Peas Francoise

Foodways Peas Francois YouTube (2)

Here at the Historic Kitchens were are faced daily with the myth that 18th-century meals did not include vegetables, or when they did, they were boiled to mush.  In fact, there are thousands of lovely vegetable recipes included in cookery books and on table diagrams.  Often these recipes will say “cook until done” or “to your taste”, which gives the cook the ability to determine what is done.  Peas are especially beloved,  and can be found in a wide variety of dishes, (though thankfully, not ice cream).  This easy recipe would be a perfect side dish for our Beef Olive recipe. Enjoy!

18th Century

Take a quart of shelled peas, cut a large Spanish onion or two middling ones small, and two cabbage lettuces cut small put them into a sauce pan with half a pint of water; season them well with a little salt, a little beaten pepper and a little mace and nutmeg. Cover them close and let them stew a quarter of an hour then put in a quarter of a pound of fresh butter rolled in a little flour, a spoonful of catsup a little piece of burnt butter as big as a walnut; cover them close and let them simmer softly for an hour often shaking the pan when it is enough serve it for a side dish. -Hannah Glasse 1797

21st Century

  • 1 pint of fresh shelled peas
  • 1 medium Spanish onion
  • 1 small cabbage or one half a large one
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon Worchester sauce
  • ½ stick of butter
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons of pepper
  • 1/2teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon mace
  • ¼ cup flour
  1. Chop a one large, or two small Spanish onions into a dice.
  2. Chop the cabbage into a small dice.
  3. Place the chopped onion, cabbage and peas into a pot and add the water. Season them with the salt, pepper and nutmeg. Let the vegetables cook on low for 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, mix the butter and flour together to form a smooth paste.
  5. Add the flour mixture and the Worchester sauce to the vegetables and stir well. Continue to simmer until the vegetables are soft, but not mushy, approximately 15-20 minutes.

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7 Responses to “Peas Francoise”

  1. December 25th, 2015

    Ed Glaser says:

    As always, these videos are fantastic. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  2. January 3rd, 2016

    Jan says:

    It’s so nice to see your videos; keep them coming! Peas Francois will be on our Sunday dinner table today!

  3. January 7th, 2016

    Thanks for finally writing about > Pass the Peas Please – Peas Francoise, That is! : “History is Served” presented by Colonial Williamsburg Historic Foodways < Liked it!

    • January 11th, 2016

      kcosta says:

      We are glad you enjoyed the recipe. Vegetables are sometimes forgotten in our world full of wine, butter, sugar and meats! It’s nice to bring a simple dish full of flavor to our blog for everyone to share.

      Kimberly Costa
      Historic Foodways

  4. February 1st, 2016

    Don says:

    A cooking/dinner group I am part of will be doing a dinner based on recipes from this website (I love it by the way). This dish was one of those we are trying. What I cannot find anywhere is how many each dish is intended to serve. If there is some standard (4? 6?) please, please let me know at your earliest convenience, and again, this is a great website, thanks for maintaining it!

    • February 2nd, 2016

      kcosta says:

      Hello Don- I can’t begin to tell you how thrilled I am to know you and your friends will be making an entire dinner based on our recipes. We love to hear about adventures such as yours. The serving sizes are left off because, as 18th century cooks, we do not think in terms of how many does it serve, since the dish would be included in a large variety of small dishes. With that being said, the modern cook in me would say between 6-8 as a small side dish.

      Kimberly Costa
      Historic Foodways

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