Mrs. Beeton's Book of Household Management/Chapter LVI



The Cookery in Australia is of course English in character, while in the hotels the French cuisine plays a prominent part just as it does here. The various dishes which are peculiar to the country are those obtained from animals and fruits indigenous to the soil, such as Kangaroo-tail Soup.

The Food Supply of Australia is excellent and abundant. In the towns the price of mutton varies from 3d. to 4d. per lb., and beef from 4d. to 6d. Up country it is cheaper, so cheap, indeed, that the skin is the more valuable part of the animal, and much of the meat is wasted or given to the dogs, the best parts alone being eaten.

Australian Fish is plentiful and good, and includes nearly all the varieties esteemed in England except the sole, which is not found in any Australian waters; but there are many other varieties unknown in England, such as trumpeter, schnapper, flathead, barracouta, etc. Although the coast and rivers abound in fish, the supply in the market is not plentiful, consequently fish is very expensive, a fact which no doubt explains the excessive use of meat in a climate where a diet comprised almost entirely of such food is undesirable. Fresh water fish are most abundant in both creeks and rivers; fresh water cod especially, a delicately-flavoured fish, generally considered superior to the cod fish found on our coasts. Oyster beds are abundant in many parts of Australia, consequently this highly-esteemed bivalve is too cheap to be considered a luxury as it is in England.

Vegetables grow abundantly in most parts of Australia, and in addition to the varieties common in England, there are many unknown to us. Sour sop, a fruit which in its ripe condition resembles the custard apple, may in its green state be cooked and served as a vegetable. Paw paw also serves the double purpose of fruit and vegetable, for it is equally excellent boiled while in a green, unripe condition and served with white sauce, or eaten when ripe with wine and sugar. The choko is a vegetable little known, although it grows freely in many parts of Australia, It is excellent plainly boiled and served with white sauce.

Fruit is so plentiful in many parts of Australia that many varieties may there be had for the picking. In addition to apples, apricots, peaches, bananas, figs, melons and other well-known fruit, there areothers almost unknown in England, such as gramma, granadilla, loquat, Passion fruit, etc.

Typical Australian Dishes


Ingredients.—To every lb. of stoned apricots allow the juice of 1 lemon, 1 pint of water, and ¾ of a lb. of sugar.

Method.—Remove the stones, crack half of them, and add the kernels to the fruit. Boil the water, sugar, and lemon juice together for 20 minutes, skim well, put in the fruit and kernels. Boil gently for about an hour, or until a little of the syrup quickly jellies when poured on to a cold plate. Turn into dry glasses or pots, cover immediately, and store in a dry place. Peaches may be substituted for apricots.

Time.—To boil the jam, about ¾ of an hour. Average Cost, 4d. per lb.


Ingredients.—2 dozen apricots, ½ a pint of custard No. 2104 or 2105, jelly No. 1991 or 2004, lemon juice, castor sugar, ½ an oz. of gelatine, 4 ozs. of loaf sugar, ¼ of a pint of water.

Method.—Halve the apricots and remove the stones. Boil the 4 ozs. of loaf sugar in the ¼ of pint of water to a syrup, put in the apricots,remove six halves when partially cooked, and the remainder when quite soft, and pass the latter through a fine sieve. Line a mould with jelly (see page 985), and decorate it with the partially-cooked apricots. Dissolve the gelatine in a little hot water. Mix the apricot pulp and custard together, add sugar and lemon juice to taste, and strain in the gelatine. Mix quickly and thoroughly, turn into the prepared mould, and keep on ice until firm.

Time.—About 2 hours. Average Cost, 1s. Seasonable in summer.


Ingredients.—2 dozen fresh ripe apricots, 3 tablespoonfuls of apricot marmalade, 1 quart of milk, 1 breakfastcupful of rice, 1 breakfastcupful of sugar, 3 eggs, the rind of 1 lemon, the juice of 2 lemons.

