A Feast for Jonathan Swift

A scene from Gullivers Travels, from the British Library

Anglo-Irish writer Jonathan Swift died 272 years ago today. Swift is remembered for works such as A Tale of a Tub (1704), An Argument Against Abolishing Christianity (1712), Gulliver’s Travels (1726), and A Modest Proposal (1729).

Encyclopædia Britannica refers to him as the foremost prose satirist in the English language. He originally published all of his works under pseudonyms such as Lemuel Gulliver, Isaac Bickerstaff, the Drapier, or anonymously.

In A Modest Proposal For preventing the Children of Poor People From being a Burthen to Their Parents or Country, and For making them Beneficial to the Publick, Swift suggests that the impoverished Irish might ease their economic troubles by selling their children as food for rich gentlemen and ladies. Consequently, here is a recipe that calls for pork but could just as easily use “long pork,” Creamy Slow Cooked Pork Casserole.

2 tbsp vegetable oil
500g (1.1 pounds) diced pork
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
¼ tsp celery salt (optional)
1 onion, peeled and chopped
12 baby mushrooms, chopped in half
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
250ml (1 cup) dry cider
420ml (1¾ cups) chicken or vegetable stock (water plus 2 stock cubes is fine, or use 2 tsp bouillon for gluten free)
½ tsp dried thyme
150g (1/2 cup) bacon lardons or chopped streaky bacon
1 tbsp cornflour (cornstarch) mixed with 3 tbsp cold water
60ml (1/4 cup) double (heavy) cream
2 tbsp freshly chopped parsley


While your author in no way advocates breaking the law, the Church of Euthanasia provides instructions for Butchering the Human Carcass for Human Consumption.


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