Thursday, April 2, 2015

Recipes from the Wagstaff Miscellany - 180 Congur Turbutt Halibut Poyled

Recipes from the Wagstaff Miscellany (Beinecke MS 163)

This manuscript is dated about 1460.

The 200 (approx.) recipes in the Wagstaff miscellany are on pages 56r through 76v.

Images of the original manuscript are freely available on the Yale University Library website.

I have done my best to provide an accurate, but readable transcription. Common abbreviations have been expanded, the letters thorn and yogh have been replaced with their modern equivalents, and some minor punctuation has been added.

Copyright © 2015 by Daniel Myers,


180. Congur Turbutt Halibut Poyled
Scale a congur nott yn hott watyr for brestyng of the hedde & yf thu wylt thu may cleve hym cut thy congur a lytyll by fore the navyll by the bely that thu may louse the gutte take hit out at the thorte & the lyver at the gutte & the draght cut  all the bely ovir thwarte yn round pecys loke thy hore be shavyn a wey fro the bakke & of the bely to the tayle & all the fysch shall be shavyn clene so that the skyn be nott a wey & hit be ryght white draw thy turbut by the wyn by neth the gill & cut of the hedde & the white sydd fro the blacke & gedyr of thy gyll with a knyfe on both sydes yf thy turbut be large clene doun ryght enlong & yf he be lytill cut hym ovyr twharte & enddlong thy rybbys chyne & all thy halibut cut yn the same maner & cast hit fayre watyr & kepe hit white make thy sauce of fayre watyr and yf thu do eny salt ther to let hit be but a lytyll when hit boyleth scome hit clene when the congur ys y now take hit up with a scomer & ley hit yn a vessell with fayre watyr & salt & have fayr watyr & salt yn an othir vessell & when the turbut & thy halybutt ys boyled poure out the broth & put yn a lytyll cold watyr & salt upon the fysch with thy hond for brekyng & ley hit yn watyr & salt & serve congure ij or iij pecys on a chargeor for thy sovaynys & strew on foyles of percelley & serve the remnaunt for othir men & sauce hit with vergeys & of the turbut or of the halybut ley on or two of the broddyse yn a chargeour & sauce hit with verge sauce & strew on foyles of percelley.


A Noble Boke off Cookry has this monster of a recipe broken up into three separate recipes, numbers 114, 115, and 116.
To dight congur. turbot or halibut scald your congur but be ware of brekyng then clef the congur hed and cutt the congur a litille befor the naville and lowse the got and tak it out at the throt and the leuer and the gutte and cut it in rond peces and let it be clene shaven that the skyne be not away.  [A Noble Boke off Cookry (England, 1468)]
and draw the turbot by the gille out of the hed and the body out whart  [A Noble Boke off Cookry (England, 1468)]
and chyne a halibut and sethe hym with water and salt and when it boilithe then skeme it and when the congur is enoughe tak it up with a strene and lay it in a vesselle and when the turbot and halibut is enoughe pour out the brothe and put water ther to and tak up the fische and lay it in water and salt and serue it ij or iij peces of congur in a disshe and straw ther on parsly and serue it furthe with venygar and the turbot and halibut serue it with pouder and venygar.  [A Noble Boke off Cookry (England, 1468)]

 The recipes diverge widely near the end after instructing to put two or three pieces in a dish.

1 comment:

Jessica said...

Thanks for your transcriptions! Funnily enough, as I write this comment I sitting in the Beinecke reading room with MS 163 before me.

It's a very interesting-looking book -- and now I have to find something about it, or medieval miscellanies, in particular to write an essay about.

If you would like me to take some photos of the MS in context (to show its size and the state of the cover, bindings etc.) just let me know -- I have access to this manuscript till May.