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Potted Salmon


The English tradition of potted fish is of a cooked - not simply pickled or smoked - fish with sweet spices, always including mace. There is also a distinct Newcastle Potted Salmon

Image: bbc.co.uk

Original Receipt in 'A New System Of Domestic Cookery' by 'A Lady' (Mrs. Maria Eliza Ketelby Rundell) (Rundell 1807);

Take a large piece, scale and wipe, but do not wash it; salt very well; let it lie till the salt is melted and drained from it, then season it with beaten mace, cloves, and whole pepper: lay in a few bay leaves, put it close into a pan, cover it over with butter, and bake it; when well done, drain it from the gravy, put it into the pots to keep, and, when cold, cover it with clarified butter. In this manner any firm fish may be done.

Original Receipt in 'The Book of Household Management' edited by Isabella Beeton, 1861 (See Mrs.B)

309. INGREDIENTS. - Salmon; pounded mace, cloves, and pepper to taste; 3 bay-leaves, 1/4 lb. butter.
Mode. - Skin the salmon, and clean it thoroughly by wiping with a cloth (water would spoil it); cut it into square pieces, which rub with salt; let them remain till thoroughly drained, then lay them in a dish with the other ingredients, and bake. When quite done, drain them from the gravy, press into pots for use, and, when cold, pour over it clarified butter.
Time. -1/2 hour.

AN AVERSION IN THE SALMON. - The salmon is said to have an aversion to anything red; hence, fishermen engaged in catching it do not wear jackets or caps of that colour. Pontoppidan also says, that it has an abhorrence of carrion, and if any happens to be thrown into the places it haunts, it immediately forsakes them. The remedy adopted for this in Norway, is to throw into the polluted water a lighted torch. As food, salmon, when in perfection, is one of the most delicious and nutritive of our fish.

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