Wash 3 fresh pork hearts quickly but thoroughly. Split them, cut out all membranes and tough sections attached to them and remove as much fat as possible. Quarter each section, wash the pieces again and dry them well on a towel. Place the cut up hearts in an earthenware bowl, season them to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper and pour over them 1/3 cup good olive oil and as much brandy. Also add 1 large bay leaf, 1/4 teaspoon thyme leaves, 1 clove garlic mashed to a pulp, 1 medium-sized onion, thinly sliced, 2 bruised whole cloves, heads removed, 5 sprigs fresh parsley and pour over the whole 1 pint of red wine of the claret type. Mix this marinade well, cover the bowl with a towel and let it stand in a cool place or in the refrigerator overnight.
Cut 1/2 pound lean salt pork into ½-inch cubes, parboil them and fry them over a low flame until the cracklings are golden brown. Skim off the cracklings and set them aside. To the fat left in the pan add the heart pieces, well drained, and brown them well on all sides. Remove the pieces, set them aside with the pork cracklings and keep both warm. To the fat left in the pan, add 1 tablespoon flour and over a low flame, stir the flour and fat until golden brown, then add the cracklings and heart pieces, and the strained marinade. Cover the pan, cook the whole gently for 25 minutes, stirring once during the cooking. Add 24 small white onions, whole, 24 small mushroom buttons, either fresh or canned, 24 small carrot balls and a 2-inch piece fennel. Cover the pan again and cook very gently for 35 to 40 minutes or until the vegetables are tender but not mushy.
Meanwhile, cook 2 chicken livers in 2 tablespoons Madeira until tender enough to be mashed easily. Rub the livers, using the Madeira for moistening, through a very fine meshed sieve and stir into the purée 3 tablespoons of the sauce from the stew. Blend well and add the liquid paste to the stew. Boil the whole up once and on reaching the boiling point, stir in 1 cup scaled red wine of the claret type. Mix thoroughly, remove immediately from the fire and serve on freshly made toast rubbed with shallot butter. To make shallot butter, parboil 3 shallots in a little butter, drain them and rub them through a sieve with 4 tablespoons butter.
This exclusive recipe is pulled directly from Gourmet’s archive. It has not been re-tested by our food editors since it was published in the magazine, but it’s a pretty good indication of the kinds of things we once cooked—and ate—with great pleasure.