A Boke of Gode Cookery Presents


PERIOD: England, 14th century | SOURCE: Forme of Cury | CLASS: Authentic

DESCRIPTION: A meat pâté


46. Mortrews. Take hennes and pork and seeþ hem togyder. Take the lyre of hennes and of þe pork and hewe it small, and grinde it al to doust; take brede ygrated and do þerto, and temper it with the self broth, and alye it with yolkes of ayren; and cast þeron powdour fort. Boile it and do þerin powdour of gynger, sugur, safroun and salt, and loke þat it be stondying; and flour it with powdour gynger.

- Hieatt, Constance B. and Sharon Butler. Curye on Inglish: English Culinary Manuscripts of the Fourteenth-Century (Including the Forme of Cury). London: For the Early English Text Society by the Oxford University Press, 1985.


Mortrews. Take hens and pork and boil together. Take the liver of hens and of the pork and cut it small, and grind it to a fine powder; take grated bread and add, and mix with the broth, and mix it with egg yolks; and add powdour fort. Boil it and add ginger, sugar, saffron and salt, and make sure it's thick; and garnish with ginger.


  • 1 cup ground cooked chicken
  • 1 cup ground cooked pork
  • 1/4 cup ground cooked pork & chicken liver
  • 4 cups Gode Broth (made without bread crumbs)
  • 1/2 - 1 cup unseasoned bread crumbs
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. each pepper, cloves, & ginger
  • 1 tbs. sugar
  • pinch saffron
  • salt to taste
  • mixture of 1 tbs. ginger & 1 tbs. sugar
Bring the broth to a boil; add the chicken, pork, & liver, and return to boil. Reduce heat, stir in bread crumbs, egg yolks, & spices. Allow to cook for several minutes. The final product should be like a thick soup or or a thin pate. If too thin, add more bread crumbs. If too thick, add extra broth. Serve in bowls & garnish with ginger-sugar mixture.

Mortrews, also commonly spelled Mortreux, was a popular dish which could be prepared as thin as a soup, but also as thick as a pate, which appears to be how the medieval recipe wishes it done, as we are advised to "loke that it be stondyng." Other period recipes also imply that the mixture is at least slightly thick. Mortrews is named after the mortar in which it was prepared.

Powdour fort was a mixture of ground spices, usually containing pepper and/or cloves & related spices.

Metric, Celsius, & Gas Mark Equivalencies

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Mortrews © 2000 James L. Matterer

A Boke of Gode Cookery Recipes

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