Pilgrim Seasonings

Plymouth Colony Foodways: Notes and Recipes from a 17th Century Kitchen

Smoared Hare

June 28th, 2013 by KM Wall

Smoared? As in a toasted marshmallow, Hersey bar and Graham cracker S’mored?

Microwave S'more

Microwave S’more

What do s’mores have to do with the 17th century or strawberries?

Nothing. In the 17th century marshmallow is a plant, and neither Hersey nor Graham have been born; hence no bar, no cracker.

Marshmallow plant

Marshmallow plant

Smoring is a cooking technique, one still alive in the American South, as well in other regions.  Smooring is another way to say smothered. Maya Angelou has a recipe that Oprah calls “suffocated chicken”.  What it really is is a very special cross between a stew and a braise.

And delicious, very very tasty good.

A Mallard smoard, or a Hare, or old Cony.

Take a Mallard when it is cleane dressed, washed and trust, and parboyle it in water till it be skumd and purified; then take it up, and put it into a Pipkin with the neck down-ward, and the tayle upward, standing as it were upright;[note: if the neck is pointing down and the tail pointing up, this is not a standing mallard, but a feeding one.]  then fill the Pipkin halfe full with that water, in which the Mallard parboyled, and fill up the other halfe with White Wine;[that is . parboil the dear thing a little longer, then top it off with white wine and keep cooking] then pill and slice thin a good quantitie of Onyons, [that is. peel and slice those onions, thinly] and put them in with whole fine Hearbs, according to the time of the yeare, as Lettice, Strawberry leaves, Violet leaves, Vines leaves, Spinage, Endive, Succorie, and such like, which have no bitter or hard taste, [leafy green additions ; you're looking for a fresh taste. Notice the strawberry LEAVES]-  and a pretty quantitie of Currants and dates sliced; then cover it close, and set it on a gentle fire, and let it stew, and smoare [to smother, to cook in a closed vessel] till the Hearbs and Onyons be soft, and the Mallard enough; then take out the Mallard, and carve it as it were to goe to the Table; then to the Broath put a good lumpe of Butter, Sugar, Cianmon; and if it be in some, so many Goose-berries as will give it a sharpe taste, but in the Winter as much Wine Vinegar; then heate it on the fire, and stirre all well together; then lay the Mallard in a dish with Sippets, and powre all this broth upon it; then trim the Egges of the dish with Sugar, and so serve it up.  And in this manner you may also smoare the hinder parts of a Hare, or a whole old Conie, being trust up close together.

-         Markham, Best ed.p 78.

European rabbit - the young ones are called coneys (think Coney Island, but say it like honey and money

European rabbit – the young ones are called coneys (think Coney Island, but say it like honey and money.

A hare is more like a jack rabbit then a bunny rabbit

A hare is more like a jack rabbit then a bunny rabbith

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Pipkin is an earthen ware pot, and one of the rabbits in Watership Down.

 

Pipkin_LG

Pipkin – repro from Plimoth Plantation. You’ll need a slightly larger pipkin to hold a rabbit or a duck.


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2 Responses to “Smoared Hare”

  1. Paul Courchaine says:

    Pipkins of a size to do rabbits are available from http://www.juliasmith.com/historicpottery/cooking.htm. I have one, and it is extremely easy to smoore a whole rabbit in one

  2. KMWall says:

    Pipkins big enough to smoore a duck/rabbit/hare in are also available at Plimoth Plantation, both at our retail site and on the English Village site. I just didn’t have a photo of them. These sorts of earthenware vessels show up in all sorts of European paintings in the 16th and 17th centuries.They’re just not indexed that way.
    Someday……

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