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Medieval Recipe Translations

Puddyng of purpaysse

PERIOD: England, 15th century | SOURCE: Harleian MS 279 | CLASS: Authentic

DESCRIPTION: Stuffed porpoise stomach


.xl. Puddyng of purpaysse. Take þe Blode of hym, & þe grece of hym self, & Ote-mele, & Salt, & Pepir, & Gyngere, & melle þese to-gederys wel, & þan putte þis in þe Gutte of þe purays, & þan lat it seþe esyli, & not hard, a good whylys; & þan take hym vppe, & broyle hym a lytil, & þan serue forth.

- Austin, Thomas. Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books. Harleian MS. 279 & Harl. MS. 4016, with extracts from Ashmole MS. 1429, Laud MS. 553, & Douce MS 55. London: for The Early English Text Society by N. Trübner & Co., 1888.


Pudding of porpoise. Take the Blood of him, & the grease of him self, & Oatmeal, & Salt, & Pepper, & Ginger, & mix these together well, & then put this in the Gut of the porpoise, & then let it boil easily, & not hard, a good while; & then take him up, & broil him a little, & then serve forth.


  • Porpoise blood
  • Porpoise grease
  • Oatmeal
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Ginger
  • One porpoise stomach

Combine the porpoise blood, porpoise grease, and oatmeal, & season it with salt, pepper, & ginger. This should be a thick & moist stuffing-like mixture. Stuff the porpoise stomach about half full with this, as the stuffing will swell during cooking.. Sew up the stomach tightly or secure each end with string, & prick it all over with a large needle to avoid bursting. Put an upturned plate in the base of a pot of boiling water, stand the stomach on this and bring back to the boil; boil steadily for 3 to 4 hours. Cook until done; remove from water and drain well. Place in a broiler and cook for several minutes on both sides to slightly crisp the skin, then serve.

This recipe is essentially a porpoise haggis, as it uses all the elements found in the traditional Scottich haggis of a boiled sheep stomach with an oatmeal stuffing.

If for some reason you are unable to find a porpoise stomach, you might try a sheep stomach, still used today when making haggis. Alternatively, you may do the "American" version of making haggis, which leaves out the stomach entirely and has the mixture baked in a loaf pan.

Also, you may substitute a little white wine for the porpoise blood and butter or suet for the porpoise grease. Vegetable shortening may be also be used for the porpoise grease; the original recipe was probably intended for Lent and porpoise grease would have been an acceptable animal fat to use at that time. Vegetable shortening will probably be the closest and easiest alternative to fish grease if you wish to keep this a Lenten dish.


A Boke of Gode CookeryMedieval Recipe Translations

Puddyng of purpaysse © 2000 James L. Matterer

Medieval Recipe Translations

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