Prawn cocktail with Mary Rose sauce. Now, I ask you, doesn't that sound good? I spoke with my mother-in-law on Christmas day and she and Peter made the traditional Christmas roast chicken dinner with roast potatoes, carrots and peas, with that wonderful gravy that is made with Bovril cubes. This meal is ...well, it is wonderful, that is all I can say! Peter is in charge of the roast potatoes and he is also the one who chooses the wine! (And I know they had their Christmas crackers and wore their little hats!) THIS year, Joan told me that she also made a Prawn cocktail with Mary Rose sauce and that she made the sauce herself. I have had this sauce when I was in England but it made me wonder, why is it called that? She told me that it had to have something to do with the old ship, the Mary Rose....
On July 19, 1545, the famous Tudor warship, the Mary Rose sank off the coast of England in the Battle of Solent. This ship was a favorite's of Henry VIII, said to be named after his sister. (This seems doubtful to me. I have also read that it was more likely named after the Virgin Mary, also known as the Mystic Rose at the time.) It was not until 1982 that the ship was brought up out of the waters. It was quite the job to do this, you may read more about it here. You may learn even more detail at this link- Mary Rose.
The salvage work took many years and of course, these men had to be fed! One day they had run out of sauce for the prawns (we call them shrimp in America!) and so the chef simply mixed a few ingredients together. He called it Mary Rose sauce! I didn't have time to ask my mother-in-law for her recipe and I don't know the exact amounts, but from my reading, it appears that it is a mixture of ketchup, mayonnaise, salt, lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce! (It is similar to Thousand Island dressing but it is not exactly the same, not to my taste anyway.) I have also seen it called Marie Rose sauce and that was simply due to the fact that for a time any food that had a somewhat "French" name would garner more respect. No matter what it is called, Mary Rose or Marie Rose sauce, I think it is delicious. I like it with prawns inside a baked potato or a jacket potato, as they call it in England! Richard took a photo of my jacket potato with prawns and the Mary Rose sauce when we were in England a few years ago...he was impressed by the number of prawns!
(NOTE - I really don't know for certain that the Royal Navy chef came up with this recipe for the sauce while the work was being done to raise the ship. It DOES make for a good story but I have also read that it was invented by a woman named Fanny Cradock. Oh well, no matter how or who created it, I really like it!)
UPDATE- Please look in my comments and you will see 3 different recipes for Mary Rose Sauce from Lee from Australia! Thank you, Lee! She has the most wonderful recipes on her blog, go and visit her, why don't you? You may find her blog here!
Thanks again, Lee!
By the way, if you go to that link, you will see that the museum in Portsmouth which houses the Mary Rose closed in the autumn of 2015 but will re open in the summer of 2016! Go there, why don't you, and say that I sent you! And eat some Mary Rose sauce while you are at it! (I think we should say Mary Rose instead of Marie Rose!)
Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! Merry? Happy? Yes!!