Carbonadoes-art - 6/19/97
“Carbonadoes” by Adamantius. A medieval “barbecued” meat dish.
This article was submitted to me by the author for inclusion in this set
of files, called Stefan’s Florilegium.
These files are available on the Internet at:
Copyright to the contents of this file remains with the author.
While the author will likely give permission for this work to be
reprinted in SCA type publications, please check with the author first
or check for any permissions granted at the end of this file.
Mark S. Harris
AKA: Stefan li Rous
stefan at florilegium.org
Date: Tue, 10 Jun 1997 00:34:54 -0400
From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>
To: Mark Harris
Subject: Re: carbonadoes recipe
A quick note about the text: the original recipe is from Gervase
Markham, but there is some commentary which is a bit event specific; it
was part of the documentation and instructions for the East Kingdom
Barons' Dinner at last Pennsic. I found out at the last minute that I
couldn't make it, and handed my recipes, instructions, and shopping list
to someone else. What you will be getting is the section on carbonadoes
from that paper.
Charbonadoes, or carbonadoes, which is meat broiled upon the coals (and the invention therof first brought out of France, as appears by the name) are of divers kinds according to men's pleasures: for there is no meat either boiled or roasted whatsoever, but may afterwards be broiled, if the master therof be disposed;
What is to be carbonadoed.
yet the general dishes for the most part which are used to be carbonadoed are a breast of mutton half boiled, a shoulder of mutton half roasted, the legs, wings, and carcasses of capon, turkey, goose, or any other fowl whatsoever, especially land fowl. And lastly, the uppermost thick skin which covereth the ribs of beef, and is called (being broiled) the Inns of Court goose, and is indeed a dish usewd most for wantonness, sometimes to please appetite: to which may be added the broiling of pigs' heads, or the brains of any fowl whatsoever after it is roasted and dressed.
The manner of carbonadoes.
Now for the manner of carbonadoing, it is in this sort; you shall first take the meat you must carbonado, and scotch it both above and below, then sprinkle good store of salt upon it, and baste it all over with sweet butter melted, which done, take your broiling iron; I do not mean a gridiron (though it be much used for this purpose) because the smoke of the coals, occasioned by the dropping of the meat, will ascend about it and make it stink; but a plate iron made with hooks and pricks, on which you may hang the meat, and set it close before the fire, and so the plate heating the meat behind as the fire doth before, it will both the sooner and with more neatness be ready: then having turned it, and basted it till it be very brown, dredge it, and serve it up with vinegar and butter.
Of the toasting of mutton.
Touching the toasting of mutton, venison, or any other joint of meat, which is the most excellentest of all carbonadoes, you shall take the fattest and largest that can possibly be got ( for lean meat is loss of labour, and little meat not worth your time), and, having scotched it, and cast salt upon it, you shall set it on a strong fork, with a dripping pan underneath it, before the face of a quick fire, yet so far off, that it may by no means scorch, but toast at leisure; then with that which falls from it, and with no other basting, , see that you baste it continually, turning it ever and anon many times, and so oft that it may soak and brown at great leisure, and as oft as you baste it, so oft sprinkle salt upon it, and as you see it toast scotch it deeper and deeper, especially in the thickest and most fleshy parts where the blood most resteth: and when you see that no more blood droppeth from it, but the gravy is clear and white; then shall you serve it up either with venison sauce, or with vinegar, pepper and sugar, cinnamon. and the juice of an orange mixed together, and warmed with some of the gravy.
The English Housewife, Gervase Markham, 1615
There's more, but you get the idea. The plan is to get whatever is available in the market that looks good, or is on sale, or according to whatever criteria you generally use. I understand the Food Giant supermarket will butcher to order: anything that can be made flat enough so it won't take forever to cook on Ian's grill. Flank steaks, leg of lamb sliced into steaks, chickens split down the back, opened up like a book, and flattened, spare ribs, breast of lamb, short ribs of beef are all likely candidates. Mixing is an option, too. You'll need 1/3 - 1/2 pound of boneless or semiboneless meat per person, or 1 pound per person for things like short ribs, lamb breast, or spare ribs. Unless you're doing the standard rare broiled steak, several of the other options might be simmered until mostly done (in advance) before broiling to reheat. This would be good for things like ribs of various kinds, lamb shanks, the hock pieces if you get a sliced leg of lamb, beef brisket, etc.
Seasoning should be simple, but aggressive in the salt and pepper department. You can make a sauce from vinegar, sugar, orange juice, salt and pepper, and some of the meat juices. Lacking a dripping pan, the juices will probably accumulate in a dish when the first meats are removed from the grill so the next batch can cook. If anything has to be sliced before serving, that's another way to collect "gravy".
You can make a more formal vinegar/butter sauce, something like French Beurre Blanc, by taking 2 cups of vinegar (malt is ideal for this job, but whatever) and bringing it to a simmer in a stainless steel pan. About 1/4 cup of drained capers would be good added here. Have 3 pounds of firm, cold butter, previously cut into small chunks, roughly 1/2 inch cubes or so, ready for the boiling vinegar.
Start adding butter, a few chunks at a time. Start with three or four chunks, and whip until they are melted and completely mixed in. Add a few more chunks, and whip again. Don't add new butter until you're sure the previous batch is melted and incorporated. As you near the end of the process, the sauce will get whiter and thicker. As you use up more and more of the butter, the incremental batches can get larger. I know this seems unnecessarily complex, but this will help keep the butter from separating from the vinegar, so the sauce will be creamy, not greasy.
If you've added capers, you might want to just check the seasoning and serve it. Or you could add herbs. Fresh parsley, fresh or dried tarragon, or whatever is available are a good idea, except maybe dill. Now if it were for fish, dill would be good.
This sauce recipe, by the way, is from a late period recipe for poached flounder, which I haven't bothered to quote here. My point is that we know emulsified vinegar-and-butter sauces existed in late period.
Copyright 1996 by Philip Troy (troy at asan.com). Permission is granted for republication in SCA-related publications, provided the author is credited and receives a copy.
If this article is reprinted in a publication, I would appreciate a notice in the publication that you found this article in the Florilegium. I would also appreciate an email to myself, so that I can track which articles are being reprinted. Thanks. -Stefan.