Potting

We’ve already looked at a number of preserving methods, from pickles to jams and jellies. In today’s recipe, our unknown ladies have a go at ‘potting’ wildfowl:

18th century method for potting duck or woodcock from The Cookbook of Unknown Ladies

18th century method for potting duck or woodcock from The Cookbook of Unknown Ladies

To Pot Wild Fowl

Take half a dozen woodcocks & the like number of ducks. Split them and break all their bowns. Take pepper, salt & nutmeg & season yr fowl with it. Take 1 ounce of salt peter & half a pint of clarrit. Mix them together. Lay yr fowl in a close earthen pot, then pour on yr wine & half a pnd of butter & cover them with brown paper. Bake them an exact hour & half. When they are baked, pres out all the liquor, then boyle half a pnd of butter with 1 shallet & a little pepper. Then pour yr butter over them.

The birds are plucked and gutted, then seasoned and cooked in an earthen pot with red wine and plenty of butter. When baked, any excess liquid is pressed out. Finally, melted butter is poured over the top and allowed to set, forming an effective air-tight seal over the meat.

As with so many of the recipes in the Cookbook, the method seems to be written for confident and experienced cooks, who break no bones (if you’ll excuse the pun) over skinning and gutting all kinds of animals.

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One thought on “Potting

  1. Pingback: Preserving fruits the sugar-free way | The Cookbook of Unknown Ladies

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