There are a number of medieval recipes for this dish. This is a version of the more common ones, using beef instead of veal. The result is a pleasantly different and spicy stew, perfect for dunking slices of bread. If hyssop is unavailable, leave it out. If verjuice is unavailable, use 1/4 cup wine and 1/8 cup lemon juice 2-3 lbs. beef, cut into cubes 1 Tbsp. parsley 1 tsp. sage 1 tsp. hyssop 1/2 tsp. cloves 1/4 tsp. mace 4 egg yolks 3/8 cups verjuice 1/2 tsp. ginger 1 tsp. salt pinch saffron Put the beef into a large pot along with water to cover – about 8 cups. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Skim off and discard any scum that forms on the surface. Add parsley, sage, hyssop, cloves, and mace. Stir well and simmer for another 30 minutes, or until the beef is tender. Temper the egg yolks in a separate bowl by slowly whisking in a cup or two of the broth from the pot. Add the remaining ingredients to the pot along with the egg mixture and stir. Remove from heat when as soon as it comes back to a boil.
Fish dishes that will please the general public can be hard to find, and medieval ones are even more elusive. The following recipe makes a wonderfully light dish that is excellent served over rice. The combination of the wine and spices completely eliminates any possible trace of fishiness, so it’s perfect for even the most fussy eaters (both of my kids liked it). •4 perch fillets •1/2 cup red wine •1/2 cup water •1/8 cup sugar •1/2 tsp. Powder Fine •1/2 slice bread, ground •olive oil •mace •cloves •pepper •salt Rinse perch fillets, place in a baking dish, and bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes. Put wine, water, bread crumbs, and fine spice powder into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to medium heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Remove the fish from the baking dish and pan-fry it in olive oil for about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, cloves, and mace to taste. Serve hot topped with the wine sauce.
This is a very simple soup recipe with ingredients that are very easy to have on hand. It’s warm and flavorful, without being overpowering. Note that the more finely the almonds are ground, the less of a “grainy” texture the final soup will have. 1 cup cooked chicken 1 Tbsp. butter or lard 2 cups chicken broth 1/2 cup ground almonds 1 tsp. cinnamon 1/4 tsp. ginger 1/8 tsp. cloves 1/8 tsp. grains of paradise 1/4 tsp. salt Cut chicken into small pieces and sautee in butter until it starts to brown. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, and simmer until thick. Serve hot.
A very simple sauce, this can be used as a substitute for modern barbecue sauce. I served it with chicken for a dinner with friends and it was well liked. •2/3 cup honey •4 Tbsp. prepared mustard •1/4 cup red wine Mix ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a low boil. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Serve warm.
Pigge or Chiken in Sauge
This is a variant on Cold Sage Sauce that I’d done quite a while ago. It’s much simpler and more piquant, and has a flavor reminiscent of deviled eggs. The original source did not say to cook the sauce at all, but I felt it would help mellow the ingredients a bit. •2 hard-boiled eggs (yolks only) •2 tsp. sage •1/2 tsp. ginger •1/4 tsp. salt •1/8 tsp. pepper •1/4 cup red wine vinegar
This is an interesting recipe- somewhere between jelly and pudding. It reminds me of some grape pudding I tried many years back. I have left out the final step of the recipe which involves alkanet, since there are some health concerns about it. The vinegar is used to help extract the color of the alkanet (dark red) and help infuse it into the fat. •2 cups strawberries •1 cup red wine •1 cup almond milk •2 Tbsp. amidon •1/4 cup currants •pinch saffron •1/8 tsp. pepper •1/2 cup sugar •1/2 tsp. ginger •1/2 tsp. cinnamon Clean and quarter strawberries. Simmer them in red wine until soft. Force berries and wine through a strainer to remove seeds and pulp. Add almond milk, currants, and spices, and return to low boil. Add in amidon (corn starch can be used as a substitute) and stir until thick. Remove from heat, garnish with pomegranite seeds, and serve warm.
