stews-bruets-msg – 1/15/12


Period stews and bruets. Potages. Recipes.


NOTE: See also the files: broths-msg, cook-ovr-fire-msg, lamb-mutton-msg, soup-msg, venison-msg, exotic-meats-msg, meatballs-msg, rabbit-dishes-msg.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at:


I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.


Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

   Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at



From: DDF2 at (David Friedman)


Subject: Re: Feast Menus

Date: 16 Nov 1993 03:34:53 GMT

Organization: Cornell Law School


0005290822 at mcimail.COM (Robert A. Goff) wrote:

> Not that we've ever been sticklers for period documentation, but can anyone

> describe how a period meat stew goes together? Was it common to cook meats

> and vegetables together in something like we'd recognize as stew?


The problem is that "stew" is not a very clearly defined category. Here are

some possible recipes from the Miscellany; I am not sure if any would fit

your requirements:



Ibn al-Mabrad p. 18 [15th c. eastern Islamic]


Meat is boiled with a little water. Carrots, garlic cloves and peeled

onions are put with it, then crushed garlic is put with it. Some people put

spinach with it also; some make it without spinach. Walnuts and parsley are

put in.


2 lb meat (lamb)    2 cloves crushed garlic   [1/2 t cinnamon]

4 carrots     2 c spinach  [1/4 t pepper]

6 whole garlic cloves (about .6 oz)    1/4 c walnuts       [1/4 t coriander]

4 small onions (5 ounces) 1/4 c parsley       [1/4 t salt]


Cut the lamb up small and put it in 1 1/2 c water with cinnamon, pepper,

coriander and salt. Simmer 10 minutes. Add carrots cut up, whole garlic

cloves, and small onions. Simmer 10 minutes. Add crushed garlic. Simmer 20

minutes. Add spinach. Simmer 10 minutes. Garnish with walnuts and parsley.

The spices are based on similar recipes in al-Bagdadi.


White Tharîdah of al Rashid

Translated by Charles Perry from a 9-10th c. Islamic collection.


Take a chicken and joint it, or meat of a kid or lamb, and clean it and

throw it in a pot, and throw on it soaked chickpeas, clean oil, galingale,

cinnamon sticks, and a little salt. And when it boils, skim it. Take fresh

milk and strain it over the pot and throw in onion slices and boiled

carrots. And when it boils well, take peeled almonds and pound them fine.

Break over them five eggs and mix with wine vinegar. Then throw in the pot

and add coriander, a little pepper and a bit of cumin and arrange it and

leave on the fire, and serve, God willing.


2 3/4 lb lamb with bones  ~5 c water or less  5 eggs

or 2 1/2 lb chicken, cut up    1 T salt      1 1/2 T wine vinegar

2 15 oz cans chickpeas    1 c milk      1 t coriander

2 T olive oil       1 large onion (1 1/4 lbs) 1 3/4 t pepper

3/4 t galingale     9 carrots (1 1/4 lbs)      1 1/4 t cumin

1 oz stick cinnamon = 5 sticks   5 oz almonds = 1 c ground


Put meat or chicken, chickpeas (with liquid), oil, galingale, cinnamon

sticks and salt with as little water as will cover, boil 15 minutes.

Meanwhile boil carrots. Use large pot. Add milk, sliced onion, drained

carrots, boil another 15 minutes. Add fine ground almonds, eggs, and

vinegar and spices all mixed together. Add to boiling mixture. Cook another

five minutes, serve.


An alternative interpretation of the recipe omits the water, so that the

meat is cooked in the oil until partially cooked, then the milk, onions,

and carrots are added.



Ibn al-Mabrad p. 22  [15th c. Eastern Islamic]


Meat is boiled, then leeks are put in and yoghurt is dissolved and rice is

put with it. Some people put the yoghurt first, then the meat then the



3/4 lb boned lamb   2 leeks = 2 c sliced       (2 t cumin)

1 3/4 cup of water  1 1/4 c yogurt      (2 t coriander)

1/2 t salt   1 1/4 c rice (1 t cinnamon)


Cut meat into bite-sized pieces. Boil meat for 15 minutes in water at low

heat, covered. Add leeks, yogurt and salt. Add rice and spices. Simmer

(again covered) until rice is done (about an hour). The spices are based on

similar recipes in al-Bagdadi.



Ibn al-Mabrad p. 21 [15th c. Eastern Islamic]


Meat is boiled, then you take off most of its broth and put with the

remainder vegetables such as onion, gourd and aubergine. You dissolve

yoghurt in what you took off and you put it with it. Then you garnish with

walnut and parsley.


3/4 lb meat (lamb)  [1/2 t dry coriander]      3 lbs “gourd:” squash

2 c water                    [1/2 t+ salt]       1 lb eggplant

[1 stick cinnamon]  1/2 c yogurt 1/2 c chopped walnuts

[1/4 t cumin]       3 onions =2 c chopped      2 T chopped parsley


Cut up the lamb small, removing most of the fat. Simmer it in water for

about 1/2 hour with the spices. Remove 1/2 of the broth, mix with yogurt.

Put the vegetables (cut up in small pieces) and the yogurt-broth mixture

back in the pot with the lamb. Simmer for 1 hour. Garnish with walnuts and



Note: the spicing is based on what is used in Al-Baghdadi for similar

dishes. The cookbook this recipe is from is very terse; cinnamon is never

mentioned, nor, I think, salt, and dry coriander only once. I assume they

are simply omitted in the recipe, and left to the cook's judgement. Note

that squash is new world, and is being used here as a substitute for the

period gourd--probably Lagonaria.


Here are two more (English 15th c.) that actually use the term "stew," but

that I suspect have less vegetable than you were thinking of:


Beef y-Stewed

Two Fifteenth Century p. 6/52


Take faire beef of the ribs of the forequarters, and smite in fair pieces,

and wash the beef into a fair pot; then take the water that the beef was

sodden in, and strain it through a strainer and seethe the same water and

beef in a pot, and let them boil together; then take canel, cloves, maces,

grains of paradise, cubebs and onions y-minced, parsley and sage, and cast

thereto, and let them boil together; and then take a loaf of bread, and

stepe 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 then let boil once, and cast saffron thereto a quantity;

then take salt and vinegar, and cast thereto, and look that it be poynant

enough, and serve forth.


about 1 lb+ beef    1/4 t cloves 4 slices bread

3 medium onions     1 t sage      pinch of saffron

1/4 c chopped parsley      1/4 t mace   1 t salt

1 bouillon cube     1/8 t whole grains of paradise (grind) vinegar

1/2 t cinnamon      1/8 t whole cubebs (grind)


Add fresh water to cover and bouillon, bring to a boil, add parsley, onion,

and spices. Simmer about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, put bread to soak in water

and broth from the meat. At the end of 45 minutes mush up the bread and add

that, the saffron and salt, bring to a boil and serve.



