This Fish Roast recipe, enough for three people – or two with good appetites – dates back to 1915 and the addition of stale bread suggests this was a wartime food economy recipe designed to pad out the fish.
But it’s none the worse for that, and in fact makes a tasty meal served with a salad or range of vegetables.
Incidentally, the use of tomato ketchup seems very modern, but in fact the first published recipe for tomato ketchup was in 1812 by Philadelphia scientist and horticulturalist James Mease in his “Archives of Useful Knowledge, vol. 2.” Heinz commercialised the sauce in the late 1870s, and by 1915 it was widely used in Britain.
- 4 oz (113g) stale white bread
- 8 oz (225g) cooked white fish
- 8 tablespoons of milk
- Half a teaspoon of grated nutmeg
- 4 teaspoons tomato ketchup
- A squeeze of lemon
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
- Salt and pepper
- Soak the bread in the milk for a few minutes, then mash it with a fork
- Flake the cooked fish ans mix with the bread and all the other ingredients
- Press the mixture into a greased baking dish, dot with butter or margarine, and bake in a moderate oven (350-375 F/gas mark 4 or 5/ 180 – 190 C) for 20 – 30 minutes.
- Serve with a parsley sauce.
Source: Ann Johnson (2002) Old Recipes of Yorkshire. Published by Age Concern, Knaresborough.