Please note: These recipes originated from Civil War period books and other documents. The language usage and terminology is quite different from today's.
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Meat Recipes

2 partridges
egg yolks, beaten and seasoned to taste
Butter or oil for frying         

Take a brace of partridges [2 birds] that have been either roasted or braised; cut them into quarters; dip them into beaten and seasoned yelks of eggs; make some butter or friture [frying oil] perfectly hot in a frying pan; put into it the birds, and do them over a moderately hot fire until they are beautifully browned.


Leftover roast beef (eye round roast would be perfect)
Leftover boiled potatoes, cooled
Salt and pepper
Top and bottom pie crusts
Nutmeg (optional)
Minced onion (optional)
Mushroom ketchup (optional--see recipe on "Soups & Sauces" page)
Fresh oysters (optional)
Fresh mushrooms (optional)

Butter a deep dish, and spread a sheet of paste [pie crust] all over the bottom, sides, and edge. Cut away from your beef-steak all the bone, fat, gristle and skin. Cut the lean in small thin pieces, about as large, generally, as the palm of your hand. Beat the meat well with the rolling-pin, to make it juicy and tender. If you put in the fat, it will make the gravy too greasy and strong, as it cannot be skimmed.  Put a layer of meat over the bottom-crust of your dish, and season it to your taste, with pepper, salt, and, if you choose, a little nutmeg. A small quantity of mushroom ketchup is an improvement; so also is a little minced onion.  Have ready some cold boiled potatoes sliced thin. Spread over the meat, a layer of potatoes, and a small piece of butter, then another layer of meat, seasoned, and then a layer of potatoes, and so on till the dish is full and heaped up in the middle, having a layer of meat on the top. Pour in a little water.  Cover the pie with a sheet of paste, and trim the edges. Notch it handsomely with a knife.


Cold roast veal

Cut up equal quantity of cold roast veal and of sardines in long thin slices, add a fifth of the weight [of the veal and sardines] of capers, flavor plentifully with oil, vinegar, and chopped herbs. Serve on pieces of bread about two inches square and half an inch thick, which has previously been fried in butter. Serve cold. 


Pig's feet
Strong vinegar
Spices (optional)         

Boil until a straw can be run through them in water in which a little salt has been thrown. Pack them in jars and pour over them a very strong vinegar, with or without spices to suit the taste.


1 slice salt pork
1 slice bread
1 egg
1 gill wine [about 1/2 c.]
4 ounces butter
Salt, pepper
Sweet marjoram, summer savory, parsley, mixed and minced
1 or more bass, cleaned and scaled

Season high [heavily] with salt, pepper and cayenne one slice salt pork. One slice of bread, one egg, sweet marjoram, summersavory and parsley, minced fine and well mixed [with] one gill wine. Stuff the bass, bake in the oven one hour. Thin slices of pork laid on the fish as it goes into the oven; when done, pour over dissolved [melted] butter. Serve up with stewed oysters, cra[n]berries, boiled onions or potatoes. The same method may be observed with fresh Shad, Codfish, Blackfish and Salmon.


Black pepper
Cayenne pepper
Gizzard, drumstick and "rump" of turkey, cooked
Sauce: Turkey drippings
Prepared mustard, about 1 tsp.
1 tsp. to 1 tbs. flour and butter
1 tbs. lemon juice
1 tsp. soy sauce         

Mix a little salt, black pepper, and Cayenne, and sprinkle the mixture over the gizzard, rump and drumstick of a dressed turkey; broil them, and serve very hot with this sauce: Mix with some of the gravy out of the dish, a little made [prepared] mustard, some butter and flour, a spoonful of lemon juice, and the same [amount] of soy. Boil up the whole. 


1 lb. pork
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tbs. cloves
1/2 tbs. coriander seed
4 tbs. cold water

Note: The modern cook might want to reduce the amount of coriander somewhat and substitute a teaspoon or so of sage, and possibly some salt. Up to you, of course.

Chop a pound of good pork, fine. add half a teaspoonful of pepper, half a spoonful of cloves, half a spoonful of coriander seed, and four tablespoonfuls of cold water, Mix all well together, form them into small cakes, and fry in a hot pan. 


3 tsp. powdered sage
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 lb pork         

Chop meat into cubes and mix spices through it well. Grind to desired fineness. Can be formed into patties to eat immediately, or stuffed into casings for later use. Keep in cool room or smokehouse.


1 quart beans
1 lb. pork

Baked beans are a very simple dish, yet few cook them well. They should be put in cold water, and hung over the fire, the night before they are baked. In the morning, they should be put in a colander, and rinsed two or three times, then [put] again in the kettle with the pork you intend to bake. Cover with water, and keep scalding hot, for an hour or more. A pound of pork is quite enough for a quart of beans, and that is a large dinner for a common family. The rind of the pork should be slashed. A little pepper sprinkled among the beans, when they are laced in the bean-pot, will render them less unhealthy. They should be just covered with water, when put into the oven, and the pork should be sunk a little below the surface of the beans. Bake three or four hours. 


