TO BAKE A COD’S HEAD
(The Art of Cookery, 1805)
Butter the pan you intend to bake it in, make your head very clean, lay it in the pan, put a bundle of sweet herbs, an onion stuck with cloves, three or four blades of mace, half a large spoonful of black and white pepper, a nutmeg bruised, a quart of water, a little piece of lemon-peel, and a little piece of horse-radish.
Flour your head, grate a little nutmeg over it, stick pieces of butter all over it, and throw raspings all over that.
Send it to the oven to bake; when it is enough, take it out of the dish, and lay it carefully into the dish you intend to serve it up in.
Set the dish over boiling water, and cover it up to keep it hot.
In the mean time be quick, pour all the liquor out of the dish it was baked in into a sauce-pan, set it on the fire to boil, three or four minutes, then strain it, and put to it a gill of red wine, two spoonfuls of catchup, a pint of shrimps, half a pint of oysters, or mussels, liquor and all, but first strain it; a spoonful of mushroom pickle, a quarter of a pound of butter rolled in flour, stir it all together till it is thick and boils; then pour it into the dish,
have ready some toast cut three-corner-ways, and fried crisp.
Stick pieces about the head and mouth, and lay the rest round the head.
Garnish with lemon notched, scraped horse-radish, and parsley crisped in a plate before the fire. Lay one slice of lemon on the head, and serve it up hot.