This recipe has earned a gold star in my personal cookbook. Not only is it a vegetable dish that most people seem to like, it travels well in a cooler, it can be served cold, and it’s tidy enough to be eaten without utensils. Best of all, with a couple of changes it becomes incredibly easy to make and still retains its medieval flavor. Since beet leaves aren’t available at the local grocery, I normally use only spinach. 1/2 pound spinach, washed and chopped 1/2 cup parsley 6 eggs 2 cups mozzarella, grated 1/2 cup parmesan, grated 1 tsp. chervil 1 tsp. fennel 1 tsp. powder fine Wash spinach and parsley, and chop them well. Beat eggs in a large bowl, add greens and remaining ingredients, and mix well. Pour into pie crust and bake at 350°F until firm – about an hour.
This is an incredibly easy pie to make. Boiling the peaches before putting them in the pie seems a bit odd at first, but it allows the use of slightly under-ripe peaches and also reduces the baking time. •5 peaches (4 cups) •1/4 cup red wine •3/4 cup sugar •1/2 tsp. cinnamon •1/2 tsp. ginger •1/4 tsp. salt Peel peaches, remove pits, and slice. Parboil in water until just tender. Drain peaches well and place in pie crust. Make syrup of sugar, spices, and wine. Pour over peaches and cover with top crust, making a few slits in the top. Bake at 425°F for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 350°F and bake until done, about 30-40 minutes more.
Bake Mete Ryalle
This simple recipe is perfect for using up leftover cooked pork. It has a flavor and aroma that is more than a bit like glazed ham. The original recipe called for marrow which can be hard to get at the local market. I’ve used butter in its place, but lard or suet should also work. If you can’t find cubebs, subsitute 1 tsp. of black pepper and a pinch of orange peel. 2 lbs. pork 1/2 tsp. cloves 1/4 tsp. mace 2 tsp. cubebs 2 Tbsp. sugar 4 Tbsp. butter double recipe for Short Paest for Tarts Boil or slow-cook the pork until tender. Allow to cool and then chop into small pieces. Add spices and sugar, put into pie crust, dot with butter, cover with a top crust, and bake at 350°F until golden brown – about 30 minutes. Serve hot.
While the combination of eggs and apples seems a bit odd, I’ve served Rique-Manger to my family a good number of times. My kids love it, and even the most picky eater among the cousins had a second helping. •1 apple •2 to 3 eggs •butter •powder fine •pinch saffron, ground Peel, core, and slice apples, and Parboil them in water until just tender. Drain off the water and then fry them in butter. Remove from pan and set aside. Beat eggs and fry, adding apples back to the pan just before they’re finished. Sprinkle with fine spice powder and saffron. Serve hot.
Onion and Parsley Salad
I’ve found a number of variations of this recipe served as a garnish for boiled seafood and other meats. While I use garlic here, some recipes leave it out, and others have called for cinnamon or cloves. •1 medium onion •1 bunch parsley •2 cloves garlic (add more or less to taste) •red wine vinegar Chop the onion and parsley well and mix. Mince and add garlic. Add enough vinegar to moisten everything. Mix and allow time for flavors to mingle.
A wine based custard that is still popular in Italy. There are some similar recipes in French and English medieval sources that I still have to try out. •6 eggs •1 cup sweet wine (Marsala) •1/4 cup sugar Mix ingredients together well. Place in a saucepan over medium heat and cook until thick, stirring constantly with a whisk. Serve warm or cold.
Yellow Pepper Sauce
This tart and spicy sauce is rather curious as it’s a pepper sauce made without pepper. For this interpretation, I’ve added the grains of paradise which have a similar flavor. Not having any verjuice on hand, I substituted white wine and lemon juice. 2 to 3 slices bread, toasted 3/4 cup white wine 1/4 cup white vinegar 1 Tbsp. lemon juice 1/4 tsp. ginger 1/4 tsp. grains of paradise, ground pinch saffron 1/4 tsp. salt Tear toast into pieces and place in a bowl with wine, vinegar, and lemon juice. Allow to soak, stirring occasionally, until bread turns to mush. Strain through a fine sieve into a saucepan, pressing well to get as much the liquid as possible out of the bread. Add spices and bring to a low boil, simmering until thick. Serve warm.
