A simple medieval recipe using fish – poached fish in fact combined with herbs and white wine. The main ingredients of this medieval recipe which give it an authentic feel are the freshwater fish fillets (salmon or trout), fresh herbs, wine and breadcrumbs.
Herbs were used in just about every medieval meal both for their taste and the health benefits. Back in the 13th century people often made a sauce to pour over the fish. There were two reasons for this, either to enhance the taste of the fish if it was a little bland or to make a more stomach-filling meal. For anyone interested in this type of cookery, you can read more about medieval food here, what was popular and why. Some facts will surprise you.
Medieval Fish Recipe History
Fish is without question one of the most healthy foods, providing many nutrients important in a good daily diet. It is not known whether medieval people knew this or whether fish was eaten simply because it was readily available and they could not afford meat such as beef. One thing they certainly did do all those centuries ago was they tried hard to improve the flavour of whatever they cooked. That is perhaps why we have so many tasty recipes passed down to us through the generations. Read more about fish recipes from 13th century England.
This fish dish serves 2 people but it is easy to increase the ingredients to make more portions. All you have to do is look for the ‘Servings’ box in the information below and just enter the number of people you want to cook for. It will auto-calculate for you 🙂
- 7 sprigs fresh parsley (popular medieval herb)
- 5 sprigs fresh mint (popular medieval herb)
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 2 oz breadcrumbs
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 pinch ground pepper
- extra white wine vinegar for the final step
- 2 fillets of salmon or trout
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1 cup water
- Heat the wine and water in a frying pan, add the fish fillets and simmer gently for 3-5 minutes. Turn the fillets and poach for a further 3-5 minutes. It usually takes 8-12 minutes to poach the fish, depending upon the thickness of the cut.
- Whilst the fish is gently poaching, prepare the sauce following steps 3, 4 & 5
- Soak the breadcrumbs in the vinegar (takes about 10 minutes)
- Finely chop parsley & mint and using a pestle and mortar grind the garlic into the herbs.
- Add the soaked breadcrumbs into the herb & garlic mixture and blend until you have a smooth mixture.
- Transfer the mixture to a larger bowl and stir in some extra white wine vinegar or water until it reaches a nice sauce-like consistency.
- Serve the poached fish fillets and pour the sauce over them.
If you prefer to serve a hot sauce on your fish, gently heat it up in the microwave after step 6.
Medieval recipe by Shelagh Caudle