Monday, April 15, 2013

More Dinners to Remember


Last year, for a family dinner we tried a few of the recipes that were served to the first class passengers on the Titanic. If you want to see last year's post and check out those first class recipes, click here. This year, I thought I would try one of the second class and two of the third class menu items.  It was definitely luxurious and hearty eating even if you weren't in first class.

If you would like to look at the first class menu options we tried last year, please check out that post here. If you find this interesting, you really should check out this book. It is called Last Dinner on the Titanic by Rick Archbold and Dana McCauley. It is so interesting. If you are a history buff, you will be a really fun book for you to read. If you want to learn about the history of the Titanic, check this out.

Curried Chicken and Rice

The English had learned to love the flavor of curry during the many years that India was the brightest jewel in the imperial crown.

1 chicken (3 1/2 lbs)
1 lime
3 tbsp freshly minced ginger
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp mild curry powder
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp honey
1 1/3 cups long-grain rice
2 1/2 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup sultana (golden) raisins
1/4 cup chopped green onion or fresh chives


Using fingers, remove skin from chicken; pat dry and cut into equal-sized pieces. Discard back.

Using zester, remove zest from lime and chop finely; juice lime. In bowl, combine lime zest, lime juice, ginger, and garlic, add chicken, turning to coat well. Let stand for 30 minutes.

In large, deep, non-stick skillet, heat 1 tbsp of the oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken pieces and marinade; cook for 10 minutes or until well colored on all sides. Remove chicken from pan; reduce heat to medium and stir in remaining oil and curry powder; cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes. Stir in onion and honey; continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes. Stir in rice and cook for 3 minutes or until rice is slightly browned; stir in water, salt, and raisins.

Nestle chicken into rice. Bring to boil; cover with tight-fitting lid and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 25-30 minutes or until juices run clear when chicken thigh is pierced. Transfer to heated platter; garnish with green onions. Serve with chutney. 

 Above: I forgot to add the chutney before taking the picture. Oops! My husband had the drumsticks. He doesn't usually like curry, but he loved these.

Makes 6 servings.

Historical notes: This dish was served as one of the dinner menu items in the second-class dining saloon. Second class on the Titanic would have been first class on most ships at that time.

Notes: Holy cow. I'm glad I took the opportunity to try this recipe with a whole chicken, because I had never skinned or cut up a whole chicken before. I'm glad I tried it...but I certainly don't have the time to do this very often! It is totally worth the expense to buy two boneless, skinless chicken breasts, two boneless skinless chicken thighs, some wings, and some drumsticks. It took a ton of time...and if your kids are anything like mine, when you are covered in chicken because you are removing chicken skin, your kids will ask for you or need your help about every two minutes. I had to keep washing and drying my hands to help them, and then washing and drying my hands to go back to my chicken work. This recipe tasted fantastic, but I won't ever be making it with a whole chicken again!

By the way, the chutney was completely worth it. A little jar of it can be like $5, but it is worth the extra expense. It makes the dish. I used a chutney called "Genuine Major Grey's Chutney" made by Crosse and Blackwell. I may have fallen in love with that mango chutney. It was awesome.

Ragout of Beef with Potatoes and Pickles


2 slices bacon, chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp thyme
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
6 medium potatoes
2 lb. stewing beef
1 cup each beef stock and tomato juice
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups tiny peas, fresh or frozen
Picked red cabbage, optional


In Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat, stirring often, for about 5 minutes or until browned; drain off excess fat and add onions, carrots, garlic, thyme, allspice, and nutmeg to pot. Cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, or until onions are softened.

Meanwhile, peel and finely dice half of the potatoes. Add to vegetable mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Pat beef dry; stir into vegetable mixture. Stir in beef stock, tomato juice, salt, and pepper; bring to boil. Cover and reduce heat to low; simmer for 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, peel remaining potatoes and cut into bite-size pieces. Add to pot; cook, covered, for 15 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring often, for 15 minutes or until meat is tender and sauce is slightly thickened. Stir in vinegar and peas; cook until peas are heated through. Adjust seasoning to taste. Serve with pickled red cabbage on the side, if desired. 

Makes 6 servings.

Historical notes: In third class, the main Sunday meal was during the day as a midday dinner. The last meal of the day was an English savory tea. This would have been served for tea (the last meal of the day). This beef stew would have been served with apricots, fresh bread and butter, currant buns, and tea.

Notes: This was such a good, basic, hearty, stick to your ribs beef stew recipe. Pretty easy to make. The simmering time makes the beef tender. Oh, and I did double the broth (beef stew and tomato sauce: 2 cups each instead of 1 cup each). Also, I couldn't find any pickled red cabbage, so I skipped that.

Roasted Pork with Sage and Pearl Onions


1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup port (or chicken broth)
1/4 cup chopped fresh sage (or 2 tbsp dry, crumbled sage leaves)
1/2 tsp pepper
1 boneless pork shoulder butt, rolled and tied (3 lbs.)
1 1/2 cups small button mushrooms
1 tsp butter
3 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups pearl onions
1 tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 cup port (or chicken broth)
Salt and pepper


Place onion, garlic, vegetable oil, port (or 1/4 cup chicken broth), sage, and pepper 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. Brown pork on all sides. Place in bottom of roasting pan with marinating juices. Pour 1/2 cup of the chicken stock over pork and surround with pearl onions. Bake in 325 degree F oven for 1 hour; add mushrooms and another 1/2 cup 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 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 (or chicken broth); bring to boil and cook for 3 minutes or until thickcned. 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.

Historical Notes: This would have been served as the main Sunday meal in the middle of the day (the same day as the beef stew recipe found would you like that? Pork roast for lunch, beef stew for dinner.). This pork roast would have been served with vegetable soup, green peas, boiled potatoes, cabin biscuits, fresh bread, plum pudding with sweet sauce, and oranges.

Oh, and just so you know, here is what they were served for breakfast that day: Quaker oats and milk, smoked herrings and jacket potatoes, boiled eggs, fresh bread and butter, marmalade with Swedish bread, tea and coffee.

I don't know about you, but it wouldn't matter what class I sailed on, I would have gained at least 5 lbs. that voyage.

Notes: My advice to you is as follows, read this recipe several times before starting it. I read it through once, but I forgot to add the onions at the right time...I didn't blend the marinade completely smooth...etc. So, I had to do some workarounds to fix my mistakes. I fixed my mistakes though and this was fantastic. Follow the recipe as is, and you won't go wrong. The sauce, onions, and mushrooms were fantastic on the pork. I thought the sauce might work as a gravy for mashed potatoes (how I served it), but I think the sauce was too strong for that. My advice to you is to follow their menu and to serve it with some green peas, boiled or roasted potatoes, and fresh bread.

Oh, and one more thing, those little pearl onions are awesome in this. They taste so good, but they take about 2.5 million years to peel. I got fresh ones. I believe they can be bought frozen too, but I know my grocery store doesn't carry them that way. Perhaps if you buy them frozen (or maybe they are available canned or jarred) they wouldn't have to be peeled.

4/20/13 Update: File this one under the, "This information would have been useful yesterday!" category. I just discovered this cooking note in one of my cookbooks the other day, "Soaking pearl and cipollini onions in warm water for just ten minutes makes their thin, tight skin easier to remove. After soaking, simply cut off the root end and peel back the skin." Yup. That would have saved me some time!


  1. These still look so labor intensive. So where were the pickles in that one recipe? Or are they counting the pickled cabbage as the pickles? Both of the top two recipes were really good.

  2. The pickled cabbage is what they are referring to when they say "pickles" in the title of the recipe.