Stwed Mutton

Two Fifteenth Century p. 72


Take faire Mutton that hath ben roste, or elles Capons, or suche other

flessh, and mynce it faire; put hit into a possenet, or elles bitwen ii

siluer disshes; caste thereto faire parcely, And oynons small mynced; then

caste there-to wyn, and a litull vynegre or vergeous, pouder of peper,

Canel, salt and saffron, and lete it stue on the faire coles, And then

serue hit forthe; if he have no wyne ne vynegre, take Ale, Mustard, and A

quantite of vergeous, and do this in the stede of vyne or vinegre.


Wine Version

1 1/2 lb boned lamb 2 T vinegar  1 t salt

1/4 c parsley       1 t pepper   3 threads saffron

2 medium onions (1 1/4 lb)       1/2 t cinnamon      about 1/2 c water

3/4 c wine  


Beer Version

Substitute 1 c dark beer and 1/2 t ground mustard for the wine. Substitute

4 T of verjuice for the vinegar if you have it.


Roast the lamb (before boning) at 350° for about 1 hour, then chop it into

bite sized pieces. Chop onions fine. Combine all ingredients (and the

juices from roasting the lamb) in a covered stew pot; use enough water so

that there is just enough liquid to boil the meat in. Simmer it about 1/2

hour and serve it forth. It is good over rice.


And just to give you one to work out for yourself--the first recipe in Two

Fifteenth Century, which for some reason I do not have a worked out recipe

for, although I have done it.


Lange Wortys de chare.


Take beef and merowbones, and boil it in fair water; than take fair wortys

and wash him clean in water, and parboil him in clean water; than take him

up of the water after the first boiling, and cut the leaves at two or a

three, and cast him into the beef, and boil together: than take a loaf of

white bread and grate it, and cast it on the pot, an safron and salt, and

let it boil enough, and serve forth. (spelling modernized)


> Also, does anyone know of a period dish that would approximate a non-

> meat stew for the vegetarians among us? From the same cuisine as the

> meat dish?


A Muzawwara (Vegetarian Dish) Beneficial for Tertian Fevers and Acute


Andalusian p. A-52 [13th c. Western Islamic]


Take boiled peeled lentils and wash in hot water several times; put in the

pot and add water without covering them; cook and then throw in pieces of

gourd, or the stems [ribs] of Swiss chard, or of lettuce and its tender

sprigs, or the flesh of cucumber or melon, and vinegar, coriander seed, a

little cumin, Chinese cinnamon, saffron and two ûqiyas of fresh oil;

balance with a little salt and cook. Taste, and if its flavor is pleasingly

balanced between sweet and sour, [good;] and if not, reinforce until it is

equalized, according to taste, and leave it to lose its heat until it is

cold and then serve.


2 c lentils  1 1/2 t cinnamon    one of the following:      1 1/2 lb butternut


5 c water     6 threads saffron          1 lb chard or beet leaves

1/4 c cider vinegar 1/4 c oil            1 lb lettuce

3/4 t ground coriander    1 t salt             2 8" cucumbers

3/4 t cumin                 melon (?)


Boil lentils about 40 minutes until they start to get mushy. Add spices and

vinegar and oil. Add one of the vegetables; leafy vegetables should be torn

up, squash or cucumbers are cut into bite-sized pieces and cooked about

10-15 minutes before being added to lentils. Cook lettuce or chard version

for about 10 minutes, until leaves are soft. Cook squash or cucumber

version about 20 minutes. Be careful not to burn during the final cooking.


Rapes in Potage [or Carrots or Parsnips]

Curye on Inglysch p. 99 (Forme of Cury no. 7)


Take rapus and make hem clene, and waissh hem clene; quarter hem; perboile

hem, take hem vp. Cast hem in a gode broth and see† hem; mynce oynouns and

cast †erto safroun and salt, and messe it forth with powdour douce. In the

self wise make of pastunakes and skyrwittes.


Note: rapes are turnips; pasternakes are either parsnips or carrots;

skirrets are, according to the OED, “a species of water parsnip, formerly

much cultivated in Europe for its esculent tubers.” We have never found

them available in the market.


1 lb turnips, carrots, or parsnips     6 threads saffron   powder douce:       2 t


2 c chicken broth (canned, diluted)     3/4 t salt          3/8 t cinnamon

1/2 lb onions                      3/8 t ginger


Wash, peel, and quarter turnips (or cut into eighths if they are large),

cover with boiling water and parboil for 15 minutes. If you are using

carrots or parsnips, clean them and cut them up into large bite-sized

pieces and parboil 10 minutes. Mince onions. Drain turnips, carrots, or

parsnips, and put them with onions and chicken broth in a pot and bring to

a boil. Crush saffron into about 1 t of the broth and add seasonings to

potage. Cook another 15-20 minutes, until turnips or carrots are soft to a

fork and some of the liquid is boiled down.


> Brother Crimthann

> rgoff at



DDF2 at Cornell.Edu



From: jtn at (Terry Nutter)


Subject: Re: Feast Menus

Date: 17 Nov 1993 16:46:58 GMT


Greetings, all, from Angharad ver' Rhuawn.


Brother Crimthann asks,


>I'm thinking about doing an oudoor meal this summer at a remote site. The idea

>that has us all excited is to serve stew in hollowed-out loaves of bread. It

>would be a very basic meal, one or two courses, served in a camp setting.

>Most everything would be prepared ahead of time and heated at the site using

>campfires (if the Forest Service allows) or propane burners.

>Not that we've ever been sticklers for period documentation, but can anyone

>describe how a period meat stew goes together? Was it common to cook meats

>and vegetables together in something like we'd recognize as stew?


Not really, in Europe.  Cariadoc has already posted with a

number of Islamic dishes, and a couple of European ones.

The following are some further notes, which apply most

directly to French and English cuisine of the 14th and

15th centuries.


In general, European dishes that are stew-like contain

meat (or fowl or fish), broth, thickener, onions, herbs,

and spices.  There are a few recipes with greens.  I have

not seen any for a meat stew with veggies on the order of

carrots, turnips, etc.


