March 2011


I wanted to make something to go with the beef stew. This pottage of rice, or rice porridge, was nice surprise. It tasted very good!

Pottage of Rice (serves 4)

Laud MS. 553, Volume I

Take you rice, wash them clean, seethe them until it break; let them cool, put thereto almond milk, or of cow, color it with saffron, salt it & give forth.

My thoughts:

4 dl water

4 dl rice

2 dl milk

pinch of saffron

salt

Bring water to boil and add the rice and saffron to water. Stir and let boil for about 5 minutes. Add milk, stir and boil briefly. Remove from the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes with lid on until the rice is cooked and the liquid disappeared. Season it with salt.

This meat stew was tasty one. Quite spicy also, so I reduced the amount of spices from the recipe that I tried. But of course as always you should add as much spices than you like if there are no mention about amounts. More about Pottage of Rice in next post :).

Beef y-Stywyd (serves 4)

Harleian MS. 279, I Volume

Take fair beef of the ribs of the fore-quarters, and smite in fair pieces, and wash the beef into a fair pot; then take the water that the beef was seethed in, and strain it through a strainer, and seethe the same water and beef in a pot, and let them boil together; then take cinnamon, cloves, mace, grains of paradise, cubebs, and onions minced, parsley, and sage, and cast thereto, and let them boil together, and then take a loaf of bread, and step it with broth and vinegar, and then draw it through a strainer, and let it be still; and when it is near enough, cast the liquor thereto, but not too much, and let boil once, and cast saffron thereto a quantity; then take salt and vinegar, and cast thereto, and look that it be poignant enough,& serve forth.


 

My thoughts:

700 g stew beef

350 g onions

6 ½ dl or more water

½ dl bread crumbs

½ dl parsley chopped

1 tablespoon dried sage (or 5-10 fresh sage leaves)

2 teaspoons cinnamon

½ teaspoon cloves

1 teaspoon grains of paradise

5 whole cubeb peppers

pinch of mace

pinch of saffron

1 tablespoon vinegar

salt

Cut the beef in fair cubes. Chop onions and chop fresh herbs. Bring water to boil and add beef cubes into boiling water. Add spices and onions. Reduce the heat and let it simmer together as long  it takes meat to cook tender (about 1-2 hours). This is slow food :). Check time to time that the stew doesn’t dry. Add more water if needed. Then take breadcrumbs, little bit liquid from stew and vinegar and mix them together as fine as possible. Add the mixture to the stew and let it boil briefly. Then add herbs and boil it briefly again. Taste and add more vinegar and salt if needed. It should taste little bit sour.

Comments:

Grains of paradise (or Melegueta pepper, alligator pepper, Guinea grains) and Cubebs (tailed pepper, Java pepper) are not very easily found in Finland. I have got my grains of paradise from friend from Germany and cubebs I have found in Ruohonjuuri store at Turku. But last time I went there they told me that they have stopped selling long pepper and cubebs because lack of demand. In medieval times those peppers where quite commonly used in Europe. But you can leave them away if you don’t have any and use black pepper as substitute.

Andrew Dalby (in book Dangerous tastes, the story of spices) tells that cubeb pepper is relative of the black pepper tree. And about grains of paradise he says that grains of paradise are relative to cardamom.

I got this award from Alitsa today :). Thank you! (My first award ever!)

So now I need to answer in five questions and give this away for five awesome and gorgeous blogs.
1. When did you start your blog?

Just recently, about month ago.
2. What is it about?
Mainly it’s a challenge for me :D.. I write about cooking medieval food.
3. What are the differences between this blog than others?
Well, this blog is supposed to end when one year is over.
4. Why did you started it?
I wanted to challenge myself and I found out that I haven’t got enough time to make medieval food at home.
5. What would you like to chance in your blog?
I had difficulties with the appearance. I didn’t want to pay money and get better theme for the blog. Maybe next time?
And the award goes for these 5 gorgeus blogs:

Hibernaatiopesäke

Neulakko

Oikeus olla rajaolento

Textile time travels

Mullan alla

Ooh.. only for five 😦 I know so may gorgeous blogs!

This recipe might be the easiest medieval recipe ever :D. I hope that it shows really how easy it is to cook medieval food. I am sure that many of you have made this dish at home at some point. It is really scrambled eggs with fried onions. I decide not to scramble the eggs instead I made an omelette.

Hanoney

Harleian MS. 4016, I Volume

Take eggs, and draw the yolks and white through a strainer, And take onions, And Shred them small. And take fair butter or grease, and scarcely cover over the pan therewith. And fry the onions together, then let them fry together a little while. And take them up, And serve them forth so, all broken in a dish.

My thoughts:

1 small onion chopped

4 eggs

butter for frying

(salt and pepper)

Melt the butter in the pan. Beat the eggs in a bowl and add salt and pepper to taste. Fry the onions till tender and golden brown. Add beaten eggs and lower the temperature little bit. Carefully stir the eggs little bit and then let it cook. Cook until the eggs have set on the top and the bottom is golden brown. Fold the omelette in half and serve. This recipe is for 1-2 people.

Comments:

Again salt and pepper are not listed as ingredients in translated text. It is quite common that salt is not mentioned in medieval recipes. It doesn’t necessarily always mean that salt is not supposed to add for the dish. So you can leave salt and pepper away if you wish.

That’s all about eggs for now… next time something completely different.