Ingredients

  • a 3–4 lb carp
  • 1 parsley root
  • 1 celery root
  • 1 leek
  • 2 onions
  • 3–4 black peppercorns
  • 5–6 allspice
  • 2–3 bay leaves
  • 1 lemon
  • 2–3 cloves
  • [1 carrot]
  • crust of bread
  • ¼ glass vinegar
  • 2 bottles beer
  • 1–2 spoons butter
  • 1 spoon flour
  • 5–6 pieces or sugar
  • ½ glass red wine
  • ½ glass raisins
  • 15 marinated cherries**
  • lemon zest

Method

Carp may be boiled with its scales or without. Some people find that it is tastier if cooked with its scales, although it is not nearly as attractive. When killing a carp, immediately drain its blood into salted, boiled vinegar. Clean the carp, cut it into pieces, and rub with dry salt.* Do not discard the soft roe or caviar, both of which are very tasty. Meanwhile boil in beer 1 parsley root, 1 celery root, 1 leek, 1 carrot, and 1 dried mushroom. Add 2 onions, allspice, black pepper, bay leaves, and 2–4 cloves. Place the carp head in another stewpan, top with the pieces of fish, and add lemon zest and a crust of rye bread. Pour on the strained beer boiled with the root vegetables and boil over a high flame, watching that the fish does not burn. Fry 1 spoon flour in 1 spoon butter, let it cool, and then pour in the carp blood and vinegar and some caramelized sugar. Dilute with the bouillon in which the carp boiled. Add ½ glass of red wine, a little sugar to taste, and a handful of scalded raisins or sultanas. Add lemon juice to taste and 15 marinated cherries. Bring to a boil several times, but do not let the sauce reduce very much. Arrange the carp on a platter and strew with lemon slices and raisins. Pour on the sauce and serve.

Tench and bream are prepared in the same manner.

*Salt used to be sold from open barrels, and readily absorbed moisture from the atmosphere. In this case, Molokhovets is merely reminding the reader to dry out the salt before using it.

**See Chapter 28 for marinated cherries.

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