Today marks the 200th anniversary of the publication of Jane Austen’s classic Pride and Prejudice. The book, published three years before Austen’s death, tells the story of the Bennet family, namely Elizabeth and her troubles with a gentlemen, Mr. Darcy. Winning the affection of the wealthy, but proud Mr. Darcy, Elizabeth allows her previous, albeit wrong, information about Darcy’s past, cloud her judgement and rejects his marriage proposal. After various events, including a proposal from a cousin, a younger sister’s elopement, and an older sister’s engagement, Elizabeth and Darcy look past each others pride and prejudice and marry.
This classic novel takes place in regency era England (1795-1830) when there was stark contrasts between the classes. His Majesty King George III ruled during the time Pride and Prejudice was published. Well, technically it was his son, George IV, the Regent Prince, who was in charge. He took his father’s place after King George III had become delusional after the death of youngest daughter. But officially speaking, King George III reign lasted until 1820.
But I digress, during his reign, the British Agricultural Revolution was in its peak, and he helped make great advances in the fields, in terms of science and technology. These advances have become part of King George III legacy (along with the loss of one of their colonies, via the American Revolution. You win some, you lose some).
Curious about food during that era, I decided to do some research and found a collection of regency era recipes on the Jane Austen Centre’s website.
During this era beef was quite popular, especially among the wealthy, so Mr. Darcy’s Favourite Beef-Steak Dinner was a natural choice. (I’m not exactly sure how the Jane Austen Centre came to the conclusion beef-steak was his favourite meal, but hey it’s a catchy title…right?)
You don’t necessarily have to use rump steak cut, but make sure to adjust cooking times depending on the thickness of the cut.
Mr. Darcy’s Favourite Beef-Steak Dinner
- 2- 454 g / 16 oz /1 Lb Rump Steaks
- 2tbsp Butter, divided
- 1 tbsp Flour
- 240 ml / 8 fl oz /1 cup Beef Broth
- 3 Shallots, sliced in fine rings
- Salt and pepper to taste
Melt one tablespoon of butter in a large skillet over a medium to high heat. Add your steaks and salt and pepper them to taste. Fry them 3-5 minutes per side, turning once, until they are completely brown and crispy. Remove them from the pan to your serving plate
Add the broth to the pan and allow it to come to a boil. Roll the remaining tablespoon of butter in the flour and add to the hot broth, stirring well to avoid lumps. Add the shallots, salt and pepper to the gravy and boil them all together for 2 minutes. Pour this sauce over the steaks and serve them immediately.
Tips: Remember to take into account the salt from the beef broth when seasoning the beef steaks. Also, when adding the butter and flour to the hot broth, whisk vigorously to avoid lumps.