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Potted Char


Formerly highly prized, now rare. Baked char, boned and flaked. Pressed into pots and covered with clarified butter. Served at breakfast with toast. Receipt in White 1932.

James Williams 'Briefless Ballads and Legal Lyrics' of 1897 has:
Without distraction thus we read
From nine until eleven,
Then rowed and sailed until we fed
On potted char at seven.

Original Receipt in the 'Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery ' by Auguste Escoffier (See: Escoffier);

Potted Char

Poach the fish with a Mirepoix and white wine and allow to cool completely in the cooking liquid. Drain well, discard the skin and remove the fillets, carefully eliminating all the bones.
Arrange the fillets carefully in the special deep glazed earthenware container and cover completely with clarified butter, place in a warm oven for 15 minutes, allow to cool until the following day then add more clarified butter so as to cover the fish to a depth of approximately 8 mm (? in).
Keep in a very cool place.

Original Receipt from 'Good Things in England' by Florence White (White 1932)

Mrs. Barton’s Recipe for Potting Char

An Ulverston friend sends this receipt. Mrs. Barton was the wife of the Rector of Windermere at this period. ‘Char is a fish chiefly remarkable for its scarceness,’ writes Bickerdyke, sometime Angling Editor of The Field. ‘He is a lake fish — much resembles trout, but is redder on the belly and has smaller scales — and generally more gorgeous in colouring. They are found in many lakes of the United Kingdom — in Loch Doon, Ayrshire; Loch Achilty, Ross-shire; Loch Knockie, Inverness-shire; The Tarff, Kircudbrightshire; Corry Lair; and in Lochs Dochart, Ericht and Fruchie. They are found in a number of lakes, large and small, in Ireland—in Lough Cona (for example); in Wales, and in the Cumberland and Westmorland lakes; in Goats Water, and Hawes Water as well as Windermere, Buttermere and Crummock. The American brook trout is a beautiful char.’

The fish are excellent eating, and potted char is a well-known delicacy. The friend to whom we owe the recipe says it is equally good for trout.

INGREDIENTS: Char or trout 7 1/2 lb. or 1 dozen fish; black pepper and salt; white pepper 1 1/4 oz.; cloves 6 drams; ground mace 2 drams clarified butter 2 lb.; cayenne pepper.
TIME: 12 hours to salt; 4 hours to bake.
1.Clean your fish, head and tail them, lay them 12 hours in black pepper and salt, sprinkle inside and out.
2.Then season inside and out with the white pepper, cloves and mace.
3.Lay them in a baking dish one

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