Cooking from the 1600s to date

Collecting artifacts from the history of Great Eccleston does from time to time locate some gems.  food from the area is one such gem.  I have amassed a number of recipes from the local area that would have been eaten in the village.  These range from 1600 shreds to Fylde tart. All recipes have been made and tasted and some have become firm favourites whereas others are likely to be lost for ever.  Where possible the orginal ingredients have been found and used although alternatives have been sourced too,

 Thanks to the willing victims (sorry volunteers) who have trialled the recipes.

One of the earliest recipes is from the 1600s and is called shreds.  We know this was eaten in the village as in 1650 they were banned by Cromwell's Parliament for being too rich for people.



This was a pie from the Elizabethan times and was very popular in farming areas that had all the ingredients.  It was eaten around Christmas and Plough Sunday.  

Finely shred equal amounts of beef or mutton with beef suet. Season with cloves, mace, pepper, saffron, great raisins, crab apples, currants and prunes.

Make a pie and fill with the ingredients

Bake in an oven.


Mulled Ale

With Great Eccleston being a farming area then mulled ale was the Christmas drink of choice rather than mulled wine.  Also the original recipe for this drink included crab apples rather than eating apples and the area was known for its crabbies.  This was the drink that was served on Christmas Eve after the workers had come in from their chores.

1lb wild crab apples (Equivalent is 4 eating apples - I use Royal Gala)

Quart (2 pints) Brown ale

1 pint white wine (sweet is better to counteract the crabbies)

1 cinnamon stick

1/2 teaspoon fresh nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ginger

Couple of strips of lemon rind

 Black sugar to taste (black sugar is available but it is rare therefore dark brown sugar will do)

Slit the skin of the apples; bake in a mderate over about 350F, 180C trad, 160C fan, Gas 4) until soft and turning to pulp

Heat the ale, wine, spices, lemon rind in a large saucepan

Remove the apple from their skins and mash. Stir into the liquid and then remove the cinnamon stick and the lemon rind. 

Pass the mixture through a sieve.  Reheat adding black sugar to taste.

Serve hot in earthenware mugs