-- Angharad/Terry



From: "James L. Matterer" <jmattere at>

Date: Tue, 29 Apr 1997 21:45:42 -0700

Subject: SC - Cameline Meat Brewet



   In response to Derdriu's & Willem's request for a posting of A

Cameline Meat Brewet, here it is.

   Looking over the recipe, I think it might be fun to substitute red

wine for the water in the Cameline Sauce. I've never tried it, but I

think I'll have to now that I've thought of it. If anyone makes this

dish, please let me know what you think!


Master Ian


Cameline Meat Brewet

This cold meat dish comes from a reference in The Goodman of Paris,

which lists a Parisian feast of 1393 where there was served "a cameline

meat brewet - pieces of meat in a thin cinnamon sauce." Although it is

not known exactly how this particular dish was prepared, this recipe is

an approximation of how such a meat brewet may have been created. Curye

on Inglish describes two cold brewets, one without meat (p. 128) and one

with (p. 129).


2 lbs. beef, sliced into thin strips

1 tsp. butter

1 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. pepper

Meat butter in pan, add meat and seasonings and saute until done. Drain

well and let cool. Place meat in a sealable container and add Cameline

Sauce to cover. Refrigerate for several days, agitating container once a

day. Remone from marinade and serve cold or at room temperature.

Serves 4 - 8.


Cameline Sauce

"Pound ginger, plenty of cinnamon, cardamon, mace, long pepper if you

wish, then squeeze out bread soaked in vinegar and strain it all

together and salt it just right." -  Le Viandier de Taillevent, from

Food in History, p. 219.


Unlike many sauces, this one is unboiled as per the description in Le

Viandier de Taillevent, p. 219: "Cameline sauce has cinnamon as its

predominant ingredient and is unboiled." Le Viandier also advises us

that not all sauces contained binding agents (p. 23-24). Bearing that in

mind, the bread crumbs have been left out of this version of the recipe.


1 c. each cider vinegar and water

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/4 tsp. each of ginger, cloves, mace, cardamon, pepper, and salt

Combine liquids, add spices and mix thoroughly with a wire whisk. Taste

for seasonings and adjust accordingly. Use immediately or refrigerate

for later use.



Date: Fri, 25 Jul 1997 16:15:49 -0400 (EDT)

From: Philip E Cutone <flip+ at>

Subject: SC - Beef stew


Here it is... this commign from a sheet i had at War practice.

wish more people showed up... i cooked a couple gallons of the stuff.

After offering hospitality to several neighbors, i still had near a

half gallon left.  mmm was it tasty (if i say so myself)


This is based on a 15c recipe "Beef y-Stewed" to be found in

Cariadoc's Miscellany-- I've modified

the recipe quite a bit, but cooks of the time would have as well,

using whatever happened to be in season or on hand.  


Put a crock pot on the simmer setting and place into it:

   about 1 lb+ beef - cubed

   2 medium onions chopped as you like

   1/2 c chopped parsley

   2 bouillion cubes (or use beef stock to top off instead of water)

   1/4 t cloves (ground)

   1 t sage

   1/4 t mace

   *1/8 t whole grains of paradise (ground)

   *1/8 t whole cubebs (ground)

   **1/2 c barley

   **1/2 t cinnamon

   **1/2 t ginger

   **1/2 t rosemary

   **2-4 cloves garlic chopped


if you cannot find grains of paradise or cubebs, (as i couldn't) substitute:

   **(1/4 t ground white pepper)

   **(1/4 t ground black pepper)


* did not use for lack of availability

** not mentioned in the original recipie


Add water to cover. Let simmer for several hours (at least till meat is cooked)

Check once an hour and add water to keep contents covered. dissolve:

   4-6 threads saffron


in a little of the broth (saffron is a very expensive, very strong

spice. I would recommend about 4-6 threads, though some may find that

heavy) and add it to the stew. Add:

   a little crumbled bread to thicken

   vinegar to taste


I use a homemade vinegar made from honey, apple juice, water, a little

yeast and whatever critters happen to sour the brew.  If you don't

happen to have any contaminated cysers (smile) You can substitute a

3:1 mixture of apple vinegar and white wine/mead and perhaps a little honey.


The stew will require salt (unless, you perhaps use salted beef, which

will change the flavor some). I usually allow my guests to add their

own salt as they can always put more in, but cannot take it out.


If you do not have a crock pot, or you lack the time, you can cook it

on the stove in about an hour, but it will take more watching and the

barley might need some pre cooking.


The spice measurements are a guess. I cook on the fly, as suites my

taste of the day.  This combined with my earlier statment of "using

whatever happens to be in season" would sort of imply that the real

instructions for this recipe may be reduced to "Throw stuff together

and make a stew"  If this is how you have interpreted these

instructions, you've just found out my secret for cooking. The best

advice I can give is this: Experiment, find out what *you* like, taste

your dish at all stages of preperation, and don't sweat a mistake now

and again. If you are unsure of a flavor addition, separate out a few

spoonfuls and flavor that. By doing that, you don't risk ruining the

entire dish.


Filip of the Marche



Date: Fri, 25 Jul 1997 16:36:47 -0400 (EDT)

From: Mark Schuldenfrei <schuldy at abel.MATH.HARVARD.EDU>

Subject: Re: SC - Beef stew


You know, like a lot of cooks, I cannot resist stirring the pot, so to



Put a crock pot on the simmer setting and place into it:

     about 1 lb+ beef - cubed

     2 medium onions chopped as you like


I have found that it is WELL worth the time to brown the cubed meat and

onions prior to placing them in a crock pot.  They cook, but the crock pot

style of cookery doesn't add that beefy crust, or carmelize the onions.

Your mileage has varied.  (:-)


     1/2 c chopped parsley

     2 bouillion cubes (or use beef stock to top off instead of water)


Or, my favorite vice, red wine.


     **1/2 c barley


I have also added, modernly, a small amount of tapioca root as thickener.

It works, and the taste of tapioca actually compliments the meat.  (It's

easier than making a Yorkshire Pudding, too... :-)


Sounds really delightful.


I made, for years, a not particularly period lamb stew, similarly.  Brown

the lamb, carmelize the onions, pollute with lots of garlic.  Add to the pot

lentils, carrots, various spices and a bay leaf, and use half wine half

water to cook.  Serve when the smell drives you insane.  (I cooked this once

in a cube-style work environment, to take to an early potluck after work.

Everyone in the office was so nuts from the smell, they all went out for

lunch, and ate like pigs.  I was begged not to do that again, unless I

served it for lunch.)


