Thursday, November 11, 2010

Last Dinner on the Titanic

This is the name of a cookbook I bought a number of years ago and just took it off the shelf this morning so that I could look through it and post an interesting recipe.  Not only was the Titanic the largest liner ever built, it also carried the most advanced culinary facilities afloat.   In the three galleys, a staff of about eighty worked around the clock to prepare nearly 6000 meals daily.  The recipes in this book were researched from period sources and carefully tested for modern kitchens.  This book contains beautiful pictures and wonderful stories as well as the delightful recipes. 

The dinner menu for an evening in The Third Class Dining Saloon listed the following for dinner one evening:  Vegetable Soup, Roasted Pork with Sage and Pearl Onions, Green Peas, Boiled Potatoes, Plum Pudding with Sweet Sauce, Cabin Biscuits, Oranges and Tea.  Following is the recipe for the Roasted Pork with Sage and Pearl Onions.

Roasted Pork with Sage and Pearl Onions

Today, cooks serve pork roasts that are slightly pink, but at the beginning of the century, anything but well done pork posed a health hazard.  Since pork becomes tough when well done, the custom was to marinate the meat overnight to increase its moisture content and improve its taste.  This recipe contains the best of both ages:  the meat is coked to the modern standard of doneness, but marinated to maximize juiciness and flavor.


1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 c vegetable oil
1/4 c port
1/4 c chopped fresh sage (or 2 Tbs dry, crumbled sage leaves)
1/2 tsp pepper
1 Boneless Pork Shoulder Butt, rolled and tied (3 lb)
1 1/2 c small button mushrooms
1 tsp butter
3 c chicken stock
1 1/2 c pearl onions
1 Tbs all-purpose flour
1/2 c port
Salt and Pepper

Place first six ingredients in food processor.  Blend until onion and sage are almost smooth.  Place pork roast in large shallow bowl;  pour sage mixture over pork, turning to coat.  Cover and refrigerate for 24 hours, turning occasionally.

Remove roast from refrigerator and let come to room temperature for 30 minutes.  Meanwhile, clean mushrooms and remove stems; reserve stems for another use. 

In large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat.  Place in bottom of roasting pan with marinating juices.  Pour 1/2 c of the chicken stock over the pork and surround with pearl onions.  Bake in 325 degree F oven for 1 hour; add mushrooms and another 1/2 c of the chicken stock to pan.  Continue to cook for about 60 minutes or until instant-read meat thermometer registers 160 degrees F or until juices run clear and meat is just barely pink in the center.  Remove roast and vegetables from pan; tent with foil and let stand for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, set roasting pan over medium heat; sprinkle flour into pan; cook, stirring, for 1 minute.  Pour in remaining stock and port; bring to oil and cook for 3 minutes or until thickened.  Strain.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Slice roast and arrange on platter.   Spoon sauce over pork slices and serve pork surrounded with onions and mushroom caps.   Makes 6 servings.

I've always been intrigued by the story of The Titanic; the stories, pictures and even the recipes give us a glimpse into the lives of those who embarked on its maiden voyage in April 1912.


1 comment: