Take out the backbone of the FISH; for one weighing two pounds take a tablespoonful of allspice and cloves mixed; these spices should be put into little bags of not too thick muslin; put sufficient salt directly upon each FISH; then roll in cloth, over which sprinkle a little cayenne pepper; put alternate layers of FISH, spice and sage in an earthen jar; cover with the best cider vinegar; cover the jar closely with a plate, and over this, put a covering of dough, rolled out to twice the thickness of pie crust. Make the edges of paste, to adhere closely to the sides of the jar, so as to make it air tight. Put the jar into a pot of cold water and let it boil from three to five hours, according to quantity. Ready when cold.
The Whitehouse Cookbook, by Mrs. F.L. Gillette (Year 1887)