Titanic recipes: Cabin Biscuits, Ragout of Beef, Currant Buns and more

Cabin Biscuits

These are more like crackers than biscuits.

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon shortening
  • 3/4 cup water

In bowl, mix together flour and salt. Using fingertips, work shortening into flour until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Make a well in ingredients and pour in water. Blend until mixture forms a stiff dough, adding up to 2 extra teaspoons of water if necessary.

Place on lightly floured surface and roll into cylinder. Cut into 25 evenly sized pieces; loosely cover with plastic wrap; let rest 15 minutes. Roll each piece of dough into a 21/2-inch circle. Prick all over with fork. Place on ungreased baking sheet; bake in 375-degree oven for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

Variations: Spray unbaked biscuits with water and sprinkle with rock salt. Or 10 minutes into baking, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and fresh chopped parsley. For a sweet biscuit, brush unbaked dough lightly with butter, then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.

Makes 25 biscuits.

-- "Last Dinner on the Titanic: Menus and Recipes from the Great Liner" by Rick Archbold and Dana McCauley (Hyperion, $24.95)

Ragout of Beef with Potatoes and Pickles

PG tested

  • 2 slices bacon, chopped
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 6 medium potatoes, divided
  • 2 pounds stewing beef
  • 1 cup each beef stock and tomato juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups tiny peas, fresh or frozen
  • Pickled red cabbage

In a 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.

Peel and finely dice half of the potatoes. Add 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 11/2 hours, stirring occasionally.

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.

Serves 6.

-- "Last Dinner on the Titanic: Menus and Recipes from the Great Liner" by Rick Archbold and Dana McCauley (Hyperion, $24.95)

Currant Buns

PG tested

These tasty buns, a staple of an English tea, would have been on the menu for third-class passengers.

  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup warm milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup currants
  • 2 tablespoons confectioners sugar
  • 1 tablespoon water

In small bowl or measuring cup, combine warm water and 1 tablespoon sugar; sprinkle yeast on top. Let stand for 10 minutes or until frothy.

In large bowl, blend together remaining sugar, flour and salt. In small bowl, whisk together milk, butter and eggs. Stir in yeast mixture until combined.

Make well in dry ingredients. Using a wooden spoon, stir in yeast mixture until soft dough forms. Turn out onto lightly floured board. Knead for 8 minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic.

Transfer dough to large greased bowl, turning to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest in a warm place for 1 hour or until doubled in bulk. Punch down; turn onto floured surface, and knead in currants. Shape into a 12-inch log. Cut dough into 12 equal pieces.

Roll pieces of dough into smooth, seamless balls. Place buns on greased baking sheet leaving about 2 inches between each bun. Cover loosely and let rest for 30 minutes.

Bake in 400-degree oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Stir together icing sugar and water; brush over warm buns; let cool on rack.

Makes 12 buns.

-- "Last Dinner on the Titanic: Menus and Recipes from the Great Liner" by Rick Archbold and Dana McCauley (Hyperion, $24.95)

Asparagus Salad with Champagne-Saffron Vinaigrette

This dish was on the first-class menu. But it seemed a shame not to include a recipe for one of the few vegetables that's currently in season. And besides, it gave me a good excuse to break out the saffron my son bought me for Christmas.

  • 1 1/2 pounds asparagus
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Champagne or white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • Pinch of granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 sweet red or yellow pepper, finely diced
  • Butter lettuce leaves for serving

Holding asparagus halfway up stalk, snap off woody ends at natural breaking point and discard. In wide, deep skillet or large pot of boiling salted water, cook asparagus 3 to 5 minutes or until tender but not limp. Drain and run under cold water until completely cooled; drain well.

In a large bowl, stir saffron into 1 teaspoon boiling water; let stand for 2 minutes or until softened. Stir in Champagne vinegar, mustard and sugar. Whisking, drizzle in olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add asparagus and diced pepper; toss to coat. Arrange on lettuce-lined serving platter.

Makes 6 servings.

-- "Last Dinner on the Titanic: Menus and Recipes from the Great Liner" by Rick Archbold and Dana McCauley (Hyperion, $24.95)

First Published April 8, 2012 12:00 AM


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