“Mawther used to get a herring, clean un, and put same stuffin” as what yow do have in mabiers [chicken]; sew en up with niddle and cotton, put ‘en in some daugh made of suet and flour; pinch the daugh up in the middle and lave the heid sticking out one end, and tail t’other. They was some nice pasties too, cooked in a fringle fire with crock and brandis and old furze tobs”
That was difficult to type out!! Let alone translate for all my American, Australian and South African cousins and friends!!! But I think you will get the gist. I did not realise our forebears called chickens “mabiers” though?
The stuffing mentioned was posted by me on the 4th December, so just scroll down to find it. I always keep portions in the freezer. I find a niddle and thread, then clean the fish and stuff it as instructed!! I also lifted out the backbone carefully and as many fine bones as I could. In life there are firsts for everything and this is a first for me! I have never stuffed a small fish! See photos on my Blog!! It was quite hard to sew with my niddle as the thread kept coming through the flesh! I used red cotton, making it easier to see.
For the pastry:
6 oz Pain Flour
1½ oz suet [Atora]
1½ oz lard
large pinch of sea salt.
Rub the lard into the flour and salt, then stir in the suet. Add enough very cold water to just bind. Lightly mix until smooth then chill for 10 mins before using.
Take a piece of pastry and roll it out in a circle approx the same diameter as the fish, minus the head and tail. Then lift it around the fish and cut the excess and crimp. Brush with beaten egg to give it a lovely gloss. Then place it in a hot oven 220 deg C, turning down to 200 after 15 mins.
I had to guess the cooking time. 40 minutes? I took it out and let it cool, before cutting one open. The smell was very good. The taste? A bit strange and quite rich. But I really did enjoy it. Eating the stuffing I love and have eaten all my life with fish - it takes a lot to get my head around that!!!!
I am now away for 2 weeks and my next Blog will be around the 2nd October. Lots of lovely cakes to come!