After a busy few weeks, I’ve been playing catch up on my Historic Food and Feasting course. Last week, I wrote up my efforts at making Tarte Owt Lent from Week 1. This week will be a bit of a veritable treat of recipes from weeks 1 and 2, with week 3 hot on their heels.
Due to the backlog, I got a bit mixed up and got it into my head that the Fylettys en Galetyne was a Week 2 recipe, so bought some pork for that and having done so, it seemed rude not to go ahead. Here is the recipe:
Take faire porke of the fore quarter, and take of the skyn, and put the pork on a faire spitte, and roste it half ynogh; and take hit of, and smyte hit in peces, and cast hit in a faire potte; and then take oynons, and shred and pul hem, not to small, and fry hem in a pan with faire grece, And then caste hem to the porke into the potte; And then take good broth of beef or Motton, and cast thereto, and set hit on the re, and caste to pouder of Peper, Canel, Cloues and Maces, and lete boile wel togidur; and then take faire brede and vinegar, and stepe the brede with a litull of the same broth, and streyne hit thorgh a streynour, and blode with all; or elles take Saundres and colour hit therewith, and late hem boile togidur, and cast thereto Saffron and salt, and serue hit forth.
Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books
(Harleian MS. 27, c.1430 – Early English Text Society print, 1888)
In a nutshell, this is just pork stewed in onion gravy. I used my own Poudre Fort spice blend and a few whole cubebs for the seasoning, along with some Saffron, but omitted the Sandalwood (Saundres) as we only had some Sandalwood chips used for incense and I wasn’t sure if it was suitable for culinary use. I also substituted English verjuice the for vinegar. Here is the result, served on a bed of rice…
…and jolly nice it was too 🙂
Week 2 covered the Elizabethan period and the recipes included Jumbles, Capon with Oranges, Pea Tart and Thyme Cordial. I didn’t fancy the pea tart after the pastry overload of last week, but thought about doing the Capon. The cooking method is long and slow and it’s really too warm at the moment to have the oven or cooker on for hours, so I’ll revisit that one later in the year when it is cooler. The recipe referred to an “earthen dish” and I decided that this sounded rather like my terracotta chicken brick, which I have used previously to make pot roast chicken with oranges, so I’ve already made something very similar anyway.
The Thyme Cordial was essentially an infusion of fresh thyme leaves, a slice of lemon and some honey. It was actually very refreshing and quite pleasant. We went off on a jaunt around some National Trust properties in Sussex at the weekend and I stumbled on Kew’s Teas, Tonics and Tipples at Wakehurst Place. Needless to say, I’ll be getting a copy of that, the better to utilise the herbs I purchased to refresh my herb garden, which has become rather rambling and overgrown 😀
Finally, I made the Jumbals, which are hard-ish, spiced biscuits.
Take twenty eggs and put them in a pot, both the yolks and the white: beat them well. Then take a pound of beaten sugar and put to them, and stir them well together. Then put to it a quarter of a peck of flour and make a hard paste thereof; and then with aniseed mould it well and make it in little rolls, being long. Tie them in knots, and wet the ends with rosewater. Then put them in a pan of seething water, but even in one waum. Then take them out with a skimmer and lay them in a cloth to dry. This being done, lay them in a tart pan, the bottom being oiled. Then put them in a temperate oven for one houre, turning them often in the oven.
Thomas Dawson, Good Housewife’s Jewel (1596)
The qualities here are quite large and the course recommended just two eggs, 100g of sugar and enough flour to make a rollable dough, which produced a plateful. I really dislike aniseed and caraway, (I used to painstakingly pick out all the caraway seeds from the Polish Rye bread we had when I was growing up), so mine were flavoured with cinnamon and ginger. These were surprisingly easy to make and quite tasty straight from the oven.
They did toughen quite a bit once cool though and are probably best used for dunking. I experimented with different sizes and I think the slightly thicker ones worked best, so I’d bake the skinnier ones for a shorter period.
Are you tempted by any of these dishes?