A Boke of Gode Cookery Presents

To make sauce for A pyke

PERIOD: England, late 15th c. | SOURCE: MS Pepys 1047 | CLASS: Authentic

DESCRIPTION: A mustard sauce for pike.

Facsimile of receipt from the original manuscript:

Transcription of original receipt:

To make sauce for A pyke

Take the refette (28.1) of the pyke and mynse hit small and put hit yn A dyshe and take a gode mese of musterd And put of the best and fattest of þe broth a.... (28.2) the saucer and shakyd and put hit in to the dyshe with the refete and put yn a litell vyneAger and a lytell vergys ther to And a grete quantite of Syamom & sugure and lityll gynger and as ye fele hit with your mowth ye may all way amend hit.

Modern translations:

(1) To make sauce for A pike

Take the entrails (28.1) of the pike and mince it small and put it in A dish and take a good mess of mustard And put of the best and fattest of the broth a.... (28.2) the saucer and shaked and put it into the dish with the entrails and put in a little vinegar and a little verjuice thereto And a great quantity of Cinnamon & sugar and little ginger and as you feel it with your mouth you may always amend it.

(2) Take the edible viscera (28.1) of a pike and mince small; set aside. Combine mustard and broth thoroughly (28.2) and then mix with the viscera. Add a little vinegar & verjuice & season with cinnamon, sugar, and a little ginger. Taste for flavor and adjust as necessary.

(28.1) refete - the edible entrails of a fish; fish liver; fish roe. Also spelled refette, refite, reffet, reffite, resett, resset. (ME Dictionary)

(28.2) The original MS is missing one or two words in the fourth line; Hodgett translates this part of the receipt as "and put a little of the best and fattest of the broth in a saucer and shake [it up with the mustard] and put it in the dish...."

Modern version:

  • pike viscera (the edible entrails, the liver, or the roe), cooked or boiled as needed
  • mustard
  • broth - the "best and fattest"
  • vinegar - wine, cider, or malt
  • verjuice - sour fruit juice; lemon juice would be perfectly appropriate
  • cinamon
  • sugar
  • ginger
Mince the viscera very small; set aside. In a separate bowl, combine the mustard and broth into a smooth, thin sauce. Add to the viscera - The final consistency should be as any typical meat sauce, a "chunky" gravy. Add enough vinegar & verjuice to achieve a slightly tart flavor, then season with the spices. Taste and adjust the flavor & seasoning as needed. Serve with the pike.

A pike is long-snouted teleost fish (Esox lucius), often called northern or northern pike. It is related to the pickerel.

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