Method.—Simmer the rice and lemon-rind in the milk until the rice is tender, adding more milk if the rice becomes too dry before it is sufficiently cooked. Take out the lemon-rind, stir in 2 tablespoonfuls of sugar and the eggs, and cook gently by the side of the fire for a few minutes longer. Place a jar in the centre of a glass dish, and pile the rice round it, sloping it towards the edge of the dish, and put aside until cold. Strain the lemon-juice over the rest of the sugar, boil the syrup, put in the apricots previously peeled, halved and stoned, and a few of the kernels blanched and shredded, and boil gently until cooked, but not broken. Remove the jar, and place the apricots carefully in the space it occupied, piling them high in the centre, add the apricot marmalade to the syrup, and strain it over the apricots. Garnish with the remainder of the kernels, and serve when quite cold.

Time.—About 2 hours. Average Cost, 1s. 9d. to 2s.


Ingredients.—Choko, salt, white sauce or melted butter (see Nos. 223 and 202).

Method.—Peel the choko, let it remain in salt and cold water for about 1 hour, then drain well. Place in a saucepan containing salted boiling water, boil from 1 to 1½ hours, and serve with the sauce poured over.

Time.—2½ hours.


Ingredients.—3 or 4 slices of fresh-water cod, 2 yolks of eggs, capers, salad-oil, vinegar, pepper and salt.

Method.—Wash, dry the fish thoroughly, and brush each slice over with salad-oil. Add a good seasoning of salt and pepper to the yolks of eggs, stir them with a wooden spoon in a small basin until thick, then add salad-oil, a few drops at a time, until the preparation has the consistency of very thick cream. Cut the capers in halves, and add them with a few drops of vinegar to the sauce. Grill the cod steaks over or in front of a clear fire, and serve hot. The sauce should be served separately.

Time.—To grill the fish, from 20 to 25 minutes. Average Cost, 1s. 6d. to 1s. 9d.


Ingredients.—½ a lb. of cold trumpeter or other fish, 1 oz. of ham or bacon coarsely chopped, 1 shallot, or 1 small onion finely chopped, 1 oz. of butter, 1 oz. of flour,¼ of a pint of milk, 1 egg, ½ a pint of anchovy sauce No. 288, salt, pepper.

Method.—Mince the ham or bacon, and the shallot or onion, and fry in the butter for a few minutes; stir in the flour, add the milk, and boil gently for 5 minutes. Mix in the egg, and fish finely flaked, season to taste, spread on a plate, and put aside. When cold, form in to small balls, poach in boiling fish stock or water for 5 or 6 minutes, and serve with a little sauce poured over, and the remainder in a sauce-boat.

Time.—Altogether about 2 hours.


Ingredients.—1 flathead, forcemeat Nos. 394 or 396, dripping, anchovy Sauce No. 289, or piquant sauce No. 265.

Method.—Empty, wash, and dry the fish, make the forcemeat as directed, press it lightly into the opening made in cleaning the fish, which secure by means of string or cotton and a needle. Bake gently from 35 to 45 minutes, basting frequently with hot dripping, and when done, remove the string. Serve the sauce separately. The fish may be trussed in the form of the letter S, and the appearance further improved by a coating of egg and lightly browned breadcrumbs applied before baking.

Time.—Altogether about 1 hour.


Ingredients.—2 lbs. of grammas, ½ a lb. of sugar, ¼ of a lb. of currants, 1 dessertspoonful of lemon juice, short crust No. 1668.

Method.—Remove the peel and seeds, cut the fruit into small pieces, place in a stewpan with 3 or 4 tablespoonfuls of cold water and the lemon juice. Cook gently until soft, add the currants and sugar, and turn the whole into a pie-dish. Cover with paste, bake in a moderately hot oven, and serve either hot or cold. Custard or junket will be found an agreeable addition.

Time.—About 2 hours. Average Cost, about 1s.


