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66 A game pie
Take beef fat, and chop it small, and rosemary, which can be fresh or dried. If you have none, take marjoram or anise or sage, as much as you would like. Chop them finely together, put cloves, pepper, ginger and salt into it, as much as you would like, pour one pint of wine on it. The game must be cooked beforehand. And make a shaped pastry the same way as for the veal pie, and let it bake, serve it warm. In this manner one can also prepare a loin roast.

Yes, another leftover pie!

I adapted this ever so slightly; larger cubes of beef, and an onion stood in for the beef fat. It’s an herb, right?

Definitely use leftover beef from a roast, or brown some cubes as I did, without dredging in flour first.

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2 lbs beef

1/4 lb beef fat or 1 small onion

1/2 T sage

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/4 tsp cloves

1/4 tsp ginger (I don’t use this often)

1-2 c wine

2 pie crusts, or a hot water coffyn crust, or what you will. Blind bake if you wish, it is a wet dish

Season the beef with the dry spices.

Prepare the pie crust.

Layer fat (or onion) beef, then fat, then beef

Lay the Sprinkle the wine overtop of the pie contents

Close up the top and bake.

 

 

Web. 20 Apr. 2015. <http://www.daviddfriedman.com/Medieval/Cookbooks/Sabrina_Welserin.html>.

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Sometimes a recipe fails for completely modern reasons.

Hemp seed “mustard”, a porridge, is about the same consistency as a grainy mustard, but has a very different composition. IMG_5262 IMG_5263 IMG_5267

We take the seeds, cook them, separate the hulls from the nutmeats, cook in broth, then in almond milk, thicken with sugar and breadcrumbs, then season with ginger, safffron, and rosewater.

However, I have a modern problem. I worked hard to get hemp seeds. I had the choice of hulled, salted, roasted, or plain roasted. I could not, for perfectly viable reasons, source raw seeds.

No matter what I did, how hard I pounded with the mortar and pestle, how much time I spent, I could not separate the hulls. I tried. I spent the day wiith food processors, burr grinders, a wheat mill, mortar and pestle, and the rest of the stuff currently in the sink and dish machine.

I continued with the dish as written, keeping in mind the 12 oz pound, and simmered, crushed, simmered, folded, simmered, and seasoned away.

Nothing could save this dish except moving to Colorado.

 

I tasted it again a while later. There is almost no analogue to hemp seeds easily available in the US. Flax isn’t the same, chia won’t work, and so on, but I may try this with decidedly non-European teff or amaranth to see what I think, some time in the future after I have forgotten the trauma of this experience.

 

Scully, Terence. The Neapolitan Recipe Collection: (New York, Pierpont Morgan Library, MS Bühler, 19) : A Critical Edition and English Translation. Ann Arbor, Mich.: U of Michigan, 2000. 180. Print.

 

Recipe XXVI. One should roast a hen and cut it into pieces. Add to some broth lard, a little garlic, salt, and egg yolks, and cook the hen in this.

For a rare change, this recipe calls for the bird to be roasted before being simmered. Often, the meat is seethed first, for humoural reasons.

This was an old laying hen. They are difficult to acquire, but a guinea fowl will have a similar flavor and behave similarly.

Roast the chicken. I don’t have a spit available, because the weather is awful, so I spatchcocked the bird and roasted it with salt and pepper. Not that they are called for, but this bird is special and I wanted salt and pepper.

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After roasting, while it cooled, I broke the bird as best I could, This is not a tender bird.

Prepare the broth. If you wish to add fat, as called for, do not use modern bacon. it’s candied and smoked, rather than just salted.

Temper the yolks.IMG_5258

That’s a most-likely modern step, as the result of yolks that don’t curdle is not mentioned, but it’s worth a shot.

To temper yolks, allow the eggs to come to room temperature, and separate the yolks from the whites.

 Warm the broth, and while beating the yolks, add half-ounce portions of hot broth to the not-cold yolks. Keep beating.

Eventually, the yolks will be about the same temperature as the broth, and can be poured into the main pot.

Decide how much you like garlic, and simmer everything together for about a half hour on a reasonably low flame.

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1 hen, roasted and cooled.

1 quart broth, not skimmed. Lard or salt fat if you have it, but not modern bacon fat, which is candied and smoked.

2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed (we like garlic!)

1 tsp salt, less if you are using salted fat, more if you like more.

3 yolks, beaten

Break the bird into serving portions which best suit your needs.