A Dishe of Artechokes
One of the many vegetable dishes served in medieval England, this is simple to prepare but still delicious and elegant. 10 – 12 artichoke bottoms, cooked 1/2 tsp. pepper 1/2 tsp. cinnamon 1/2 tsp. ginger 2 Tbsp. water 1 Tbsp. large crystal sugar 4 Tbsp. butter dash vinegar Mix pepper, cinnamon, and ginger with water. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Add artichoke bottoms and allow to marinate for 15 minutes. Place into baking dish and add butter and vinegar. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with sugar and serve.
This cabbage dish will make an excellent side to a main meat entree. •1 lg head of cabbage (or 2 smaller ones) •9oz stone-ground mustard •4oz honey •1/2 cup white wine •1 tsp caraway seeds/li> Boil cabbage until just tender (cabbage should be soft, but not mushy). Mix remaining ingredients in a saucepot and bring to a slow boil for about 5 minutes. Peel leaves from cabbage head. Pour sauce over cabbage and chill. Serve cold.
Black Grape Sauce
This sauce of grapes is a wonderful complement to a roast of beef or pork. •1/2 pound black grapes •1/4 cup water •1/4 cup red wine •1 tsp sugar •1/4 tsp cinnamon •1/4 tsp clove •1/8 tsp nutmeg •1/8 tsp pepper •1/8 tsp ginger •1/4 cup water •1/4 cup red wine Crush grapes (this can be done with a motar and pestel, or by pulsing them a couple of times in a food processor). Put grapes, water, wine, and spices into a saucepot and simmer until the sauce reduces a bit. Serve with your choice of roast.
A dish of onions and mashed beans stewed in broth and seasoned with saffron. Master Edouard Halidai suggests that fava beans would be most appropriate for this recipe. They can be found in the foreign sections of many grocery stores either canned or dry. If you’re having trouble locating them, you might consider using kidney or pinto beans in their place. 16-20 oz. fava beans, cooked and lightly mashed 1 large onion, chopped into large pieces 2 cups broth A pinch of saffron, ground in a mortar Salt, to taste (optional) Set the broth to boil on the stove. Add the cooked and lightly mashed fava beans and the onions to the broth. Add the saffron and cook until onions are translucent. Taste the dish, and add salt if necessary. Serves 4.
A dish of poultry smothered in a sweet, spicy white wine sauce with dates and pine nuts. The original recipe calls for chicken, however I used seitan instead of the meat so that the final dish would be an excellent alternate vegan dish for a vegetarian at a meat-heavy feast. Seitan is a chewy product made from wheat gluten, with a texture that mimics that of chicken quite nicely. While it was developed in Asia well before the medieval period begins, it was not used in England in the middle ages. 2 cups Reisling white wine 4 tbsp sugar 1/2 tsp ginger 1/4 tsp cinnamon 1/8 tsp ground cloves 1 tsp olive oil 1/4 cup chopped dates 1/4 cup pine nuts 1 package of chicken-style seitan red sandalwood, to color appropriate shade of red Set the wine to boil and dissolve the sugar in it. Then add the spices to the wine base, and then color it with red sandalwood until it becomes reddish. Meanwhile, brown dates and pine nuts in olive oil, and then add them to the wine base. Allow to boil gently until reduced a little into a sauce-like consistency. Drain the water from the package of seitan and pull it apart with your fingers into bite-sized pieces. Add the seitan to the wine base, and heat until the seitan is hot.
Recipes for barley water appear more often in medieval medical texts than in cookbooks. Still, it’s a light and pleasant non-alcoholic drink. There are many different versions of this recipe in the middle ages that add various flavorings such as licorace root, rose water, anise seed, and figs. 1/4 cup pearl barley 2 Tbsp. sugar 2 cups boiling water Peel and juice from 1 lemon Combine all ingredients, cover, and let sit until cold. Strain before serving.