Oh, if you over-water it during the cooking process, you can throw a handful

or two of rice in toward the end.  In half an hour, it thickens.





Date: Mon, 12 Jan 1998 23:26:30 -0500

From: Caitlin Cheannlaidir <caitlin at>

Subject: SC - Bruet of Sarcynesse


Tak at e lyre of  at e fresch buf & ket it al in pecis, & bred, & fry yt in

fresch gres.  Tak it vp & drye it, and do yt in a vessel wy at  wyn & sugur &

powdre of clowys.  Boyl yt togedere tyl  at e flesch hae drong  at e lycoure, &

tak almande mylk & quibibz, macis & clowys, and boyle hem togedere.  Tak at e

flesch & do  at erto & messe it forth.


Redacted, in Pleyn Delit, as follows:


2-4 oz (at least 1/4 cup) ground almonds

1 cup water

2 lbs boneless stewing beef, cut into chunks

1/2 cup breadcrumbs (4 slices bread, finely ground)

1 t sugar

1/2 t ground cloves

1 C red wine

1 t ground cubebs, or 1/2 t each ground pepper and allspice

1 tsp ground mace

1 tsp salt


Her instructions (readers' digest version, it's past bedtime)


Draw up almond milk. Roll beef chunks in breadcrumbs and brown in fat or

oil on medium heat, turning, remove and drain when brown.  Put browned meat

in clean pot. Dissolve sugar and half cloves in wine, pour over meat.

Cover and simmer or bake 40 minutes, then uncover until most of sauce

evaporates. Just before serving, add almond milk and remaining seasonings

over medium heat long enough to heat through.


A number of us have made this and we've noted that you generally have to

cook it for a lot longer than it calls for if it's to be tender.  So this

time I roasted the beef (very good beef) before hand, so it was already

done (rare) and tender.  I used burgundy for my "red wine" because we were

mulling wine and that's what was on hand.


It came out gray-pink and didn't really "dronk" the liquor at all, and I

wonder if that's due to the pre-roasting?


- --Caitlin Cheannlaidir

caitlin at



Date: Wed, 14 Jan 1998 09:23:48 -0400

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at>

Subject: SC - Re: Saracen Bruet


> From: PETERSR at (Peters, Rise J.)


> For example, I made Saracen Bruet this weekend using burgundy for my "red

> wine" and noticed two things:  first, the redaction I was using (Pleyn

> Delit) says to cook until the liquid is mostly absorbed, and that just

> didn't seem to be happening.  Second, the resulting sauce (after adding

> almond milk and spices) was a rather unappetizing pinkish gray color.


If the problems you mention seem to be reasonably universal among

several people who've used the redaction in Pleyn Delit, have you

considered that perhaps Hieatt and Butler's redaction may need a little

fine tuning? As this type of secondary source goes, H & B are pretty

good, and in fact among the best, but not without the occasional

slip-up. For example, their inclusion of breadcrumbs in their redaction

for sambuccade, which is mentioned nowhere in the original. The original

says something about making a crust in a trap, IIRC (it's a pie, more or

less), and then goes on to talk about putting the filling into the

crust. It doesn't say to put crusts into the filling, which appears to

be their interpretation. Then, of course, there are their views on the

use of "pens" in the roasting of poultry: equally whimsical, but

probably pretty clear to most experienced cooks, medieval scholars or



As has been said elsewhere, foods designated as being Saracen in nature

always seem to include almonds in some form, and are usually red or, or

more properly, mahagony in color. If you've ever used red sandalwood in

cooking, you've seen the color they're aiming at. Not a blazing red, but

more like the color of an unpainted, cedar pencil. Reddish beige, I

guess. This shouldn't be too hard to achieve.


Possible solutions to your problem might be to experiment with different

diameter pans. The ratio of exposed surface area to internal volume is

what controls how fast the liquid will evaporate. If you are having

problems with the liquid being "drunk up" by the meat, etc., you might

try a wider pan, like a deep skillet or casserole. Another possibility

is to cook the meat on a higher heat, stirring frequently, at a full

boil for at least some of the cooking process. Ordinarily modern

culinary "wisdom" advises against this, as it tends to make meat fall

apart into little strings, but it's possible that this may be

intentional in this case. Consider the precipes that call for the meat

to be teased apart into shreds. Think in terms of things like Ropa

Vieja, which is a Latino pot roast dish made this way, and served in

shreds that look like old rags, hence the name.


In connection with the possibility for high-heat cooking, make sure to

get the meat good and brown before adding your red wine, etc. This will

help achieve a browner result. If you are using a good stewing cut like

chuck (which I would recommend over something more tender, because its

high connective tissue makes for a nicer texture in the finished sauce)

you should be able to get a really nice brown glaze over the meat, and

lining the pot, before adding the almond milk and other stuff. Obviously

there's a fine line between "good and brown" and burning. Essentially,

as I understand it, without looking at the recipe as I write, there are

three separate cooking processes: browning the meat, cooking it in wine,

and then cooking it again in almond milk, presumably for a shorter time.

The first two are pretty standard for almost any stew, except you need

to make sure the liquid is properly reduced, at more or less the same

time as the meat is mostly tender. The trick is in making it happen that

way. Then you add the almond milk and anything else that goes in at that

point, and finish cooking the meat while the almond milk cooks down a

bit, with the meat/wine glaze left over from the earlier cooking

process, turning into a somewhat thickish "cafe au lait"-colored sauce.

In other words, the color most medieval Europeans would think of in

connection with a Saracen's skin.


> The taste was fine and it all disappeared into hungry feasters, but I still

> feel like maybe something went wrong in the cooking process.


Cooking the dish in bulk at an event suggests to me you may have cooked

it in something like a big 40-quart stockpot. Too deep for the job, I'm

afraid. See the above maundering pontification for further info ;  ).


I suggest you look at a recipe for an Indian or Southeast Asian curry

that calls for coconut milk. That's probably pretty close to the

technique you need to use, the first cooking with wine, and the

different spices notwithstanding.





Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 23:34:14 -0800

From: david friedman <ddfr at>

Subject: Re: SC - Re: Saracen Bruet


Adamantius writes:


>As has been said elsewhere, foods designated as being Saracen in nature

>always seem to include almonds in some form, and are usually red or, or

>more properly, mahagony in color. If you've ever used red sandalwood in

>cooking, you've seen the color they're aiming at. Not a blazing red, but

>more like the color of an unpainted, cedar pencil. Reddish beige, I

>guess. This shouldn't be too hard to achieve.