Place in pot with broth, garlic, fat, salt, and tempered yolks.

Simmer on low flame for approximately a half hour. If you have a tender, more modern bird, just simmer til warmed through.

The broth makes an excellent soup base, if you prefer not to re-use it for the same dish. Freeze between uses, and strain well, if you do choose to re-use it.

Excellent use of leftovers.

 

 

 

Grewe, Rudolf. Libellus De Arte Coquinaria: An Early Northern Cookery Book. Tempe: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 2001. Print.

Finally, it is spring. It’s been quite the winter, as we are all a little too aware.

Now, at long last, it’s time to plant the garden.

This weekend will include hoeing out the remnants of last year’s beds, where the plants did not overwinter, then folding in

aged compost, which I made about three years ago. Too fresh and it can burn the roots of tender plants.

Not having a greenhouse, or a staff, I will be planting in the garden beds where things will grow.

We have lovage, borage, hyssop, rue, sage, a few kinds of thyme, pinks,  lettuces, turnips, radishes,

purple carrots, white carrots, and this year, I plan to try peas again. It’s been too tempting to the bunnies in the past.

We ought to know if any of the baby trees survived the year soon.

I am so thrilled!

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Figge (4)

If you enjoy the occasional cheese platter with trimmings, you are likely familiar with Pan des Higos, the fig wedge stuffed with Marcona almonds.

This is similar, but with raisins instead of almonds. It benefits from access to some equipment, and from patience,

Simmering the figs in wine takes some care. You want them to plump, then begin to burst, but be cautious not to allow any to burn.

Figge (5)

A figge

To mak a figge tak figges and boile them in wyne
then bray them in a mortair put ther to bred and
boile it with wyne cast ther to clowes maces guinger
pynes and hole, raissins and florisshe it withe pongar-
nettes and serue it.
4 lbs figs
1 lbs raisins
1 bottle wine (I used a riesling type, semisec. Pick one that goes well with figs.)

1 tsp cloves
2 tsp ginger
2 tsp mace
1/2 tsp salt

Fig jam for the cheeses

Bowl, spreader.

Simmer figs in wine til they are soft and bursting.
Run through a meat grinder.

Fold in raisins and spices.

Place in a mold or form.

Put in a warm oven or cool area overnight to set, then unmold, wrap in paper, and store for as long as it needs to dry some.

Cut into wedges, wrap and store, serve as an accompaniment to cheeses.

 

We both tasted as we seasoned, in hopes of enhancing the flavors rather than spicing the food. It’s meant to complement other foods rather than to be a centerpiece.

I was dreading braying it in a mortar. This would be outdoor work, with a fair amount of loss, as cooked figs are so juicy. Instead, it went through the meat grinder. That took about 10 minutes and was far less scary than a mortar would have been.

Figge (7)

After adding the raisins and spicing it, the dish is to be served. However, we need a dry consistency, and a dish which will hold, so I put it into pans and dehydrated it.

It is currently wrapped in paper, on a rack, awaiting the day it will be served. I can’t wait.

Cormarye (10)

Cormarye. XX.II. XIII. Take Colyandre, Caraway smale grounden, Powdour of Peper and garlec ygrounde in rede wyne, medle alle þise togyder and salt it, take loynes of Pork rawe and fle of the skyn, and pryk it wel with a knyf and lay it in the sawse, roost þerof what þou wilt, & kepe þat þat fallith þerfro in the rosting and seeþ it in a possynet with faire broth, & serue it forth witþ þe roost anoon.

Cormarye (12)

I had not run into this dish before, but it was on a menu recently and intrigued me. The spices are very simple. The instructions are very basic. The results remind me of pastrami. Thanks much to Annetje van Woerden for pointing out the recipe!

Take coriander, caraway ground small, pepper, garlic which has been crushed in red wine. Meddle all this together and salt it. Take raw pork loin, well pricked, and lay it in the sauce. Roast it, but keep the fat.  When it is roasted, seeth it in a tight pot in nice broth. Include the drippings.

Cormarye (3)

So simple, so good.

I have done this with many types of meat and not been unhappy with it. My favorite is short ribs.

3 TBS whole coriander

3 TBS whole caraway seeds, crushed well

5 cloves of garlic

1/2 bottle of red wine

4 LBS meat

2 TBS salt

Trim your meat of silverskin, but leave the fat cap.
Prick the meat to allow the marinade to penetrate.

Place in a zip bag.

Pour the spices in the bag, add wine, and squeeze out the air.

