Pikkyll Pour le Mallard (Spiced Onion Relish)

Pikkyll pour le Mallard. Take oynons, and hewe hem small, and fry hem in fress grece, and caste hem into a potte, And fress brot of beef, Wyne, & powder of peper, canel, and dropping of the mallard And lete hem boile togidur awhile; And take hit fro the fyre, and caste thereto mustard a litul, And pouder of ginger, And lete hit boile no more, and salt hit, And serue it forthe with the Mallard. MS. Harleian 4016, f7.

Pickle for the Mallard. Take onions, and cut them small, and fry them in fresh grease, and cast them into a pot, And fresh broth of beef, wine, & powder of pepper, cinnamon, and the dripping from the mallard. And let them boil together a while; And take it from the fire, and cast thereto mustard a little, And powder of ginger, And let it boil no more, and salt it, And serve it forth with the Mallard.


3 medium onions 3 tbs duck fat 1 tsp dry mustard
250mL beef stock  ½ tsp pepper  ½ tsp ginger
125mL red wine  ½ tsp cinnamon  salt


  1. Finely dice the onions, and in a steep sided pan, fry in oil or duck fat until they are translucent.
  2. Add the beef stock, wine, pepper, cinnamon and duck fat.
  3. Boil the onion mix until most of the liquid has evaporated, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove from the heat, and add the mustard powder, ginger and salt, and stir to mix through.
  5. Serve by itself as an onion relish, or with your favourite duck recipe.


  • This recipe can easily be made vegetarian/vegan friendly by omitting the duck fat and replacing the beef stock with vegetable stock.
  • It’s often difficult to determine whether a recipe specifying mustard means ground mustard seed or mustard condiment.  This recipe works well with either.

Pikkyl Pour le Mallard

Further Reading

Click on the links below to buy direct from The Book Depository.
Austin, Thomas (ed.). Two Fifteenth Century Cookbooks

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