To Bake Pike

Common Receipt

Moderate-sized pike, 30 to 45 minutes; large pike, 1 to 1¼ hour.

Method

Pour warm water over the outside of the fish, and wipe it very clean with a coarse cloth drawn from the head downwards, that the scales may not be disturbed; then wash it well in cold water, empty, and cleanse the inside with the greatest nicety, fill it either with the common forcemeat No. 1, or with No. 4 of Chapter VIII, sew it up, fasten the tail to the mouth, give it a slight dredging of flour, stick small bits of butter thickly over it, and bake it from half to three quarters of an hour, should it be of moderate size, and upwards of an hour, it be large. Should there not be sufficient sauce with it in the dish, melted butter and a lemon, or anchovy sauce may be sent to table with it. When more convenient the forcemeat may be omitted, and a little fine salt and cayenne, with some bits of butter, put into the inside of the fish, which will then require rather less baking. A battered paper should always be laid over it in the oven, should the outside appear likely to become too highly coloured or too dry before the fish is done; and it is better to wrap quite small pike in buttered paper at once before they are sent to the oven.

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