Allow to sit overnight or longer, if you wish, it will only improve.

Roast on a rack. I like to put a little water in the bottom of the pan so the drippings don’t burn.

Allow to cool, then seethe (or steam) the meat.

You can carve a larger, roasted piece into useful sections and steam at need.

It’s rather simple, it’s very tasty, and it’s very flexible.

Compost (9)

If you are familiar with Mostardo or Chutney, this dish is pretty approachable.

It’s a mixed pickle of several vegetables, simmered then marinated. It can be canned, and it lasts a fair time.

First, if you don’t have lombard mustard, you might wish to make some.

I like equal proportions of mustard seed, honey, and wine vinegar by weight, and to allow it to age for at least a week in the fridge.

COMPOST. C. Take rote of parsel. pasternak of rasenns. scrape hem waisthe hem clene. take rapes & caboches ypared and icorne. take an erthen panne with clene water & set it on the fire. cast all þise þerinne. whan þey buth boiled cast þerto peeres & parboile hem wel. take þise thynges up & lat it kele on a fair cloth, do þerto salt whan it is colde in a vessel take vineger & powdour & safroun & do þerto. & lat alle þise thinges lye þerin al nyzt oþer al day, take wyne greke and hony clarified togider lumbarde mustard & raisouns corance al hool. & grynde powdour of canel powdour douce. & aneys hole. & fenell seed. take alle þise thynges & cast togyder in a pot of erthe. and take þerof whan þou wilt & serue forth.

Take Parsley root, Carrot (or parsnip), scrape and wash.
Take turnips and cabbages, trimmed appropriately
Put them in a pot, and cook them through.
When they are done, blanch pears.
Blend the items together, and cool overnight.
The next day, when chilled, add salt
then vinegar, “powder” (pepper), and saffron.
The day after that, add “Greek” wine and honey which have been blended together,
and lumbard mustard, as well as currants.
Add cinnamon, poudre douce, and whole anise.
Put it all in a crock, and serve at need.

I keep lumbard mustard and poudre douce in stock, and kept pretty decent records of my garden’s productivity, so I had a good sense of what would have been available.

I am using a moscato as my wine.

I made this a few times. Once, I tried cutting all of the vegetables into different shapes. It wasn’t nice. I ran them through a shredder, a processor, and so on. Eventually I got to cutting them all as close to matchstick as I could, and it worked out nicely.

Also, I don’t recommend those giant storage carrots, they have a watery sweetness that works well in other dishes but not so well in this one.
3 medium carrots, matchstick or rounds

And / Or

2  large parsnips, matchstick

2 larger white turnips, matchstick

1 bunch radishes, about 8-10, matchstick

1/2 medium green cabbage, shredded

4-6 hard pears, chopped

2 TBS -1/2 cup salt

1.5 cup white wine vinegar

1/2 Tbs pepper, ground or 1 TBS whole

a pinch of vinegar

2 c moscato.

1 cup honey

1/4 c lombard mustard

1 cup currants

2 tsp cinnamon (canela)

 

If you like anise, use a teaspoon each. I didn’t because I don’t like it.

Assemble your vegetables, not the pears. Poach them til they are bendy.

Remove them to a colander to cool, use the same water and poach the pears.

Add to the colander.

When fully cooled, add salt.

Once the salt is fully mixed in, add the vinegar, pepper, and saffron.

Then, finally, the next day, add the rest of the ingredients.

Allow it to sit for a week, and taste. If you like it, you can can it now,

or adjust seasonings and flavors first.

If you are low in the canning jars, add more vinegar to top up rather than

wine, in order to boost acidity slightly.

This is 6 canning jars worth. Two didn’t pop their lids, so I am storing them in the fridge and will use them first.

Compost (11)

http://www.medievalcookery.com/search/display.html?forme:99:PSTRNK

Quelquechoses (10)

I think it counts as health food. It also falls under leftover buster.

I have been making quelquechoses this way for probably almost 10 years. It gets a lot of compliments, even when it doesn’t flip neatly.

A couple of things; the recipe after this in the book says you edit the ingredients and still be within the parameters; other meats, other vegetables.

I don’t add meat, because I don’t want to.

Quelquechose makes for a dense, rich breakfast or late supper.