Ingredients.—1 granadilla, ½ a pint of cream, 2 ozs. of gelatine, 1 tablespoonful of castor sugar, 1 teaspoonful of lemon juice (about).

Method.—Extract the juice and pulp from the granadilla, and to it add the sugar and lemon juice, let the whole remain covered in a basin for about 40 minutes, then pass through a fine sieve. Whip the cream stiffly, and stir it lightly into the fruit pulp. Dissolve the gelatine in a little hot water, strain, and stir it into the preparation. Turn into a mould, and keep on ice or in a cool place until firm.

Time.—About 2 hours. Average Cost, 1s. 3d.


Ingredients.—To 2 lbs. of figs allow 1½ lbs. of sugar, ½ a pint of water, the juice of 1 lemon.

Method.—Boil the water, sugar, and lemon juice together for 10 minutes, then wipe and slice the fruit, and add it to the syrup. Boil gently for about 1 hour, or until a little of the syrup poured on to a cold plate quickly jellies. Turn into pots, cover quickly, and store in a dry place.

Time—To boll the jam, about 1 hour, Average Cost, 4d, to 5d. per lb.


Ingredients.—3 quarts of red guavas, the juice of 1 or 2 lemons, loaf sugar.

Method.—Slice the fruit, cover with cold water, and simmer gently for 2 hours, then strain through a jelly bag or fine sieve. Measure the syrup when cold, and to each pint allow 12 ozs. of sugar and 1 tablespoonful of lemon juice. Return to the preserving pan, boil gently for about 1 hours, or until a little of the syrup poured on to a cold plate jellies quickly. Turn into pots, cover quickly, and store in a dry place.


Ingredients.—1 tail, 2 ozs. of butter, 1 tablespoonful of flour, 1 tablespoonful of curry-powder, 2 onions sliced, 1 sour apple cut into dice, 1 dessertspoonful of lemon-juice, ¾ of a pint of stock, salt.

Method.—Wash, blanch and dry the tail thoroughly, and divide it at the joints. Fry the tail lightly in hot butter, take it up, put in the sliced onions, and fry them for 3 or 4 minutes without browning. Sprinkle in the flour and curry-powder, and cook gently for at least 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the stock, apple, salt to taste, bring to the boil, stirring meanwhile, and replace the tail in the stewpan. Cover closely, and cook gently until tender, then add the lemon-juice and more seasoning if necessary. Arrange the pieces of tail on a hot dish, strain the sauce over, and serve with boiled rice.


Ingredients.—1 tail, 2 ozs. of butter, 1 oz. of flour, 1 onion sliced, 1 carrot sliced, ½ a small turnip sliced, 2 or 3 sprigs of parsley, 1 bay-leaf, 2 cloves, 1 blade of mace, 1 dessertspoonful of lemon-juice, salt and pepper, stock or water.

Method.—Divide the tail at each joint, cover with cold water, bring to the boil, then drain and dry well. Fry the joints lightly in hot butter, then take them up and stir in the flour. Fry until well browned, add the stock and stir until it boils, then put back the tail, and add the vegetables, herbs and spices. Season to taste, cover closely, and simmer gently until tender. Arrange the pieces of tail neatly on a hot dish, strain the sauce over, and serve.

Time.—3 hours.


Ingredients.—1 tail, 2 lb. of gravy beef, 4 ozs. of butter, 1½ ozs. of flour, 3 quarts of water, 1 carrot, 1 onion, 2 or 3 sprigs of parsley, 1 bay-leaf, salt and pepper.

Method.—Prepare and slice the vegetables, wash the tail and divide it at the joints. Heat the butter in a stewpan, fry the tail until well browned, then remove it and fry the meat, previously cut into rather thin slices. Strain off the butter and put it aside until required. Replace the tail in the stewpan, add the water and a teaspoonful of salt, and bring to the boil. Skim well, put in the prepared vegetables, parsley, bay-leaf, and a good seasoning of pepper, cover closely, and simmer gently for 4 hours, skimming when necessary. Strain; if convenient let the liquor stand until quite cold and remove every particle of fat from the surface. Re-heat the butter used for frying, adding more if necessary, stir in the flour, and cook for 3 or 4 minutes. Add the stock, bring to the boil, put in a few pieces of the tail, season to taste, make thoroughly hot, and serve.


