Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Historical Food Fortnightly 2016 Challenge - Meat and Potatoes Part 2

I'm really not the overachiever that this double submission might suggest; I just needed the leftovers from #1 in order to create #2!

The Challenge: Meat and Potatoes

The Recipe: Beef Cakes from Miss Leslie's Directions for Cookery


Take some cold roast beef that has been under-done, and mince it very fine. Mix with it grated bread crumbs, and a little chopped onion and parsley. Season it with pepper and salt, and moisten it with some beef-dripping and a little walnut or onion pickle. Some scraped cold tongue or ham will be found an improvement. Make it into broad flat cakes, and spread a coat of mashed potato thinly on the top and bottom of each. Lay a small bit of butter on the top of every cake, and set them in an oven to warm and brown.

Beef cakes are frequently a breakfast dish.

Any other cold fresh meat may be prepared in the same manner.

Those readers who have met "Sgt. Beef Cake" will understand why I was drawn to try this receipt!

The Date/Year and Region: 1851 United States

How Did You Make It:

Taking the leftovers from Meat and Potatoes Part 1, I mashed the potatoes with a bit of butter and milk. The beef was minced as small as possible and a handful of grated bread crumbs was added along with a small chopped onion, salt, pepper and dried parsley. I skipped the walnut or onion pickle as well as the tongue or ham, as I had none. I mixed in the beef dripping and found that I needed to significantly more bread crumbs in order to form a "cake". I couldn't manage to get the cake to hold together well enough to spread with the mashed potatoes, so I placed a "smear" of potatoes on the sheet pan, placed the cake on the "smear" and then added more potatoes on top. A bit of butter was placed on each cake.

and into a 350 degree oven they went:

I let them cook about half an hour, and out they came:

Time to Complete: About an hour and half total, much of that spent hand mincing the beef.

Total Cost: The entire roast was $9.53, only used half for this meal, potatoes $1.00, onion $0,10, milk and butter $0.25, salt, pepper and parsley in the cupboard - approximately $5.61.

How Successful Was It?:

Very tasty!!!! Robin told me to "put it in the book", a notebook where recipes we've tried and considered good enough to make again go.

Probably would have been more successful in forming a firm cake if I had been able to mince the beef finer.

How Accurate Is It?:

Ingredients wee purchased at a mainstream grocery store, so not heirloom unfortunately. My access to good ingredients is currently limited due to living on an island in northern Michigan, access will improve come May.

Cooked in an electric oven.


  1. oh. my. gods. that is the best idea ever! I think I need to make this.

    Also, grats on the double submission!

  2. These look so. tasty.

    As Benevolent High Overlord, I hereby award you extra points for a double submission :)