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Daube-glace

daube-glace from nolaeats.com

Daube glacé or daube froide is a jellied meat dish often associated with Creole Christmas feasts. This dish embodies both the Creole tradition of thrift and the ability to turn humble ingredients into something elegant. Daube glacé is similar to hogshead cheese in that it stretches and preserves a small amount of meat (in this case beef or occasionally duck) for extended consumption. It is made by roasting beef until the meat is very tender. Then this meat is mixed with a stock made by boiling pigs’ feet (or other sources of gelatin) with vegetables, and the entire mixture is poured into molds to harden. The resulting jellied mixture is sliced thinly and served on toast points.

Mixing meat with gelatin to preserve it stems from a time before refrigeration. By mixing bits of meat with the jelly and then serving the result on bread, it further stretches the meat to serve many. In fact, sometimes the glacé was made from the remains of a meal, when there wasn’t enough meat left to serve the family. The thrifty housewife would not have thrown it away. As "The Picayune’s Creole Cook Book," (1901) remarks, "daube froide … is a standing dish for luncheon in every Creole home during the winter, for it is never essayed in summer, owing to the heated weather that would prevent the jellying of the beef. Even when put in an ice box, it is not the same as when made in winter. It is a dish that may be served with little cost to the most fastidious."

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