turnip, 1 strip of celery, a bouquet-garni (parsley, thyme, basil, marjoram, bay-leaf), 12 peppercorns, 4 cloves, 2 blades of mace, 2 ozs. of butter, 2 ozs. of flour.
Method.—Soak the cheek in salt and warm water for 5 or 6 hours, changing it 2 or 3 times. Prepare the vegetables and cut them into thick slices, melt the butter in a large stewpan, add the vegetables to it, and fry until brown. Well wash the ox cheek, break the bones into small pieces, and put them into the stewpan; also put in the herbs, seasonings, meat and water. Bring slowly to the boil, skim well, put on the cover and simmer gently for 3 hours, or according to the size of the cheek, strain, return the soup to the saucepan, and bring to the boil. Mix the flour smoothly with a little cold water or stock, pour it into the soup, stir and simmer for 5 or 6 minutes. Cut the smaller pieces of meat into dice and add them to the soup, also cut a few dice of cooked celery and carrot. Season to taste, and serve.
Time.—About 4 hours. Average Cost, 2s. 6d. Seasonable in winter. Sufficient for 12 persons.
Thyme (Fr. thym).—There are numerous species of this aromatic plant, which are native to the temperate regions. The wild variety in Britain is characterized by its well-known fragrant smell. The cultivated garden-thyme is indigenous to the south of Europe; its young leaves and tops are used for flavouring soups and sauces, and as an ingredient in stuffings. From the essential oil contained in thyme a flavouring essence is prepared.
78.—OXTAIL SOUP. (Fr.—Potage de Queue de Bœuf.)
Ingredients.—1 oxtail, 2 quarts of second stock or water, 2 onions, 2 carrots, 1 turnip, 2 strips of celery, 2 ozs. of butter, 2 ozs. of lean ham or bacon (cut into dice or cubes), a bouquet-garni (parsley, thyme, bay-leaf), 12 peppercorns, 2 cloves, salt, 1 glass of sherry, 1 tablespoonful of cornflour.
Method.—Cut the tail into small joints, put it into a stewpan, cover with cold water, boil up and strain. Dry the pieces of oxtail, roll them in flour, put them with the ham and sliced vegetables and butter into the stewpan, and fry until brown. Then add the stock, herbs, peppercorns, cloves, and salt, boil and skim well. Put on the lid and cook very gently for about 4 hours. Strain, remove the fat, return to the stewpan, and when the soup boils add the sherry and cornflour smoothly mixed together, stir and cook for a few minutes. Serve the smaller pieces of the tail in the soup, the remainder may be re-heated in a good brown sauce and served as an entrée.
Time.—5½ to 6 hours. Average Cost, 2s. 9d. without the stock. Seasonable at any time. Sufficient for 6 persons.