uses---"How To Force a Fowl," and "To Force a Leg of Veal, Mutton, or Lamb"---are rather complex dishes, in which all the fowl or leg is first skinned, the meat removed, minced and mixed with other ingredients, replaced in the skin (back on the bone, in fact), and cooked. In other words, in these two cases, the stuffing isn't put into the main protein, or used as a garnish. It is the main protein.
 
For anyone ambitious enough to want to try it, here is the complete recipe for the chicken version:
 
How To Force a Fowl
 
Take a good fowl, kill, pull and draw it; slit the skin down the back, take off the flesh from the bones; mince it very small, and mix it with one pound of beef-suet shred, and a pint of large oysters chop'd, two anchovies, an eschalot, a little grated bread, some sweet herbs; shred all these very well, mix them, and make it up with yolks of eggs, put all these ingredients on the bones again, and draw the skin over again; sew up the back, and put the fowl in a bladder; boil it an hour and a quarter; then stew some more oysters in gravy, bruise in a little of your forc'd-meat, and beat it up with fresh butter; put the fowl in the middle; pour on the sauce and garnish with sliced lemon.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pork Pie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 September 2012 at 01:21
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 October 2012 at 08:49
Brook,
 
Yum ... these look delicious ... I am uncertain if all the ingredients are exactly the same, however, they do look like Scotch Eggs quite a bit.
 
Shall have to prepare your recipe and of course, merge cultures slightly ...
 
I shall follow your recipe, however, serve them as Tapas ! 
 
Kindest,
Thanks for posting,
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 October 2012 at 09:57
As I understand it, Margi, Scotch Eggs are defined as a hard-cooked egg wrapped in sausage and fried.
 
The basic difference in all versions is the sausage used. I've made them in the past, for instance, using regular breakfast sausage.
 
My recipe, posted above, though using what is called a forcemeat, is actually a sausage mixture. So, fundementally, it's no different than a modern version of Scotch Eggs.
 
Most often, I made these using quail eggs, and serve them as a tapas, in a sauce made from ham stock.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 October 2012 at 10:08
Good Evening Brook,
 
When are you publishing your authored recipes ?
 
Thanks for the explanation.
 
Truly appreciate your guidance in these matters. They are on the list, and probably during our 3 day holiday wkend coming up November 1st ( All Saints Day ), a Spanish Bank Holiday, I shall prepare them and photograph. They shall be a serving of Tapa proportions.
 
I am crazed over your quail egg tapa with a ham stock drizzle ...
 
Could you post this in Iberian Section at some future moment when u have time ?
 
Thanks alot in advance,
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 October 2012 at 10:13
I'll be happy to post it, Margi. We're about to head out, but I'll get to it this afternoon.
 
As to publishing; we have gathered many of our recipes adapted from 18th century source material  in two books: A Colonial Virginia Book of Cookery, and, A Colonial Virginia Book of Cookery Second Table. Currently we are working on a third volume.
 
Each of the books is available for US $12.50 plus s&h. Anyone interested should contact Historic Foodways at historicfoodways@hotmail.com and request a catalog.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Margi Cintrano Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 October 2012 at 10:38
Brook,
 
Firstly, thanks and when u can post it ... in your free time ... Appreciate it ...
 
Definitely a Christmas gift for me, and wow! Congrats ...
 
Shall send you an email at the end of the month.
 
Thanks.
Margi 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 November 2012 at 18:09
On the Today Show a couple of days ago, a guest chef (an English woman; never did get her name) made an interesting variation of these.
 
She starts with soft boiled (6 minute) eggs, then wraps them in a significant amount of sausage. The patty, before she wrapped it, was easily the size of a hamburger. She then deep fried them, 8 minutes.
 
The finished product looked like a softball. And when you cut it in half you still had some runny center in the egg. Very luxurious looking.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Feather Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 November 2012 at 09:28
Last year sometime, I had made some Scotch Eggs, from chicken eggs. Our recipe called for coating the outside with flour, then eggs, then bread crumbs before frying.
Later in the week we found another recipe for something similar--and we enjoyed it even more.
It was essentially mashed potatoes wrapped around the eggs, breaded and fried. (There may have been garlic and cheese in those potatoes.) Now I can't remember the 'name' of those!
This makes me hungry! ~Feather
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HistoricFoodie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 November 2012 at 11:16
From the description, Feather, I'd just call them.....ummmm, good!
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