My impression is that "saracen" recipes have almonds and/or sugar, not that

they are necessarily red; almonds and sugar, after all, were getting

imported from the south.  If you do the recipe discussed with white wine,

you get (if I remember correctly) a sort of tannish/whitish color.


For comparison, here is a related recipe, also English but 15th century.


Bruette Sareson


Take Almaundys, & draw a gode mylke & flowre of Rys, & Porke & Brawen of

Capoun y-sode, or Hennys smale y-ground, & boyle it y-fere, & do in-to †e

mylke; & than take pouder Gyngere, Sugre, & caste a-boue, and serue forth.





Date: Wed, 1 Apr 1998 15:07:36 +0200

From: Jessica Tiffin <melesine at>

Subject: Re: SC - A Barley recipe


Charles Ragnar wrote:

>There is one in British Museum Cookbook - Amyndoun Seaw which I

>frequently make as a barley dish:

>Barley, milk, saffron, parsnips, carrots, spices, fruit, stew it all up.

>(More or less)


I have another barley recipe which I found on the web - it claims to be from

the British Museum Cookbook and to be 7th century English, and entails

cooking up chicken pieces with leeks and barley and herbs.  It's actually

one of my favourite medieval dishes - has that slightly vinegary flavour.

Wonderful. But I don't have the original British Museum Cookbook, and would

love to know the original source of the recipe - anyone?  Sounds

substantially pre any of the standard sources - the BM presumably has secret

stashes of ancient manuscripts.


Hare, Rabbit, Veal or Chicken Stew with Herbs & Barley


Serves 6


In 7th century England, herbs were one of the few flavourings available to

cooks and were used heavily...


   * 50g (2oz) butter

   * 1 -1.5kg (2-3 lb) (depending on the amount of bone) of hare or rabbit

   * joints, stewing veal or chicken joints

   * 450g (1lb) washed and trimmed leeks, thickly sliced

   * 4 cloves garlic, chopped finely

   * 175 g (6 oz) pot barley

   * 900 mL (30 fl oz, 3 3/4 cups) water

   * 3 generous tablespoons red or white wine vinegar

   * 2 bay leaves, salt, pepper

   * 15 fresh, roughly chopped sage leaves, or 1 tablespoon dried sage


Melt the butter in a heavy pan and fry the meat with the leeks and garlic

till the vegetables are slightly softened and the meat lightly browned. Add

the barley, water, vinegar, bay leaves and seasoning. bring the pot to the

boil, cover it and simmer gently for 1 - 1 1/2 hours or till the meat is

really tender and ready to fall from the bone. Add the sage and continue to

cook for several minutes. Adjust the seasoning to taste and serve in

bowls-- the barley will serve as a vegetable.


I'd include the URL for the original site, but I can't remember where it

was. Definitely not the Miscellany, but perhaps one of those links on the

Ren Food page.


Now I'm drooling slightly.  Oh, well.





Date: Tue, 05 May 1998 16:59:00 +1000

From: Robyn Probert <robyn.probert at>

Subject: Re: SC - re:period recipes


TFCC = Two Fifteenth Century Cookery Books


Beef Stew (no carrots though)

Beef y-stewed (TFCC)

Take fayre beef of the rybbes of the forequarters, an smyte in fayre pecys,

and wasche the beef in-to a fayre potte; than take the water that the beef

was sothin yn an strayne it thorw a straynowr, an sette the same water and

beef in a potte, an let hem boyle to-gederys; than take canel, clowes,

maces, graynys of parise, quibibes, an oynons y-mynced, perceli, an sawge,

an caste ther-to an let hem boyle to-gederys; an than take a lof of brede,

an stepe it with brothe an venegre, an than draw it thorw a straynoure, and

let it be stylle; an whan it is nere y-now, caste the lycour ther-to, but

nowt to moche, an than let boyle onys, an cast safroun ther-to a quantyte;

than take salt an venegre, and cast ther-to, an loke that it be poynant

y-now, a serue forth.





Date: Mon, 3 Aug 1998 13:29:38 +1000

From: The Cheshire Cat <sianan at>

Subject: SC - Pretending we're at Pennsic


I usually prepare this on cold winter days at tourneys.  We usually build a

fire to keep warm and to heat water over.  I cook this up in my big pot

hanging over the fire. ( I don't believe in much, but I do believe in being

warm and comfortable at tourneys)  You can use veal in this instead of the



Veal or Mutton Stew

Curye on Inglysch


Take veel other[wise] motoun and smite it to gobettes.  Seethe it in gode

broth; cast therto erbes yhewe gode won, and a quantite of oynouns mynced,

powdour fort and safroun, and alye it with ayren and verious: but let it

not seeth after.


900g boneless stewing lamb or mutton

2 cups chicken stock

2 medium onions, peeled and finely chopped

1 Tbs chopped parsley

1 tsp each fresh rosemary, thyme and marjoram (use slightly less for dried


1/4 tsp ground ginger, cumin and coriander

Salt to taste

1 cup white wine

2 eggs

2 Tbs lemon juice


Cut the meat into 5 cm cubes.  Put the stock into the pot and bring to a

boil. Add the meat and bring back to the boil, skim if needed, then add

the onions, herbs, spices salt and wine.  Reduce the heat, cover the pan

and cook gently until the meat is cooked through and tender (1 - 1/2

hours). Beat the eggs with the lemon juice until blended, then take the

pan off the heat and stir the egg mixture gradually into the stew to

thicken it slightly. Do NOT reboil after adding the eggs.


- -Sianan


Marina Denton

sianan at



Date: Tue, 15 Sep 1998 11:55:28 -0800

From: david friedman <ddfr at>

Subject: Re: SC - Medieval Ribs? Or Barbecue Beef?


Aoife gives a 15th c. recipe for Stewed Beef in Mistress Sincgefiu's (Cindy

Renfrow's) translation:


> "17 Stewed Beef. Take Ribs of fresh beef, And (if thou will) roast it till

> it is nigh enough; then put it in a fair small pot; cast thereto parsley

> and onions minced, raisins of Corinth, powdered pepper, cinnamon, cloves,

> sandalwood, saffron, and salt; then cast thereto wine and a little vinegar;

> set a lid on the pot, and let it boil soakingly on a fair charcoal till it

> is enough; then lay the flesh, in dishes, and the syrup thereupon, And

> serve it forth."

> It is my contention that this is a recipe for meat that has been roasted,

> then cooked  with liquid till it is fallen off the bone, then served with

> the sweet-spicy liquid it was cooked in. There is the possibility, however,

> that this is "Ribs" as we modernly know them, with a sweet-spicy red sauce

> rather than modern tomato-based barbecue sauce, since there is no directive

> to remove the bones or strain them from the sauce.