May be made as directed for Guava Jelly (No. 3795) but a little less sugar should be used.

Time.—Altogether 5 or 6 hours. Average Cost, 9d. per pint.


Ingredients.—1 quart of loquats, 1 tablespoonful of lemon juice, 3 ozs. of loaf sugar, ½ a pint of cold water, short crust No. 1668.

Method.—Wash and halve the fruit, remove the stones, and place them in a stewpan with the sugar, water, and lemon juice. Simmer gently for 10 minutes, then strain, replace the liquor in a stewpan, add the fruit, and cook gently until tender. Turn the whole into a pie-dish, cover with paste, bake in a moderately hot oven, and serve either hot or cold.

Time.—About 2 hours. Average Cost, about 1s.


Ingredients.—2 breakfastcupfuls of flour, 2 breakfastcilpfuls of sour milk, 2 breakfastcupfuls of ripe fruit mashed and sweetened, 2 ozs. of butter melted, 2 eggs, 1 good teaspoonful of carbonate of soda, sugar, lard, ½ a level teaspoonful of salt.

Method.—Mix the flour, milk, eggs, and salt into a smooth batter, and let stand for 1½ hours. Then add the melted butter and the carbonate of soda previously dissolved in a little hot water. Fry the pancakes in hot lard, pile them one above another with a thick layer of fruit between them. Sprinkle with sugar, and serve.

Time.—Altogether about 2½ hours. Average Cost, 10d. to 1s.


Ingredients.—1 dozen paraquects (a small, long-tailed tropical parrot), 6 thin slices of lean beef, 4 rashers of bacon, 3 hard-boiled eggs, ½ a teaspoonful of finely-chopped parsley, ¼ of a teaspoonful of finely-grated lemon-peel, salt and pepper, puff -paste No. 1665, flour.

Method.—Prepare the birds, and truss them like a quail or any other small bird. Line a pie-dish with the beef, over it place 6 of the paraqueets, intersperse slices of egg, parsley and lemon-rind, dredge lightly with flour, and season with salt and pepper. Cover with the bacon cut into strips, lay the rest of the birds on the top, intersperse slices of egg, season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with parsley and lemon-rind as before. Three-quarters fill the dish with cold water, cover with puff-paste, and bake in a quick oven.

Time.—2½ hours. Cost, uncertain.


Ingredients.—Green paw paw, salt, white sauce or melted butter (see Nos. 223 and 202).

Method.—Boil gently in salt and water until soft, and serve covered with sauce.


Ingredients.—7 lbs. of peaches, 1 large ripe pine, 3 lemons, 6 lbs. of sugar.

Method.—Pare and slice the pine, peel and stone the peaches, crack half the stones and remove the kernels. Put the peaches and pine into a preserving-pan with just a little water to protect the bottom layer, heat slowly to simmering boil, and afterwards cook gently for about ½ an hour. Add the sugar gradually, so as not to reduce the temperature below simmering point, the strained juice of the lemons and the kernels, and boil gently for 20 minutes, skimming when necessary. Pour into earthenware or glass jars, cover closely, and store in a cool dry place.


Ingredients.—½ a pint of pumpkin pulp, ¾ of a pint of milk, 2 eggs, 2 ozs. of sugar, mace or nutmeg, short crust No. 1667, or 1668.

Method.—Take a ripe pumpkin, pare off the skin, halve it, remove the seeds, and cut it into thick slices. Put it into a lined stewpan or earthenware jar with a small quantity of water, and stew gently until tender. Pass through a fine sieve, measure the pulp, add the sugar, yolks of eggs, milk, and a little mace or nutmeg, and lastly the whit eggs previously whisked to a stiff froth. Have a pie-dish ready lined round the edges with paste, put in the preparation, cover with paste, and bake in a quick oven. Serve either hot or cold.

