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History Cookbook: Stuffed Trout or Mackerel

This recipe is in categories Tudors, Main courses
About this recipe
Healthiness : (69 votes)
Comments: It can be tricky to remove the fish from the pan without breaking it, use two fish slices to lift it.
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Number of servings: 1 fish per person
Serving suggestions: Serve with frumenty and seasonal vegetables.

Fish was regularly served throughout the Middle Ages and on into the Tudor period. Fish days were part of the medieval church calendar and, consequently, there are many fish recipes recorded. Fishing rights were not available to the poor, although fish could be purchased at markets. Wealthier families ate fresh water fish from their own ponds or rivers.

This Tudor recipe is the basis for our modern one;
"Take a large trout, fair trimmed and wash it and put in a deep pewter dish, then take half a pint of white wine, with a lump of butter and a little mace, parsley, savoury and thyme and put them into the trout’s belly ( minced fine) and so let it stew a quarter of an hour, then mince the yolk of a hard egg and strew it on the trout and laying herbs about it, and scraping on sugar, serve it up."

Sugar and mace would make this a very expensive dish; a middle class household would be unlikely to use these in a meal. We have omitted these from our recipe.

  • 1 trout/mackerel (per person)
  • 25g (1 oz) butter
  • 1 sprig parsley, thyme
  • 300ml white wine or fish stock
  • for decorating: 2 hard boiled eggs
  • Fish slice
  • Weighing scales
  • Measuring jug
  • Knife
  • String
  • Serving plate
Making and cooking it
Always wash your hands before preparing food Always wash your hands before preparing food.

  1. Wash the fish
  2. Place the butter and herbs in the belly of the fish. These can be made into a herb butter if preferred
  3. Tie the fish closed
  4. Pour the stock or wine into a pan large enough to stew (simmer) the fish
  5. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until the fish is done. The flesh should be firm with no blood
  6. Carefully lift the fish from the pan and cut away the string
  7. Decorate with sliced or crumbled hard boiled egg
  8. Serve hot
Stuffed Trout or Mackerel - print view  Stuffed Trout or Mackerel - print view

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Name: Connie 25th September 2012
God help me, I put aside a whole afetrnoon to figure this out.
Name: Uswatun 11th June 2012
Taken correctly, you can can drag up rubber boots all day, but rainbow trout and brown trout are the only species of fish that you are allowed to catch and take home. Anything else that you catch must be removed from the line and be put back into the water.
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