Medieval Cookery – Pease Pudding
The Nursery Rhyme
Pease-pudding in the pot,
Nine days old;
Some like it hot,
Some like it cold,
Some like it in the pot,
Nine days old.
Pease pudding, sometimes known as pease pottage or pease porridge, is a term of British origin regarding a savory pudding dish made of boiled legumes, which mainly consists of split yellow or Carlin peas, water, salt, and spices, often cooked with a bacon or ham joint. It is a smooth, thick sauce, (referred to as a pudding in the rhyme for the sake of alliteration) which has a dark yellow colour. It can be re-heated as often as required (Pease pudding in the pot – nine days old). Pease pudding is traditionally served hot with boiled bacon or a form of sausage called a saveloy.
Nowadays most commonly cooked in the north-east of England, pease pudding is a dish that evolved from medieval pease pottage, one of the main filler dishes before potatoes arrived in the British Isles.
One of its first mentions in culinary written history was in a 14th century recipe book entitled ‘The Forme of Cury’
Three hundred years later it seems Pease Pudding was still going strong and it appears in the written record again, courtesy of Samuel Pepys. The famous diarist tells us…
“At noon I went home and dined with my wife on pease porridge and nothing else,”
You know the rhyme … now try the recipe!
Best served with bread, salty meats, ham hock, sausages, even fish and chips, it’s a versatile dish that can even be used as a spread similar to hummus. So here’s the recipe …
|Prep Time||:||20 minutes|
|Cook Time||:||1 hour|
|Total Time||:||1 hours 20 minutes (after soaking peas for 8-12 hours)|
- 500g green dried split peas, soaked overnight
- 50g butter
- 1 tbsp each of chopped parsley, mint and Marjoram
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Bread and meats to serve
- Soak the peas for 8-12 hours
- Drain and rinse the soaked peas. Then tip into a saucepan with fresh water
- Cover and bring to the boil, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface.
- Simmer for at least one hour until the peas are tender.
- Strain the peas and add the chopped herbs and butter.
- You may need to add more butter or water to make a creamy texture and mash together for a rustic feel. Or you can use a blender for a smooth puree.