Another way of pickling birds

Interesting technique for taking out meat from under a butter seal

To preserve roasted birds

(marginalia: to preserve roasted birds)

Take good sour vinegar according to how sour you wish to have it (you may adulterate (fälschen) it with a little clean water) and let it boil down. Then add a little grated gingerbread, honey, and all manner of spices. Let it boil up once more so that it turns out thick, then pour it into a clean pot and lay the roasted birds into it. If you would let them stand for a long time, melt butter and pour it over the top as thick as a finger, and let it stand. When you wish to take out birds, set the pot by the fire at a distance. Thus the butter melts, and let it congeal again afterwards.

Book III p. 83 (232 in the pdf)

This is quite similar to yesterday’s recipe, though the sauce the birds are pickled in is more similar to the bread-thickened sulcz of the medieval tradition. Meat had long been preserved in thickened, heavily spiced vinegar or wine sauces (and also in meat jellies that were sometimes referred to by the same name, which is confusing). The butter seal seems to be an Early Modern innovation. Here, we learn how to open it and remove part of the meat without disturbing or contaminating the rest.

Johann Coler’s Oeconomia ruralis et domestica was a popular book on the topic of managing a wealthy household. It is based largely on previous writings by Coler and first appeared between 1596 and 1601. Repeatedly reprinted for decades, it became one of the most influential early works of Hausväterliteratur. I am working from a 1645 edition.

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