18 Mar 2009
To roast Plovers. The plover is a delicate bird of pleasant flavour, and this flavour is best retained by dressing it like a woodcock. Do not draw the birds ; truss them, and roast with toasts in the dripping-pan, and serve on the toasts in the same way as wood¬cocks, with no other sauce than melted butter sent in a tureen. To stew Plovers. Boil and mince two artichoke bottoms, four roasted chest¬nuts, a small quantity of chives, and two ounces of beef suet, and the yolks of two hard-boiled eggs, chopped fine. Season with pepper and salt. Prepare two plovers as for roasting, open and take out the trail to mince, and add to the forcemeat ; fill the birds with it, and lay them in a stewpan with a bunch of herbs, three or four mushrooms, and a little pepper and salt. Cover with half a pint of brown stock, a quarter pint of port wine, and a tablespoonful of lemon-juice, and stew gently for half an hour. Then take up the birds, and keep hot till you strain the sauce ; thicken it with a little roux, and heat it again. Then pour it over the birds and serve, garnished with roasted, chestnuts, blanched, and hard-boiled plover's eggs shelled and divided and put round the dish alternately with the chestnuts. To roast Ortolans. These delicate and rare little birds should not be drawn, but roasted like woodcocks, to serve on a toast, covered with browned fine crumbs, and accompanied by melted butter. To roast Corncrakes or Fieldfares. These birds, though found in different seasons, the corncrake being a much earlier bird in season than the fieldfare, are dressed in the same way, roasted, like quails or partridges, and served with gravy, bread sauce, and bread-crumbs. To roast Ruffs and Reeves. These little birds, which inhabit the fens of England, and are entrapped and made very fat for the table by a diet of meal and milk, are a great delicacy. They are trussed like woodcocks, but are drawn, and roasted like partridges. A quarter of an hour will roast a ruff. They are served with gravy, bread sauce, and fried crumbs. To roast Wheatears, or other small Birds. The delicious little wheatears are in season from July to October. They must be very carefully picked and drawn, spitted without the head, a dozen at once on a bird spit ; brushed over with the yolk of egg and bread-crumbs, and basted with butter. About twelve minutes will roast them. Serve them with bread sauce. To roast Larks. Not less than a dozen birds must be prepared and roasted on a bird spit ; as they roast, bread-crumbs must be strewed over them, and they must be plentifully basted with butter. Roast for twelve minutes, and a few minutes before they are done, add no more crumbs, but let them brown. Serve them on a dish heaped with fried bread-crumbs.