To Broil a Sturgeon

Broiled sturgeon is a timeless classic. The simple nature of this recipe is a great example of how some things just can’t be improved. We used a farm-raised sturgeon for this, but any firm-fleshed fish such as salmon, mahi mahi, or swordfish would be excellent prepared using this method.

18th Century

BROIL your Sturgeon either in a whole Rand, or cut into Slices an Inch thick; salt them, steep them in sweet Oil and Wine-vinegar, broil them on a gentle Fire, and baste them with the Oil and Vinegar that they were steeped in, with Sprigs of Rosemary, Thyme, and Parsley; when it is broil’d serve it up with the Dripping it was basted with, and some of the Branches of Rosemary: Or you may baste it with Butter, and serve it up with butter and Vinegar, beaten up with Slices of Lemon, or Juice of Orange.

Nott, Cooks and Confectioners Dictionary, Art 149.

21st Century

  • 1 pound of farm-raised sturgeon steaks cut to one inch thick
  • 3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup of olive oil
  • 2 sprigs each of parsley, thyme, and rosemary
  • salt and pepper
  1. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the fish and set aside.
  2. Combine olive oil and white wine vinegar to cover the fish. Marinate the steaks in the refrigerator for at least a half hour to an hour, turning them once.
  3. Before you grill them, drain the steaks and pat them dry with a clean towel.
  4. Prepare a gas or charcoal grill. Rub the grate with oil to prevent sticking.
  5. Grill 4-5 minutes on high heat on each side.

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18 Responses to “To Broil a Sturgeon”

  1. December 3rd, 2010

    Martha & Dick Hartley says:

    We found your new on-line “History is Served” showing the sturgeon recipe & prep video. Wow! We really like this approach – it gives us out in the field the old receipt and source plus your translation for the modern kitchen. We get to see you doing actual preparation! This is a really good outreach program for cooks of many varieties. We are delighted that you plan to do more of these and look forward to viewing them. Many thanks to those who make this possible. Excellence is what we expect and get from CWF. We’re looking forward to our next visit at Williamsburg.
    Martha and Dick Hartley

  2. December 5th, 2010

    Pam Williams says:

    Wow! What a wonderful early Christmas present for all the foodies out here. A real cook’s treat! Can’t wait to see more…keep up the great work. Thank you!

  3. December 6th, 2010

    Dave Hudgins says:

    I love the recipes from Williamsburg. Looking forward to more posted here!

  4. December 14th, 2010

    Phil says:

    Wow, this is fantatstic! I love this new addition to the site and look forward to trying this and other recipes!

  5. December 14th, 2010

    Lucy says:

    Wonderful recipe! My family is crazy about fish dishes! I’m sure they’ll enjoy this one! Thank you for posting it!

  6. December 15th, 2010

    Cherryn W says:

    This is awesome! I love this new addition to the website. I will definitely put the recipes to good use.

  7. December 16th, 2010

    Deborah Brower says:

    Great idea! Look forward to seeing what else you do.

  8. December 17th, 2010

    Jim W says:

    This is a great addition to the Williamsburg website.
    I have all the Williamsburg cook books and these recipes will be a wonderful addition!

  9. December 24th, 2010

    Nicole says:

    It looks so good. Do you have anything else. Love Nicole from Chicgo IL

  10. December 26th, 2010

    Kathy Ruse says:

    Putting historic recipes and videos on-line is a great idea! I tried this recipe for our Christmas Eve dinner, using salmon. It was delicious, but I do want to point out that the 21st c. directions do not tell you what to do with the herbs! If I hadn’t watched the video of the 18th c. cooking, I wouldn’t have known…. Thanks though–and looking forward to the next one!

  11. December 28th, 2010

    Dan says:

    It’s really great to see this addition to the website – I’ve always hoped you guys would do something like this. Well done!

  12. December 31st, 2010

    Alexandra Deutsch says:

    My husband and I made this last night for an 18th century dinner party and it was delicious. I substituted swordfish. It was so easy. I am adding this marinade to my list of “go to” recipes. I adore this new aspect of the CW website and can’t wait to see more receipts!

  13. January 3rd, 2011

    Historic Foodways says:

    Thanks for all your comments and feedback! We love hearing your experiences and seeing your pictures. Keep coming back for more great recipes to try.

  14. January 18th, 2011

    Carrie says:

    This looks delicious! I am a total cooking newbie, though, and I live in an apartment with no grill. Would this work broiling them in the oven, or with a grill pan on the stove? What temperature or stove setting do you think would work?

    • January 18th, 2011

      Historic Foodways says:

      Yes, that would work fine.

      Preheat your broiler and place the oven rack in the highest position. Then, lightly coat your chicken in the herbs and bread crumb mixture. Place the chicken on a baking tray on the highest rack in the oven.

      Broil the chicken for about 5 to 6 minutes and then flip it and broil for another 5 minutes or so until you get some dark color on the outer skin and the meat is beginning to cook. Then place the chicken in a stewpot on the stove with the other ingredients and let it stew.

      I am sure you will find it delicious!

      Frank Clark, Historic Foodways

  15. January 24th, 2011

    Carrie says:

    Thanks for the response! Although, I think you thought I was commenting on the Chicken the French Way recipe. I was asking about the Sturgeon. The chicken is on my must-try list too, though.

  16. January 24th, 2011

    toby says:

    very interesting food ideas.

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