Ingredients for "Singe"
Saturday, July 14, 2012
French Army Monkey Meat, 1914
Monkey Meat, French Army, 1914
(Une recette de singe “A recipe for monkey”)
Monkey meat was French army slang for canned corned beef. As one of the commonly procured brands was “Madagascar”, French soldiers jokingly (half-jokingly?) contended that since Madagascar was not particularly noted for beef production then the contents should logically consist of monkey meat.
The original recipe of 1915 recommended: “Serve very hot when possible”. One might wonder, given the conditions in the trenches, whether this was intended as a tongue-in-cheek comment. On a more serious note the writer stated that the recipe was practical enough to be employed under the most rudimentary conditions.
Yield: 4 servings
U.S. Metric Ingredients
24 oz.* 700 g canned corned beef
2 medium or 1 large 2 medium or 1 large onions
1 oz 30 g lard, margarine or vegetaline®**
8 fl oz 220 ml red wine vinegar
1¾ oz (6 tbsp) 50 g all purpose flour
¼ cup 60 ml stock or water
to taste to taste salt and pepper
1. Peel and cut the onions into small pieces.
2. Heat the lard or margarine in a pan.
3. Sauté the onions until soft.
4. Add the vinegar and bring to a gentle boil.
5. Mix with a spoon or a wooden utensil.
6. In a separate container, mix the flour with broth or water
7. Add the flour mixture to the onions and boil slowly for at least 10 minutes.
8. Cut or flake the beef into small walnut-sized pieces.
9. Cover with the prepared sauce.
10. Season with salt and pepper (season sparingly, as the meat is already salty)
11. Place in an oven or simmer on low heat for 15 minutes, until the sauce is well thickened.
* two 12 oz cans
** Végétaline ® was called for in the original recipe. Végétaline® is a cooking fat produced in France, made from hydrogenated coconut and palm kernel oil.