Monday, August 08, 2011

Interesting Medieval Recipes Found While Doing Research for My Book

Wow! Long title. Maybe it will catch google's attention. One can only hope.

In any case, for my Book 1 which is set in a sort of Medieval Off-World planet I came across a few interesting recipes. Some of which seemed to be written in another language. FUN! They also sound very fattening, not good for one's health and ya couldn't even drink the water to wash it down with. Lots of mead, ale and wine. Tasty. Here's a few recipes I used in my book. After all, we cannot have Warrior Kings go hungry in the ole forests.


Tartes of Flessh

PERIOD: England, 14th century | SOURCE: Forme of Cury |
CLASS: Authentic DESCRIPTION: Pork, chicken, and rabbit pie 
Tartes of flessh.
Take pork ysode and grynde it smale. Take harde eyren isode and ygrounde, and do þerto with chese ygrounde. Take gode powdours and hool spices, sugur, and safroun and salt, and do þerto. Make a coffyn as tofore sayde and do þis þerinne, and plaunt it with smale briddes istyued and connynges, and hewe hem to smale gobettes, and bake it as tofore, and serue it forth.

- Hieatt, Constance B. and Sharon Butler. Curye on Inglish: English Culinary Manuscripts of the Fourteenth-Century (Including the Forme of Cury). New York: for The Early English Text Society by the Oxford University Press, 1985. GODE COOKERY

Tarts of Flesh.
Take pork boiled and grind it small. Take ground hard boiled eggs, and do there-to with ground cheese. Take powders and whole spices, sugar, and saffron and salt, and do there-to. Make a pie shell as said before and do this there-in, and and on top place small stewed birds and rabbit, and cut them to small pieces, and bake it as before, and serve it forth.

INGREDIENTS: Pork, boiled until fully cooked, and then ground. (Be sure to save the broth.) Hard-boiled Eggs, diced Cheese, ground or grated Powders and whole spices - salt, pepper, ginger, clove, parsley, etc. - be creative and use any period spice that you prefer. Sugar Saffron or a few drops yellow food coloring Salt Reserved broth One nine-inch pie shell Small whole chicken pieces, parboiled Rabbit, in pieces, parboiled

DIRECTIONS: Combine first 7 ingredients in a large bowl. Add enough of the saved broth to thoroughly saturate the mixture and hold it together - it should be thick and slightly runny. Place this filling in the pie shell. Arrange cooked pieces of chicken and rabbit on top. Bake until the pastry is golden brown and the filling has set. Serve forth!


A Hare Hashed 
PERIOD: England, 17th century | SOURCE: The Whole Duty of a Woman: Or a Guide to the Female Sex, 1696 | CLASS: Authentic

DESCRIPTION: Rabbit stewed in wine and flavoured with nutmeg and lemon. A Hare Hashed. Cut it out in quarters, chine it, and lay it in Clarret, mixed with three parts of water, and parboyl it, then slice the flesh in thin pieces, and lay it on your stew pan, let this be off the Body, but the legs wings, and head whole, almost cover it with some of the liquor it was boyled in, add some Butter, sliced Nutmeg, the juce of Lemon, and a little beaten Ginger, serve it upon sippets, Garnish it with Lemon, and sliced Onion.


Weak Honey Drink (More commonly called Small Mead)

Digby p. 107/147

Take nine pints of warm fountain water, and dissolve in it one pint of pure White-honey, by laving it therein, till it be dissolved. Then boil it gently, skimming it all the while, till all the scum be perfectly scummed off; and after that boil it a little longer, peradventure a quarter of an hour. In all it will require two or three hours boiling, so that at last one third part may be consumed. About a quarter of an hour before you cease boiling, and take it from the fire, put to it a little spoonful of cleansed and sliced Ginger; and almost half as much of the thin yellow rind of Orange, when you are even ready to take it from the fire, so as the Orange boil only one walm in it.

Then pour it into a well-glased strong deep great Gally-pot, and let it stand so, till it be almost cold, that it be scarce Luke-warm. Then put to it a little silver-spoonful of pure Ale-yest, and work it together with a Ladle to make it ferment: as soon as it beginneth to do so, cover it close with a fit cover, and put a thick dubbled woollen cloth about it. Cast all things so that this may be done when you are going to bed. Next morning when you rise, you will find the barm gathered all together in the middle; scum it clean off with a silver-spoon and a feather, and bottle up the Liquor, stopping it very close. It will be ready to drink in two or three days; but it will keep well a month or two. It will be from the first very quick and pleasant.

11 pints water
1 T peeled, sliced fresh ginger (~1/4 oz)
1/2 t yeast
1 pint honey = 1 1/2 lb
1/2 T orange peel

Dissolve the honey in the water in a large pot and bring to a boil. Let it boil down to 2/3 the original volume (8 pints), skimming periodically. This will take about 2 1/2 to 3 hours; by the end it should be clear. About 15 minutes before it is done, add the ginger. At the end, add the orange peel, let it boil a minute or so, and remove from the heat. The orange peel should be the yellow part only, not the white; a potato peeler works well to get off the peel. Let the mead cool to lukewarm, then add the yeast. The original recipe appears to use a top fermenting ale yeast, but dried bread yeast works. Cover and let sit 24-36 hours. Bottle it, using sturdy bottles; the fermentation builds up considerable pressure. Refrigerate after three or four days. Beware of exploding bottles. The mead will be drinkable in a week, but better if you leave it longer.


Debby A.


Zerilius said...

Very interesting dishes! I love the old English.

Comment signed under blog character name. ( can't figure out how to change that!)

The Gatekeeper said...

Oh, re: comment signed under blog character name. Let's see if I remember this. Go to LayOut and click in the post box edit area. A box should appear where you can change that. Let me know if that worked.

Susan Skommesa said...

Very fun article. Appreciate the translation greatly!

Cassandra said...

New blog follower. Follow if you can.

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m. christine weber said...

THIS is a fabulous post ;-). Perhaps it's because I'm a sucker for nostalgia and food, or perhaps because I'm researching a similar time period. Either way, I'm now tempted to make one of these!

I'm a new blog follower--via google (found you through Book Blogs)--and thought I'd say hello. Feel free to drop on by my space whenever!

- a girl & her books

Clare said...

i tried your suggestion. I still see Zerilius so I'm trying the "Choose an identity" feature to see if that works.