To Boil Pike

In best season from September to February



Take out the gills, empty and clean the fish very thoroughly, and soak it for half an hour with a cup of vinegar thrown into as much water as will cover it well, should there be any danger of its having a muddy taste.* Wipe the inside dry, and fill it with oyster-forcemeat, or with common veal forcemeat made either with batter or with suet; curl the fish round, and fasten it with the tail in the mouth, lay it on a fish-plate, cover it well with cold water, throw in some salt as soon as it boils, skim it well, and boil the fish gently from half to a whole hour according to its size. Some persons prefer the scales taken off the pike when it is prepared for this mode of dressing; and many cooks still put the fish into boiling water well salted and skimmed. Serve it with plain melted butter, or anchovy sauce.

Moderate sized, ½ hour; large, 1 hour.

Obs.—We must repeat that it is impossible to give for fish which varies so much in quality as well as in size, directions for the exact time which is required to cook it; a few minutes, more or less, must often be allowed; and it should always be watched attentively, and lifted from the water as soon as it is done.

* Soaking fish is always better avoided when it can be so; well washing the inside with strong vinegar would perhaps remove the objectionable flavour without it.