Stuffed carp

(Recipe #22, page 131)

Scale and gut the fish, salt it, and carefully loosen the flesh on one side of the fish from head to tail, so that both parts remain attached to the skin; be careful not to injure either the backbone or the skin.

Remove the bones from the flesh that has been cut away and chop it finely, cream a generous knob of butter, and stir in 2 eggs, some white bread soaked in water and pressed, 1–2 shallots, lemon peel, salt, mace, and finally the chopped flesh of the fish. If the forcemeat is too soft, add a little grated white bread; if too firm, add a bit of water. Stuff the cavity of the fish so that it regains its former shape, sprinkle it with zwieback, place it in a pan on slices of pork fat along with butter, the stuffed side uppermost. Bake in the oven until tender and lightly browned, carefully basting frequently.

If it is possible to place a cover with hot coals over the pan, the fish will be even better.

Translated by David Green.

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