Today I connected with my past through this dish. This English peas with cream recipe absolutely amazing. My English ancestry was singing praises tonight as this glorious dish was made. It was simple to prepare. However, don’t let the simplicity fool you, it was packed with big flavor
What I Loved
I absolutely love recipes that take humble ingredients and produces a fantastic result. The smells were driving me crazy. I am a firm believer that there are few smells as divine as bacon and onion working together in a pan. It immediately stoked my appetite. An unexpected ingredient that I really enjoyed was the lemon. When I’ve done peas with cream in the past it can be heavy and a little dense. However, with the lemon juice and zest, the dish brightens right up. It definitely helps it feel lighter and more fresh.
Original English Peas With Cream Recipe From 1759
Let your pease be very young, put them into a stew pan with a bit of bacon with some cloves stuck in, pour in a ladle of broth, a bunch of onions and parsley, pepper, and a little salt if it is required, stew them gently till almost dry, take out the bacon and herbs, and put about a gill of cream, a bit of butter and flour mixture, let it go gently about ten minutes, squeeze in the juice of lemon or orange, and dish them up very hot. Sometimes I Have seen Mr. Clouet put in a bit of fine sugar, and in the English way of stewing pease I have never seen it done without.
- 2 10 oz bags of frozen peas (thawed to room temperature)
- 2 slices of bacon diced
- 1/2 medium yellow onion diced
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup cream
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Some sugar if you’re feeling English!
Sauté the bacon and onions until brown. Then, remove from the pan and reserve the bacon grease. Add the butter and flour to the bacon grease. Stir the mixture frequently for about 5-7 minutes to cook the flour. Add the chicken broth and the cream, mix until smooth. Add the peas to the white sauce and bring to a light simmer. Finally, add chopped parsley. Salt and pepper to taste.
What I Learned
There were some immediate changes I made to this recipe. English recipes from the 1700s utilize herbs that don’t fit in a 21st century kitchen. Thankfully this recipe wasn’t too out there. Furthermore, I really didn’t have to make too many tweaks. When it comes to this recipe, you can use fresh or frozen peas. Whatever you have on hand will work. However, I’d avoid using canned. If you need a tasty side to go with a roasted chicken or seared steak, give this English peas with cream recipe a try. Enjoy!
Complete System of Cookery, By William Verral, Master of the White-Hart Inn in Lewes Sussex, Published in 1759.
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