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Meats - Sausages

(or Urchins, Yrchouns)

An ancient dish of a pig stomach filled with spiced pork, coloured and stuck over with spit almonds to imitate a sea-urchin or hedgehog. The spelling 'Yrchin' is found in Hartley 1954

Compare with Almond Hedgehog

Original Receipt in 'The Forme of Cury' by the Chief Master-Cook of King Richard II, c1390 (Cury 1390)

Take þer mawe of þe grete Swyne. and fyfe oþer sex of pigges mawe. fyll hem full of þe self fars. & sowe hem fast, perboile hem. take hem up & make smale prews [2] of gode past and frye hem. take þese prews yfryed & seeþ [3] hem þicke in þe mawes on þe fars made after [4] an urchoun withoute legges. put hem on a spyt & roost hem & colour hem with safroun & messe hem forth.
[1] Hert rowee. Contents, Hart rows; perhaps from heart. [2] prews. Qu. V. in Gloss. [3] seeþ. There is a fault here; it means stick. [4] after, i. e. like.

Original Receipt in the 15th Century 'Austin Manuscripts' (Austin 1440)

xx. Yrchouns - Take Piggis mawys, & skalde hem wel; take groundyn Porke, & knede it with Spicerye, with pouder Gyngere, & Salt & Sugre; do it on þe mawe, but fille it nowt to fulle; þen sewe hem with a fayre þrede, & putte hem in a Spete as men don piggys; take blaunchid Almaundys, & kerf hem long, smal, & scharpe, & frye hem in grece & sugre; take a litel prycke, & prykke þe yrchons, An putte in þe holes þe Almaundys, every hole half, & eche fro oþer; ley hem þen to þe fyre; when þey ben rostid, dore hem sum wyth Whete Flowre, & mylke of Almaundys, sum grene, sum blake with Blode, & lat hem nowt browne to moche, & serue forth.

Receipt from unknown source supplied by St Albans Museum

Urchins (Urchin is the medieval name for hedgehogs)

1kg minced pork
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon each salt and pepper
55 grams blanched slivered almonds
a few currants
thin flour and water paste coloured with food colouring

Mix the pork with the spices. Knead well and shape into balls about the size and shape of a large hen's egg.
Spike each ball with enough slivered almonds to make them look like a hedgehog and press 2 currants into each ball for eyes.
Bake them in a medium oven for about 25-30 minutes until they are a nice shade of brown.
Take them out of the oven and paint them with the food colouring.
Put them back in the oven for about 5 minutes to finish off.

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