Salt pork
Ground pepper

Salt pork will shrink in cooking, so select a piece at least 1/3 larger than seems necessary to feed your party. Place in kettle in water to cover and bring to a boil. As soon as water is boiling pour it off, to remove the salt. Pour on more boiling water at once. Boil very slowly, almost a simmer, until done. When tender take it up, remove skin and bones, and dot it with ground pepper. Serve with plain potatoes, turnips, and cabbage, each boiled by itself.


1 or 2 chickens, cut up
Butter, salt, pepper and flour for frying
1 tsp. marjoram
1 tsp. sage, or other sweet herb to taste
3 tbs. butter for gravy
1 tbs. flour
Sliced onion (optional)
Sliced 1/2 lemon (optional)
Tomato catsup (optional)

Singe the chickens [to remove pinfeathers] and cut them in pieces.  Pepper, salt and flour them, fry them in fresh butter till they are very brown. Take the chickens out, and make a good gravy, in to which put sweet herbs (marjoram or sage) according to your taste. If necessary, add pepper and salt. Butter and flour must be used in making the gravy, in such quantities as to suit yourself for thickness and richness. After this is all prepared, the chicken must be stewed in it, for half an hour, closely covered. A pint of gravy is about enough for two chickens; I should think a piece of butter about as big as a walnut, and a table-spoonful of flour, would be enough for the gravy. The herbs should, of course, be pounded and sifted. Some, who love onions, slice two or three, and brown them with the chicken. Some slice a half-lemon and stew with the chicken. Some add tomatoes catsup. 


1 rabbit
Red pepper to taste
long stick of green wood, or else metal roasting spit         

Clean and skin rabbit, removing the head. Tie front and back paws to spit with twine. Put over hardwood coals, not a raging fire. Roast, turning often, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Note: parts of rabbit may get a bit crispy in spots but this does not harm flavor and assures that meat is thoroughly cooked. Season with cayenne pepper if desired.


1 possum (see instructions)
8 sweet potatoes
2 tbs. butter
1 tbs. sugar
4-6 strips bacon
1 tsp. thyme, marjoram or both
Pepper, red or black, ground

First catch a young fat possum. This in itself affords excellent sport on moonlight nights in Fall. Remove the fur either by skinning or by soaking the possum in hot lye water, being careful not to get any on the hands. Clean, take off the head and feet (unless you want to cook it like whole pig), and wash well. Salt the possum well inside and out and freeze overnight either outdoors or in the refrigerator compartment. When ready to cook, peel 8 sweet potatoes and boil them tender in slightly salted water to which 2 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of sugar have been added. At the same time, stew the possum tender in a tightly covered pan with a little water. Arrange the potatoes around the possum, strip with bacon, sprinkle with thyme or marjoram, or with pepper, and brown in the oven. Baste often with the drippings. Served hot, it sure is a "dish fo' a king".


1/2 pint water
4 tbs.. butter
1 tsp. flour

Heat water to boiling. While water is heating cream butter with flour.  (Mash together with fork until blended smooth.) Drop butter-flour mix in water and boil until thickened. Stir to keep smooth.


1 rabbit, cleaned and cut in 6 pieces (cut off front legs at shoulders,
back legs at hips, and separate ribs from loin)
1/3 c. lard
1 c. flour seasoned with :
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. red pepper
1 c. beef stock or water
1 tbs. cider vinegar
2/3 c. cream for gravy

Heat lard in heavy frying pan until good and hot. Mix flour with salt and peppers and dredge rabbit in seasoned flour, shaking off excess. Put in pan meaty side down and fry up until browned, turning once to brown both sides. Pour off fat if there is too much; add onion, stock and vinegar and put to simmer for about 1 hour or until rabbit is tender. Remove rabbit from pan and keep warm; pour cream into skillet and stir constantly, scraping up any bits stuck to pan, until thickened as desired, about 8-10 minutes. Serve over rabbit.


1 1/2 lb. sausage (links, patties, loose, whatever you got)
1/3 c. flour
1 c. water
1 c. milk
1 c. cream
Salt & pepper         

Fry up sausage until browned, being careful not to burn them this time.  Take sausage out of skillet and set aside to keep warm. Pour off and save for later all but about 1/3 cup of grease from sausage. Sprinkle flour over fat and stir up good, breaking up any lumps in flour. Start pouring in water slowly while stirring to beat the band. When done with water, repeat procedure with milk and then the cream. Mix in salt and pepper and keep on stirring. Pretty soon it will bubble up and start to thicken. Serve right away, preferably over top of biscuits.


1 squirrel, skinned pulled off over head, cleaned
1/4 c. flour
1 c. fat for frying

Cut off head of squirrel; cut body down the spine, then chop each half in half to detach legs. Roll all 5 pieces in flour and place in hot fat; fry until done. Eat as in chicken, but suck brain out through back of skull. This is considered a delicacy to this day, although we must point out that eating brain tissue, even fried, is risky nowadays.