This time I am posting two recipes at the same time, fried pork and fig paste that goes well with the pork. The fig paste calls for sandalwood/ saunders that makes the paste more reddish. At that time when I started to make the dish I found out that I didn’t have any sandalwood in my spice box (I thought that I had). So I had to make it without the sandalwood. It is hard to find sandalwood in Finnish stores (I also tried to find it from online shops but failed). But then I have these great friends like Sahra who knew my distress and gave me two bags of sandalwood as Christmas present :D.

I have to comment also that sometimes taking good pictures of food, especially from medieval style of food (that has commonly brownish colours) it might be challenging to make it look tasty. This time food really tasted better than it looks ;).

Brawune fryes (serves 2)

Harleian MS. 279, Volume I

Take Pork & cut it thin. Then take yolks of Eggs, & some of the white therewith; then take manchet Flour, and draw the Eggs through a strainer; then take a good quantity of Sugar, Saffron & Salt & cast thereto, & take a fair pan with Fresh grease, & set over the fire, & when the grease is hot, take the Pork, and put in batter, & turn it well therein, and then put it in the pan with the grease, & let fry together a little while; then take it up into a fair dish, & cast Sugar thereon & serve hot.

200 g pork loin

2 egg yolks

1 egg white

½ dl white flour

pinch of saffron

2 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon salt

butter or oil for frying

sugar for garnish

Cut the pork in thin pieces. Make batter from egg yolks, egg white, flour, saffron, sugar and salt. Heat the butter (or oil) in a frying pan. Dip the pork pieces to the batter and fry the meat until it is done. Remove the meat from the pan and garnish it with sugar. Serve hot.


Ffygey (serves 4)

Harleian MS.4016, Volume I

Take figs, and cast them in a pot, And cast thereto wine or Ale and let them boil, And take them up, and bray them in a mortar; And then take bread, and steep in the same liqueur, and cast thereto and draw them through a strainer, and cast it in a fair pot with wine or ale; and then take figs, and cut them small, pine nuts, sandalwood, powder of pepper, a little saffron and salt, and cast thereto, and serve standing.

200 g dried figs (+ 2 figs)

about 4 dl red wine (+ ½ dl wine)

1 piece of white bread without the crust

2 tablespoon pine nuts

(pinch of sandalwood)

pinch of pepper

pinch of saffron

pinch of salt

Put 200 g figs to a saucepan with 4 dl wine to boil. Let them boil as long as the figs are soft. Add more wine or water to the saucepan if needed. When the figs are done take them from the sauce and grind them finely. Add the bread to the sauce and when the liquid has been absorbed, grind the bread finely too. Mince 2 figs. Take a sauce pan and put fig paste there and minced figs, ½ dl red wine, pine nuts and spices. Heat the mixture and let it simmer about 5 minutes stirring well all the time. Serve warm.

Comments: I decided to use red wine because I didn’t have that sandalwood that makes the food reddish. Otherwise I would have used white wine for this dish. As the recipe says you can use ale too.


I decided to do little bit different this time. The recipe for the dough is from the book but the filling is not. All the ingredients in the filling are however from the book. Dried fruits are very common in meat pies.

Chewettes (10-15 little pies)

Harleian MS. 4016, Volume II

Take and make fair paste of flour, water, saffron and salt. And make round coffins thereof; and make stuffing as thou do for rissoles, and put the stuffing in the coffins, and cover the coffins with the same paste, and fry them in good oil as thou do rissoles, and serve them hot in the same manner.

3,5 dl flour

1,5 dl water

½ teaspoon salt

pinch of saffron

enough olive oil for frying


100 g ground lamb

100 g ground pork

3-4 dried figs

1 teaspoon ginger


pinch of saffron

Knead well together flour, water, salt and a pinch of saffron. Add more flour if needed. Put it in fridge for awhile. Mince dried figs and mix all the filling ingredients together and let them stand couple minutes. For the bases roll little circles from the dough and fill them with about teaspoon of filling. Close the pies carefully using a drop of water and fry them in olive oil until golden brown. Drain pies and serve hot.

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


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.


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.