Casserole is the French word for stew-pan. But “Casserole Cookery” is a phrase used to denote cookery in earthenware pots. It commends itself especially to food-reformers, as the slow cookery renders the food more digestible, and the earthenware pots are easier to keep clean than the ordinary saucepan. The food is served up in the pot in which it is cooked, this being simply placed on a dish. A large pudding-basin covered with a plate may be used in default of anything better. A clean white serviette is generally pinned round this before it comes to table. Various attractive-looking brown crocks are sold for the purpose. But anyone who possesses the old-fashioned “beef-tea” jar needs nothing else. It is important to ensure that a new casserole does not crack the first time of using. To do this put the casserole into a large, clean saucepan, or pail, full of clean cold water. Put over a fire or gas ring, and bring slowly to the boil. Boil for 10 minutes and then stand aside to cool. Do not take the casserole out until the water is cold.
1. FRENCH SOUP.
2 carrots, 1 turnip, 1 leek, 1 stick celery, 1/2 cabbage, 1 bay leaf, 2 cloves, 6 peppercorns, 3 qts. water.
Scrape and cut up carrots and turnip. Slice the leek, and cut celery into dice. Shred the cabbage. Put into the jar with the water, and place in a moderate oven, or on the top of a closed range. If it is necessary to use a gas ring, turn very low and stand jar on an asbestos mat. Bring to the boil slowly and then simmer for 2-1/2 hours.
2. HOT POT.
1 lb. potatoes, 2 carrots, 1 large onion, 1 turnip, 1/4 lb. mushrooms or 1/2 lb. tomatoes, 1 pint stock or water.
Wash, peel, and slice thickly the potatoes. Wash and scrape and slice the carrots and turnip. Skin the tomatoes or mushrooms. Put in the jar in alternate layers. Moisten with the stock or water. Cook as directed in recipe 1 for 1-1/2 hours after it first begins to simmer.
3. STEWED APPLES.
Take hard, red apples. Wash, but do not peel or core. Put in jar with cold water to reach half way up the apples. Cover closely and put in moderate oven for 2 hours after it begins to simmer. At end of 1 hour, add sugar to taste.
4. VEGETABLE STEW.
1-1/2 lbs. (when prepared and cut up) of mixed seasonable vegetables, including, whenever possible, tomatoes, celery and spinach; one tablespoonful of water.
Cut up the moist, juicy vegetables such as celery, spinach, onions and tomatoes, place them with the water in a casserole, put lid on and slowly cook for about one hour until enough juice is extracted to safely add the rest of the cut-up vegetables. The whole should now be placed in a slightly greater heat and simmered until the last added vegetables are quite tender. The mixture should be stirred occasionally with a wooden spoon.