 

To make a quelquechose, which is a mixture of many things together, take eggs and break them, and do away with one half of the whites, and after they are beaten put to them a good quantity of sweet cream, currants, cinnamon, cloves, mace, salt, and a little ginger, spinach, endive, and marigold flowers grossly chopped,, and beat them all very well together; then take pig’s pettitoes sliced, and grossly chopped, and mix them with the eggs, and with your hand stir them exceeding well together, then put sweet butter in your frying pan, and being melted, put in all the rest, and fry it brown without burning, ever and anon turning it til it be fried enough; then dish it up upon a flat plate, and cover it with sugar, and so serve it forth. Only herein is to be observed that your pettitoes must be very well boiled before you put them into the fricassee.

 

4 whole eggs

4 yolks

1/3 c heavy cream

1/4 c currants

1 lbs spinach (or kale, or cabbage, or chard) washed and torn, if needed

1-3 endives, depending on size, chopped

1/2 tsp cinnamon

8 cloves

4 or so blades of mace

a few chunks of ginger

bowls of separate ingredients

If you have pigs feet or other leftover meat cooked to the point of falling apart, reduce the spinach by half, or add another egg and yolk per 1/4 lbs.

 

Crush and combine the spices.

Pour a couple of tablespoons of the cream into the spices and blend them, then put the spices into the cream.
Add the currants to the cream as well, particularly if they are dry.

Fold the cream into the eggs.

Heat a 10-12″ pan, add a decent quantity of unsalted butter, about 2 TBS.

While the butter melts, fold the vegetables into the eggs

Pour the mixture into the pan. I have put a lid on top to help it set up more quickly, as flipping the omelet can be problematic.

omelet that broke while flipping

I used a nonstick pan, but it stuck. I ate it anyway, because it tastes very good.

I don’t add sugar for the dinner version, but I do for the party version.

 

 

Espinacs; Spinach

Si vols fer espinacs sens agua, pren los espinacs e deneja’ls be, e puis llava’ls e fe’n dos o tres trossos. E hages una olla, e mit-hi una llossada d’oli, o’ segons que seran aquells a qui n’huaras a dar. E puis prem-los be e mit-los en l’olla, e mit-hui un poc de sal en guisa que no n’hi haja massa , entro que sien fusos; e estrijolats-los.

If you want to make spinach without water, take the spinach (leaves) and clean them well, and then wash them and make two or three pieces of them. Take a pot, and put in a large spoon of oil, or according to the number of those you will serve it to. Then squeeze them well and put them in the pot, and put in a little salt, but in a way so it is not too much, until they have melted, and cut them up.

(part of an ongoing series in which I share recipes presented at The Lay of El Cid hosted by Barony Bhakail)

Simple fried spinach. This recipe reminds us that not everything served in finer homes was elaborate or fanciful.
1 lb fresh spinach or chard
3 TBS olive oil
1 tsp salt

Rinse spinach, drain or spin well.
Tear larger leaves into small pieces.
Heat pot, place oil in pot.
Add the spinach and salt, be certain to stir to keep the bottom from burning.
Santanach, Joan, trans. Robin Vozelgang. The Book of Sent Sovi Medieval Recipes from Catalonia. First Edition. Barcelona, Spain: Barcino-Tamesis, 2008. 178-179. Print.

loaf of meat wrapped in cheesecloth, cut in half to show the filling, on a plate for service

http://www.daviddfriedman.com/Medieval/Cookbooks/Du_Fait_de_Cuisine/Du_fait_de_Cuisine.html

Recipe 64

 

I read a recent chefs’ text book a few years ago that made me pretty unhappy. It was that old saw about “ate bad meat, used lots of spices.” Lemme tell ya, I have a lot more respect for Medieval cooks than I do for the author of that well regarded book.

It’s hard not to go on a tirade, but if you are unfamiliar with historical cooking, let me assure you that people had the same gastric systems we do, and things that would make us sick would have made them sick. No amount of spices could fix it. Frankly, no one was going to throw good, expensive spices on bad food.

That out of the way, we get to the Green Meat.

This is a form of meatloaf, which is intended to be rolled in caul fat, like a crepinette. It’s to be wrapped in the layer of fat, then spitted and grilled, while being painted with parsley juice to turn it green.

I tried for some time to find the caul fat, and wasn’t able to get it locally. I have a line on it now, but the shoulder of mutton wouldn’t wait a few weeks.

The original recipe is quite long. It’s a set of instructions for making a relatively small amount of meat into a large, festive dish for a crowd.

First, we refresh the meat, taking it from the salt it is preserved in and rehydrating it.

After poaching it, the meat is carefully removed from the bones, taking great care to avoid damaging the bone structure.

