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Romn-Meatbals-art - 7/22/17


"Aliter Isicia Omentata (Apicius #47)" by Mistress Anne de Tournai, OP.


NOTE: See also the files: caul-fat-msg, fd-Romans-msg, cb-rv-Apicius-msg, 4-Sausages-art, meatballs-msg, chopped-meat-msg, garum-msg, sausages-msg.





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Thank you,

Mark S. Harris...AKA:..Stefan li Rous

stefan at florilegium.org



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Aliter Isicia Omentata (Apicius #47)

by Mistress Anne de Tournai, OP


pulpam concisam teres cum medulla siliginei in vino infusi. piper, liquamen, si velis, et bacam myrtam extenteratam simul conteres. pusilla isicia formabis, intus nucleis et pipere positis. involuta omento subassabis cum caroeno.




Otherwise: Sausages wrapped in Caul Fat


Smoothly pulp pieces, with the finest winter wheat infused with wine. Flavor lightly with pepper and fish sauce and if you like add a moderate quantity of myrtle berries also crushed, and after you have added nuts and pepper shape the forcemeat into small rolls, wrap these in caul, fry, and serve with wine gravy. [1]




500g beef, minced

4 slices of slightly stale white rye bread

White wine, slightly sweet

2 tsp of Pepper

1 tbsp of fish sauce

1 tsp of myrtle berries

1/2 cup of pine nuts.

Caul fat for wrapping

Caroneum (white wine reduced to half its original volume)

(Feeds 4 as single meal, not feast)


If you've got someone who doesn't particularly like historical food, this is a great recipe for them to try. Often given as a burger recipe, this is more like a kofta sausage, which is then wrapped (minced meat wrapped in caul fat). Note the use of the phrase, pulped. The consistency should be fairly broken down.


Several translations use pork, the type of meat is not specified. As I have a number of people who do not eat pork in my local group, I substituted beef. Look at the level of fat in your beef – remember, it is being wrapped in caul fat. I got my caul fat from an Asian butcher at the markets.


Chop your beef ready for the mincer (you can use minced beef if you prefer to skip this step).


Soak the bread in a slightly sweet wine. Feed the soaked bread and the meat through your mincer.


To the minced beef and bread, add your pepper, fish sauce and your myrtle berries and mix through until the spices are well distributed and the mince well-seasoned. Not having access to myrtle berries, I used the following substitution:


For 1 tsp of myrtle berries substitute:


1 tsp ground allspice.

1 tsp crushed juniper berries.

1/2 tsp ground black pepper. [2]

Add the pine nuts, mix through and then form into small patties.


Cut a section of your caul fat and wrap each patty in the fat.


Slowly fry the patties in a little bit of oil and white wine reduced to half its volume (caroneum [3]).


Kitchen notes:


·      Minced meat can be used to speed up the preparation time.

·      Works well with beef/lamb/pork but you need to be conscious of your seasoning.

·      I tried this recipe with adding flour to the mince and moistening with wine rather than with bread. I prefer the texture from the soaked white rye bread.

·      The juices from cooking and the wine reduction make a great sauce to keep the meat moist.

·      Don't overcook!

·      Can be scaled easily for feast cooking.

·      Gluten Free bread can be substituted to make the recipe gluten free.

·      Very popular for those people who find food from extant recipes a bit threatening.

·      Can be made in advance and reheated but should be done cautiously to avoid overcooking.


Redacted February 2014.  Kitchen notes added in 2016 based on my experience.


[1] Translation is a mix of the following: http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Apicius/2*.html and http://cooking.livejournal.com/9602840.html


[2] http://world-food-and-wine.com/aromatic-herbs/myrtle


[3] https://www.academia.edu/482561/Olivias_Cookbook_Roman_Recipies_Adapted_for_the_21st_Century Definitions for wine and grape juice reductions



Copyright 2014, 2017 by Brigid Costella. <detournais at gmail.com>. Permission is granted for republication in SCA-related publications, provided the author is credited.  Addresses change, but a reasonable attempt should be made to ensure that the author is notified of the publication and if possible receives a copy.


If this article is reprinted in a publication, please place 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.


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
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Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org