A Boke of Gode Cookery Presents

Mortreus de Chare

PERIOD: England, 15th century | SOURCE: Harleian MS 4016 | CLASS: Authentic

DESCRIPTION: Pork and Ale Loaf


Take pork, and seth it ynow;  and take it vppe, and bawde hit, and hewe it and grinde it, and in a morter; And cast thereto grated brede, and then drawe the same broth thorgh a streynour, And temper hit with ale, and do al into a potte, and lete boile, and aley hit with yolkes of egges, And then let it boile no more, And cast thereto powder of ginger, Salt, And put hit in disshes in maner of Mortrewes, And cast thereto powder of ginger, & serue it 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.


  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 1/2 C ale or beer
  • 1 C white bread crumbs
  • 3 raw egg yolks
  • 1 tsp. powdered ginger
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
1. Sauté pork in a frying pan or heavy saucepan until brown.

2. In a saucepan, over medium heat, combine pork with ale or beer. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about ten minutes.

3. Stir in bread crumbs, salt, ginger, and egg yolks. Continue simmering over low heat, stirring constantly until mixture is very thick.

4. Dish mixture into a lightly oiled mold or bowl. Allow to cool, and turn out onto a plate for serving, and garnish with powdered ginger.

Serves six to eight.


I have chosen to fry ground pork, rather than grind boiled pork. It only makes sense that mortrewes be served in maner of Mortrewes, as are several other potages. No one is sure just what this means, so I interpret it to mean it was molded and turned out for serving, which is as good a guess as any.

Metric, Celsius, & Gas Mark Equivalencies

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Mortreus de Chare © 2003 Rudd Rayfield | This page © 2003 James L. Matterer

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