Plum broth or “Christmas Potage” is a medieval recipe made with mutton, raisins, currants, and spices. It was cited in 1573 as “plum pottage, or pottage made thick with meate or crummes of bread,” and mentioned in 17th and 18th century cookery books. The broth could be garnished according to the means of the family using lemons, prunes, raisins, currants or barberries.

Plum broth or Christmas potage - Recipe


  • A leg of beef
  • A good slice of mutton
  • Some grated bread
  • Some prunes
  • A few raisins and currants
  • A little whole spice, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger mace
  • Salt and sugar
  • Some verjuice.


Take a leg of beef and a good slice of mutton and put it in a pot with some water and set it over the fire, and when it boileth put in some grated bread and some prunes and a little whole spice.

An hour after put in some raisins and currants and let it boil leisurely. And when it is boiled enough season it with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger mace, and salt, and then sweeten it with sugar to your taste.

Put in some verjuice. Serve it up with a little bread put in the dishes”.

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