3806.—PUMPKIN PIE (Another Method.)

Ingredients.—1 ripe pumpkin, 2 tablespoonfuls of sugar, ½ a teaspoonful of powdered allspice, short paste No. 1667, or 1668.

Method.—Pare the pumpkin, halve it, remove the seeds, and slice it thinly. Put it into a pie-dish, sprinkling each layer with sugar and a little allspice, cover with paste, and bake in a brisk oven. Serve with thick cream and sugar.


Ingredients.—1 schnapper, 1 tablespoonful of chopped mushroom, 1 teaspoonful of finely chopped parsley, 1 saltspoonful of finely chopped onion, browned crumbs, butter, salt, pepper, lemon juice.

Method.—Wash, dry, and fillet the fish; place the fillets on a well-greased baking dish or tin, and sprinkle them with lemon juice. Mix the mushroom, parsley, and onion together, season liberally, and spread the mixture on the fish. Cover rather thickly with browned breadcrumbs, add a few bits of butter, and bake in a moderately hot oven from 20 to 30 minutes. The fish should be served on the dish on which it was baked.

Time.—To bake, from 20 to 30 minutes.


Ingredients.—1 schnapper, 1 lbs. of tomatoes, 1½ ozs. of butter, 1½ ozs. of flour, sugar, salt, pepper.

Method.—Wash and dry the fish, bake it gently for about an hour, and then remove the skin and fins. Meanwhile, pass the tomatoes through a fine sieve. Heat the butter in a stewpan, stir in the flour, add the tomato pulp, cook gently for 10 to 15 minutes, season liberally with salt and pepper, and add sugar to taste. Transfer the fish to a hot dish, pour the sauce over, and serve.

Time.—About 45 minutes.


Ingredients.—Unripe sour sop, salt, white sauce or melted butter (see Nos. 223 and 202).

Method.—Boil very gently in salted water until tender, and serve with the sauce poured over.


Ingredients.—1 wallaby, veal forcemeat No. 396, milk, butter.

Method.—In winter the animal may hang for some days, as a hare, which it resembles, but in summer it must, like all other flesh, be cooked very soon after it is killed. Cut off the hind legs at the first joints, and after skinning and paunching, let it lie in water for a little while to draw out the blood. Make a good veal forcemeat, and after well washing the inside of the wallaby, stuff it, and sew it up. Truss as a hare, and roast before a bright, clear fire, from 1½ to 1¾ hours, according to size. It must be kept some distance from the fire when first put down, or the outside will be too dry before the inside is done. Baste well, first with milk and then with butter, and when nearly done dredge with flour and baste again with butter till nicely browned.

Time.—2 hours.


Ingredients.—1 water melon, 1 lb. of loaf sugar, ½ a pint of water, lemon-juice, ginger, vine leaves.

Method.—Pare and halve the melon, remove the soft part, and cut the outer part into small but rather thick slices. Place them in a preserving-pan between layers of vine leaves, barely cover with cold water, and cook, keeping the preparation just below simmering point, until half cooked. Drain, cover with cold water and let it remain thus for 3 hours, changing the water twice. Boil the sugar and a pint of water to a syrup (more may be required for a large melon, but the quantity should be increased without altering the proportions), place the slices of melon carefully in it, and simmer gently for 15 minutes. Drain the melon from the syrup, spread it on a dish in the sun for 3 hours, then repeat the process. The process is repeated for the third time after another interval of 3 hours, but before putting the melon into the syrup for the last time it should be flavoured to taste with ground ginger and lemon-juice, and boiled for a few minutes. Lift the slices of melon carefully into pots, pour the syrup over, cover closely, and store in a dry cool place.

Time.—About 12 hours.