The poaching of elephants is a subject full of contention. It is an issue that is the cause of discussion
and debate the whole world over, raising many difficult questions, such as "Where on earth am I going
to find a saucepan big enough?"
The solutionWell it is true that in the past, finding such a pan could be a
pain. Elephant chefs, or 'pachytherms' as they prefer to be called, value such items highly, often
passing them down from one generation to the next. However, recently an excellent a range of ovenware
suitable for the amateur poacher has become available from the Matabele Jumbo Pan Company (although package
and postage is a bit steep).
Most other questions relate to either the poaching process itself, or how best to serve the meal (if
only I had a pound for every time someone has asked me if a basic Hollandaise sauce would be appropriate).
To poach an elephant you need a cooker big enough to take the pan, and plenty of patience. If you're
concerned as to whether or not your cooker can cope with an elephant, remember a gas hob can't but an
Aga Khan. As for elephant recipes, well here's one of my favourites, Elephant Diane Merrick. Bon appetit!
Elephant Diane MerrickOne boneless elephant
4 gallons of milk
6 buckets of unsalted butter
2 buckets of diced onions
2 buckets of minced shallots
1 1/2 buckets of Dijon mustard
1/2 bucket Worcestershire sauce
1 dustbin of cognac
2 buckets of fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Place the milk in the pan, half fill with water, and bring to the boil
Reduce to a simmer and add one boneless elephant (ask your butcher to debone your elephant for you)
Poach for three days, or until most of the liquid has gone
Increase the heat, and add the butter, onions and shallots. Cook until softened
Add the mustard and Worcestershire sauce, stirring gently, then season with salt and pepper
Remove from the heat. Pour the cognac over all this, and carefully ignite.
When the flames have died down sufficiently for you to approach, spoon the sauce over the elephant until the flames go out
Garnish with parsley and serve