Here is a related recipe, also 15th-c. English. It lacks the currents and

the optional direction to roast the meat, uses just vinegar instead of wine

and vinegar, and thickens the sauce with bread. We have interpreted it as

meat off the bone in a thick sauce.


Beef y-Stewed

Two Fifteenth Century p. 6/52


Take faire beef of the ribs of the forequarters, and smite in fair pieces,

and wash the beef into a fair pot; then take the water that the beef was

sodden in, and strain it through a strainer and seethe the same water and

beef in a pot, and let them boil together; then take canel, cloves, maces,

grains of paradise, cubebs and onions y-minced, parsley and sage, and cast

thereto, and let them boil together; and then take a loaf of bread, and

stepe 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 then let boil once, and cast saffron thereto a quantity;

then take salt and vinegar, and cast thereto, and look that it be poynant

enough, and serve forth. [end of original; spelling modernized]


about 1 lb+ beef

3 medium onions

1/4 c chopped parsley

1 bouillon cube

1/2 t cinnamon

1/4 t cloves

1/4 t mace

1 t sage

1/8 t whole grains of paradise (grind)

1/8 t whole cubebs (grind)

4 slices bread

pinch of saffron

1 t salt

2 T vinegar


Add fresh water to cover meat and bouillon cube, bring to a boil, add

parsley, onion, and spices. Simmer about 45 minutes. Meanwhile, put bread

to soak in water and broth from the meat. At the end of 45 minutes mush up

the bread and add that, the saffron and salt, and vinegar, bring to a boil

and serve.


Elizabeth/Betty Cook



Date: Fri, 18 Sep 1998 08:17:30 -0400

From: Phil & Susan Troy <troy at>

Subject: Re: SC - Dinner for an Arthurian Idyll


Ron and Lori wrote:

> >A pottage of leeks with white leek sauce

> Ok, imay be asking a dumb question. Isn't Pottage the same as Soup. If so

> how do you serve soup with a white sauce. unless you mean a cream soup,

> which is not the understanding I had from the following recipe.

> Thorbjorn the Cook (looking confused-again)


Think of it in terms of a spoonable food, as opposed to a lechemeat which can

be sliced and eaten with the knife or one's fingers. In this case this is a

pottage of leeks (which could be a simply porrey of leeks boiled in water,

with maybe some ham) cooked and sauced with a white sauce traditionally eaten

over leeks (y'know, like shrimp with lobster sauce, which contains no lobster

but which is sometimes served over lobster?). What we have here is a bowl of

veggies cooked moderately soft, to facilitate being eaten with a spoon,

covered with a soupy sauce, based, if I remember correctly, on almond milk. It

could be cabbage or possibly sprouts, or any of a number of vegetables, but in

this case the pottage made with leek sauce also contains leeks.





Date: Tue, 27 Apr 1999 16:48:16 -0500

From: "Lenny Zimmermann" <zimmerml at>

Subject: Re: Stew (was SC - period fruit pastries)


On Tue, 27 Apr 1999 10:32:06 -0700, david friedman wrote:

> Actually, I'm not sure beef stew is period. More precisely, I can't think

> of any non-Islamic period recipes that correspond to what modern people

> think of as "generic stew." There are dishes where the meat has been

> stewed, but I can't think of any where pieces of stewed meat are combined

> with substantial vegetables in a thick gravy or something similar. Perhaps

> someone else can offer examples.


I just happened to have a copy of Platina's "De honesta voluptate et

valetudine" with me and ran across the following in Book VII, item 34, "Dish

Made from Meat" (as translated in "Platina: On Right Pleasure and Good

Health", Mary Ella Milham, Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies, Tempe,

Arizona, 1998):


"Cut up boiled lean meat finely, and when it has been cut up, cook it again

in rich broth for half an hour, first adding ground bread crust, a bit of

pepper, and a little saffron. When it has cooled a little, add beaten eggs,

ground cheese, parsley, marjoram, and finely chopped mint with a bit of

verjuice. Put these in the same pot, mixed and stirred at the same time,

stirring slowly with a spoon so as they do not stick together. The same can

even be done with livers and lung."


It sounds very much like that could be, effectively, a thick stew, depending

on how much broth you decide to create this with. The admonition to stir so

they do not stick together would, however, suggest a fairly thick dish. So

there is a possible example for you of stew from 1475, Venice, Italy.


I'm not sure if that helps or only further clouds the issue.


Honos Servio,

Lionardo Acquistapace, Bjornsborg, Ansteorra

(Lenny Zimmermann, San Antonio, TX)

zarlor at



Date: Tue, 27 Apr 1999 21:47:39 -0700

From: david friedman <ddfr at>

Subject: Re: Stew (was SC - period fruit pastries)


At 4:48 PM -0500 4/27/99, Lenny Zimmermann wrote:

>On Tue, 27 Apr 1999 10:32:06 -0700, david friedman wrote:

>> Actually, I'm not sure beef stew is period. More precisely, I can't think

>> of any non-Islamic period recipes that correspond to what modern people

>> think of as "generic stew." There are dishes where the meat has been

>> stewed, but I can't think of any where pieces of stewed meat are combined

>> with substantial vegetables in a thick gravy or something similar. Perhaps

>> someone else can offer examples.

>I just happened to have a copy of Platina's "De honesta voluptate et

>valetudine" with me and ran across the following in Book VII, item 34, "Dish

>Made from Meat" (as translated in "Platina: On Right Pleasure and Good

>Health", Mary Ella Milham, Medieval & Renaissance Texts & Studies, Tempe,

>Arizona, 1998):

>"Cut up boiled lean meat finely, and when it has been cut up, cook it again

>in rich broth for half an hour, first adding ground bread crust, a bit of

>pepper, and a little saffron. When it has cooled a little, add beaten eggs,

>ground cheese, parsley, marjoram, and finely chopped mint with a bit of

>verjuice. Put these in the same pot, mixed and stirred at the same time,

>stirring slowly with a spoon so as they do not stick together. The same can

>even be done with livers and lung."


I specified "with substantial vegetables."  Mint doesn't qualify.


Incidentally, you will find our worked out version of that recipe (from the

older translation) in the Miscellany under "Potage from Meat."