It’s minced, blended with the other ingredients, and reformed into a shoulder-shaped loaf on the same bones, then wrapped carefully with the caul fat and roasted.

While it is roasting, it’s to be endored, painted, with the juice of parsley, a popular food coloring.

Having no caul fat, I chose to wrap the meat in cheesecloth, though a terrine also crossed my mind. It was not optimal, but it did work, and we are excited to do it again once we have caul fat in stock.

The resulting dish is a rather elaborate meatloaf, which extends the dish, assures that the meat is of the same quality throughout the dish, and be humorally appropriate for the largest portion of diners.

In fact, at the end of the instructions, there are a few suggested dishes named for in case any diners might have an infirmity, to allow them to have better balanced humors in order to enjoy the shoulder of mutton as well.

The directions are very long. The results are Green Meat.

 

Shoulder and or leg of mutton, rinsed. If salted, then soaked for a time.

Simmer in salt water, then cooled.

Remove the meat completely from the bone, but do not separate the bones.

Mince brie (or Crampone) cheese, add parsley, marjoram, hyssop, and sage.

The spices are ginger, grains of paradise, and some whole cloves to embellish with.

Eggs, saffron, and caul fat, figure it would take four to do a full sized leg of mutton.

Small skewers or toothpicks to pin the cauls on.

Parsley, eggs, and flour for the coloring layer

And an admonition not to overcook the batter in such a way as to lose the green coloration.

I had no choice but to diverge from the recipe in a few undesirable ways.

Our mutton shoulder was poorly cut, so I decided not to build back onto it. The bone would have lent a lot of flavor and helped keep the meat moist, as well as giving the appearance of the original shape.

I used cheesecloth, rather than caul, in order to be able to do the dish at all. Because of this, I used parsley juice alone, rather than egg/wheat batter as a gilding. These choices strongly affect the texture of the dish.

I could not cook over an open fire on a spit, because the grill is under several layers of snow. The cheesecloth would have caught fire anyhow.

What I did was not optimal. Let’s call this a test run worth discussing, not a final.

I am posting it because it was so good, and so easily adapted to feast or picnic use, that it would be rude to keep it to myself for a moment longer.

We had a whole shoulder of mutton, but a couple of shanks would do quite well here for a more modest service, intended for a smaller number of people.

Chiquart Mutton (2) Chiquart Mutton (4) Chiquart Mutton (5) Chiquart Mutton (8) Chiquart Mutton (10) Chiquart Mutton (13)

*if using caul, look for notes after the recipe

1,5 LBS mutton, simmered in water or simple broth

4 oz brie cheese, chilled and minced.

2 raw eggs

2 oz parsley, picked and minced

1/2 tsp dried marjoram

1 tsp sage

1/2 tsp hyssop

3/4 tsp dried ginger

3/4 tsp grains of paradise

1 1/4 tsp salt

12-20 whole cloves

saffron

These instructions are for the simplified iteration using cheesecloth.

Mince the cooked mutton. I used knives, but a processor will do an admirable job.

Beat the eggs, add the saffron to them. Set aside for the moment.

Add the herbs and spices, but not the cloves. Fold together with the cheese. Blend in the eggs to make a homogeneous loaf, not too wet but well stuck together.

Prepare the cheesecloth by dipping it in the broth you  cooked the meat in.

Lay the meat on the cheesecloth, fold it into a tidy parcel.

Mince the rest of the parsley, put it in the blender if you have one. Use a tad of water to help it along. (I don’t have a blender. I used a mortar and pestle. Don’t do that.)

When the parsley is pretty liquid, paint it onto the cheesecloth. Wait a moment for it to saturate, and paint on the rest.

Place the cloves on the surface, piercing the fabric, and roast the loaf on a pan with sides at 350 for about an hour.

*If you are using caul, rinse the caul, stretch it out, and paint it with an egg or two, to help seal it and help it stick to the meat.

Make parsley juice as above.

Blend  two eggs with a quarter cup of flour, and fold in the parsley juice.

Fold the loaf into it, and pin it shut. Paint it with the flour, egg and parsley mixture,

pierce it with the cloves, and roast as above.

To do it properly, you will have closer to 6 pounds of meat, reformed on the bone, which will roast at 200* for 5 hours. The recipe multiplies up pretty well, but you will need more eggs, and several toothpicks to pin on the caul.

Green meat was really tasty. We were disappointed by how much cheese we lost to the cheesecloth, though not surprised.