Ornamental Separator

Peas Francoise

Watch our historic foodways staff cook this recipe, then try it at home

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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