Date: Tue, 27 Apr 1999 20:34:16 -0700

From: Anne-Marie Rousseau <acrouss at>

Subject: Re: Stew (was SC - period fruit pastries)


Howdy all from Anne-Marie


re: beef stew type units in period...


the only exmaples I've seen of meat stewed with veggies (other than the

onion/meat stuff ubiquitous throughout the medieval corpus) are the late

sources like Robert May, and Digby and friends.


Digby has the most modernly familiar one, stewing beef with carrots and

turnips, and even thickening with a roux. go figure! Now, you need to decide

for yourself if Digby is "period", I'm not touching that one! :)


Here's my version of the queen's hotchpot, a meat and veggie stew from Digby.

All rights reserved, no publication without permission, etc.



- --AM


The Queens Hotchpot. From her Escuyer de Cuisine, Mr. la Montague. (Digby, p144)

The Queen Mothers Hotchpot of Mutton is thus made. It is exceeding good of

fresh Beef also, for those whose stomachs can digest it. Cut a neck of Mutton,

crag-end and all into steaks (which you may beat if you will; but they will be

very tender without beating) and in the mean time prepare your water to boil in

a Posnet, (which must be of a convenient bigness to have water enough o cover

the meat, and serve all the stewing, it, without need to add any more to it and

yet no superfluous water at last. Put your meat into the boiling water, and

when you have scummed it clean, put into it a good handful of Parsley, and as

much of Sibboulets (young Onion, or Sives) chopped small, if you like to eat

them in substance; otherwise tied up in a bouquet, to throw them away, when the

have communicated to the water all their taste; some Pepper, three or four

Cloves, and a little Salt, and half a Limon first pared. These must stew or

boil simperingly, (covered) at least three or four hours (a good deal more, if

Beef) stirring it often, that it burns not too.  A good hour before you intend

to take it off, put some quartered Turnips to it, or if you like them, some

Carrots. A while after take a good lump of Household bread, bigger than your

fist, crust and crum, broil it upon a Gridiron, that it be thoroughly toasted;

scrape off the black burning on the out-side; then soak it thoroughly in

Vinegar, and put this lump of tost into your Posnet to stew with  it, which

before you serve it up, melt a good lump of Butter (as much as  a great egg)

till it grow red; then take it from the fire, and put to it a little fine

flower to thicken it (about a couple of spoonfulls) like thick pap. Stir them

very well together; then set them on the fire again, till it grow red, stirring

it all the while; then put to it a ladle-ful of the liquor of the pot, and let

them stew a while together to incorporate, stirring it always. Then pour this

to the whole substance in the Posnet to incorporate with the liquor, and so let

them stew a while together. Then pour it out of the Posnet  into your dish,

meat and all; for it will be so tender, it will not endure taking up piece by

piece with your hand. If you find the taste not quick enough, put into this

juyce of the half Limon you reserved. For I should have said, that when you put

in the herbs, you squeese in also the juyce of half a Limon (pared fro the

yellow rind, which else would make it bitter) and the pared an squeesed (half

the substance) into it afterwards. The last things (of Butter, Bread, Flower)

cause the liaison and thickening of the liquor. If this should not be enough,

you may also put a little gravy of mutton into it stirring it well when it is

in, lest it curdle in stewing; or you may put the yolk of an egg or two to

your liasion, of Butter, Flower and a ladleful of Broth.


For gravy of mutton, Rost a juycy leg o Mutton three quarter. Then gash it in

several places, and press out the juyce by a screw-press.


Our Version: (Serves 8)

5 cups water

2 lb. stew beef

1 lemon

1 cup fresh Italian parsley, minced

1/4 onion, minced

2 T fresh chives (optional)

1/4 tsp. black pepper

1/8 tsp. ground cloves

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 lemon

2 turnips, cubed

2 carrots, cubed

1/4 loaf of bread

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

4 T butter

4 T flour


Put meat into a large pot with the water. Heat to a hard boil and remove any

scum that comes to the surface.

Add the parlsey, onion, chives, pepper, cloves, and salt. Peel the lemon,

making sure to remove all the white rind. Squish the juice into the stew, then

throw the peeled, squished lemon corpse into the pot.

Cover and return to a boil. Turn the heat down to a medium simmer and simmer

for three hours. Add the turnips and carrots. Return to a boil, cover and

continue to simmer.

Meanwhile, take the hunk of bread and toast well (350o oven for about 10

minutes), scrape off any black corners and soak in the vinegar.  Throw the hunk

of bread into the stew and continue to simmer until the crust separates, about

15 minutes. Remove and discard the crust.

In a large skillet, melt the remaining butter. Stir in the remaining flour and

stir until brown and bubbly. Add three ladles of stew broth and stir, making

sure there's no lumps.  Dump the resulting gravy into the stew, and boil

uncovered 15 minutes more, until thickened slightly.

Adjust salt and pepper as needed.



Date: Thu, 29 Apr 1999 09:04:38 -0400

From: Christine A Seelye-King <mermayde at>

Subject: SC - An Ordinary Potage


We did this one for the Friday night traveller's fare for our last

Midwinter Arts and Sciences.  We posted the documentation for this one

and for the Bruette Saake (from 2 15th Century), along with the Barley

Potttage we did, and everyone was blown away that Friday night's food was

1)delicious 2)documented 3) entered in the next day's competition!  Argue

that Digbie is out of period if you will, but this is definately Beef




>From "The Closet of the Eminently Learned Sir Kenelme Digbie, Kt.

Opened: etc"  Pub. posthumously by his son, 1669.  Pg. 124

An Ordinary Potage


Take the fleshy and sinewy part of a leg of Beef, crag-ends of necks of

Veal and Mutton.  Put them in a ten quarts pot, and fill it up with water.

Begin to boil about six a clock in the Morning, to have your potage ready

by Noon.  When it is well skimmed, put in two or three large Onions in

quarters, and half a loaf (in one lump) of light French bread, or so much

of the bottom crust of a Venison Pasty; all which will be at length clean

dissolved in the broth.  In due time season it with Salt, a little

Pepper, and a very few Cloves.  Likewise at a fit distance, before it be

ended boiling, put in store of good herbs, as in Summer, Borrage,

Bugloss, Purslain, Sorel, Lettice, Endive, and what else you like; in

Winter, Beetes,  Endive, Parsley-roots, Cabbage, Carrots, whole Onions,

Leeks, and what you can get or like, with a little Sweet-marjoram and

exeeding little Thyme.  Order it so that the broth be very strong and

good. To which end you mnay after four hours (or three) boil a Hen or

Capon in it; light French-bread sliced, must be taken about noon, and

tosted a little before the fire, or crusts of crisp new French-bread; lay

it in a dish, and pour some of the broth upon it, and let it stew a while

upon a Chafing-dish.  Then pour in more Broth, and if you have a Fowl,

lay it upon the bread in the broth, and fillit up with broth, and lay the

herbs and roots all over and about it, and let it stew a little longer,

and serve it up covered, after you have squeesed some juyce of Orange or

Limon, or put some Verjuyce into it.  Or you may  beat two or three Eggs,

with part of the broth, and some Verjuyce, or juyce of Orange, and then

mingle it with the rest of the broth.


