A Boke of Gode Cookery Presents

A dauce egre

PERIOD: England, 14th century | SOURCE: Utilis Coquinario | CLASS: Authentic

DESCRIPTION: Fish in a sweet and sour sauce


17. A dauce egre. Tak luces or tenches or fresch haddok, & seth hem & frye hem in oyle doliue. & þan tak vynegre & þe thridde part sugre & onyounnes smal myced, & boyle alle togedere, & maces & clowes & quybibes. & ley þe fisch in disches & hyld þe sew aboue & serue it forth.

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


A sweet and sour fish. Take luces or tenches or fresh haddock, & boil them & frye them in olive oil. & then take vinegar & the third part sugar & onions small minced, & boil alle together, & maces & cloves & cubebs. & lay the fish in dishes & hold the sauce above & serve it forth.


  • Fresh fish, either whole or in fillets (see note below), enough to feed 2-3 people
  • olive oil
  • 2 cups red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup sugar (approx.)
  • 1 medium sized onion, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. each mace & cloves
  • 1 tsp. ground cubeb or black pepper
Poach the fish until just done; remove from water and allow to drain well. In a sauce pan, combine the red wine vinegar, sugar, onions & spices. Taste for sweetness and flavor and adjust accordingly - you are making a sweet and sour sauce, so try to attain a proper balance between vinegar & sugar. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium. Continue cooking until the onions are thoroughly soft. In a frying pan, heat a little olive oil. Fry the fish on both sides in the hot oil until a crispy light brown. Remove from the oil and drain. Place the fish in a serving platter and ladle the sauce on top. Serves 2-3.

The fish needs to be fresh and either whole (but cleaned & gutted), in fillets, or in "steaks." Haddock will almost certainly be easier for most to people to find than "luces or tenches," but feel free to use any fish available to you.

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A dauce egre © 2000 James L. Matterer

A Boke of Gode Cookery Recipes

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