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1940s Recipes + Menus

Roast Reindeer or Elk in the Russian Manner

The Way We Cooked: Vintage Gourmet

December 1941

Rub a sound, small 8-pound haunch all over with the following butter mixture: Cream 1/2 scant cup butter with 1/2 teaspoon each of parsley, thyme, sage, tarragon, sweet savory, and juniper berries, all chopped fine. Then cover the haunch all over with a paste nearly 1/2 inch thick of flour and water. Enclose the meat in a large sheet of buttered paper, which, in turn, is wrapped in a thick layer of foolscap, and tied with greased packing thread. Place the blanketed haunch in a roasting pan containing 1 cup read wine, and set in a very hot oven (425—450 F.) for about 4 1/2 hours. Baste now and then with a mixture of additional meat stock and the wine in the pan to prevent the paper’s scorching. About 30 minutes before the meat is ready, remove the covering of paper and paste, and test the haunch with a skewer to see whether it is done to a medium rare. If the skewer passes easily as far as the bone through the thickest part of the haunch, reduce the heat to moderate (350 F.). Baste every few minutes for a quarter of an hour with a mixture of Claret and butter—2 tablespoons butter to every cup Claret. Then baste with pure melted butter for 15 minutes more, dredging the haunch, meanwhile, with a little flour in order to make a light thickening. The haunch should be well-browned by this time. Dish it up on a very hot platter, and place a frill of fringed paper around the knuckle. Serve the roast with the following sauce which has been made in the meantime.

This exclusive recipe is pulled directly from Gourmets archive. It has not been re-tested by our food editors since it was published in the magazine, but it's a pretty good indication of the kinds of things we once cooked—and ate—with great pleasure.