Farts of Portingale

How to make Farts of Portingale.
TAke a peece of a leg of Mutton, mince it smal and season it with cloues, Mace pepper and salt, and Dates minced with currans: then roll it into round rolles, and so into little balles, and so boyle them in a little beefe broth and so serue them foorth.
(Good Huswife’s Handmaide for the Kitchin, 1597.)

How to make Farts of Portingale.
Take a piece of a leg of Mutton, mince it small and season it with cloves, mace, pepper and salt, and dates minced with currants. Then roll it into little balls, boil them in a little beef broth and so serve them forth.

If you saw the title of this recipe and had a good giggle – so did I!


500g lamb mince ½ tsp cloves
1L beef stock ½ tsp mace
60g currants ½ tsp pepper
60g dates 1tsp salt
Optional: rind of one orange


  1. Cut the dates into small pieces.
  2. Mix the lamb mince, dates, currants and spices and roll into small balls.
  3. If using, add the orange rind to the mix as well.
  4. Bring the beef stock to the boil, then cook the lamb balls through. You will know they are close to done when the lamb balls rise to the surface of the stock.
  5. Serve warm.


  • “Portingale” is another word for Portugal. This is one of a number of recipes for poached lamb meatballs described as Spanish or Portuguese (see Spanish Balles).
  • Although the original recipe does not contain orange rind, oranges are closely associated with Portugal (and Spain) and were imported from these countries.


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