Barley Potage  (page 125)


Take half a pound of French-barley, and wash it in three or four

hot-waters; then tye it up in a course linnen-cloth and strike it five or

six blows against the table; for this will make it very tender.  Put it

into such a pot full of meat and water, as is said int he ordinary

potage, after it is skimmed; and season this with Salt, Spice, Marjoram,

and Thyme, as you did the other.  An hour before you take it from the

fire, put into it a pound of the best Raisins of the Sun well washed; at

such a distance of time, that they may be well plumped and tender, but

not boiled to mash.  When the broth is enough boiled and consumed, and

very strong, pour some of it upon sliced dry bread in a deep potage-dish,

or upon crusts, and let it stew a while.  Then pour on all the rest of

the broth, with the barley and Raisins, upon a Capon or Hen, or piece of

Mutton or Veal; and let it mittonner a while upon the Chafing-dish, then

serve it in.



Subject: Re: SC - For Submission to the Chronus

Date: Thu, 16 Sep 1999 01:39:50 EDT

From: Mordonna22 at

To: stefan at


stefan at writes:


May I get a copy of the first for inclusion in the Florilegium?



From Mordonna's Kitchen

by Mordonna the Cook


From “ANCIENT COOKERY - From A MS. In The Library Of The Royal Society -

Arundel Collection, no. 344 p. 175 - 445” as found in A Collection of Medieval and Renaissance Cookbooks first compiled by Duke Cariadoc of the Bow and The

Duchessa Diana Alena with later additions by several hands. Sixth edition, volume I. Copyright 1991 by David Freidman.


This MS is dated 1740, and claims to be a copy of a MS from an early 15th

century text found in the Library of the Royal Society.


Stewet Beef to Potage.

p. 432-435, no. 306


Take faire ribbes of beeff, or elles take other gode beef, and smyte hit on

peces, and wash hit clene and do hit in a pot, and put therto a lytel watur, and a gode dele wyne and take onyons ynogh, and mynce hom, and do therto, and gode herbes, cut hem smal and put therto: and take bred stepet in brothe, and draw hit thurgh a streynour, and do hit therto, and coverr hit wel, and let hit wel sethe: and do therto poudre of cloves and maces, and colour wyth saunders: and in the settyngs down do therto a lytel vynegur medelet wyth pouder of canel;, and serve hit forthe, and do therto raisynges of Corance.


My translation:

Take fair ribs of beef, or else take other good beef, and smite it in pieces,

and wash it clean and do it in a pot, and put thereto a little water, and a good deal of wine; and take onions enough, and mince them, and do thereto, and good herbs, cut them small and put thereto; and take bread steeped in broth, and draw it through a strainer, and do it thereto, and cover it well,  and let it well seethe; and do thereto powder of cloves and mace, and color it with saunders; and in the setting down do thereto a little vinegar meddled with powder of

cinnamon, and serve it forth, and do thereto raisins of Corinth.


My redaction:

2 lbs. boneless round roast, cut into 1” pieces

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup water

2 cups sweet red wine

1 large onion, chopped fine, or minced

1/4 cup parsley, chopped fine

4 slices wheat bread

1/4 cup beef broth or bouillon

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1/4 teaspoon ground mace

1 teaspoon saunders powder (red sandalwood)

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup raisins


Wash beef, and place in a large Dutch oven or heavy saucepan.   Add salt, water, wine, onions, and parsley.  Process bread in food processor until ground fine, add broth.  Add to pot with beef.  Cover.  Let boil 30 to 45 minutes.  Add cloves, mace, saunders.  Remove from fire and add vinegar and cinnamon.  Serve with raisins sprinkled over the top.



I added salt, although the original does not mention it, because many early recipes do not mention salt because “everybody knows you add salt.” and this savory dish would seem to need a bit of salt.   Next time I do it, I’ll probably add the raisins to the pot a few minutes before removing from heat.





Date: Thu, 28 Oct 1999 09:07:13 EDT

From: LrdRas at

Subject: Re: SC - um, LONG:  Meat Brewets & the cooking of meat


lorix at writes:

<< For those who have made Bruet dishes, what was the consistency and presentation used? >>


Bruets vary considerable from one to another. For instance the Leek Bruet was

more like a thin cream soup with pieces of salt pork floating about in it

whereas the George Bruet (recipe to come) is basically parboiled then fried

chicken with a thick sauce poured over top. I don't think there is a specific

way bruets are made. Meat and sauce (thick or thin) would be the closest

description I could offer.





Date: Thu, 28 Oct 1999 09:47:51 EDT

From: LrdRas at

Subject: SC - Recipe 5-Weekend of Wisdom


GEORGÉ BRUET (Parsley-laced Soup)

This dish was very well received with only one piece of chicken being uneaten

by a vegetarian. I had thought that the liver and blood might be a problem

but no one commented prior to service and there were only good things said

about the dish after service.

(from Le Manegier de Paris. Translation by Janet Hinson)

Redaction copyright 1999 L. J. Spencer, Jr.

Makes 8 servings.


ORIGINAL RECIPE: George Soup, Parsley-laced Soup. Take poultry cut into

quarters, veal, or whatever meat you wish cut into pieces, and put to boil

with bacon; and to one side have a pot, with, blood, finely minced onions

which you should cook or fry in it. Have also bread browned on the grill,

then moisten it with stock from your meat and wine, then grind ginger,

cinnamon, long pepper, saffron, clove and grain and the livers, and grind

them up so well that there is no need to sift them: and moisten with

verjuice, wine and vinegar. And when the spices are removed from the mortar,

grind your bread, and mix with what it was moistened with, and put it through

the sieve, and add spices and leafy parsley if you wish, all boiled with the

blood and the onions, and then fry your meat. And this soup should be brown

as blood and thick like 'soringe.'


Note that always you must grind the spices first; and with soups, you do not

sift the spices, and afterwards you grind and sieve the bread.


Note that this is only called parsley-laced soup when parsley is used, for as

one speaks of 'fringed with saffron,' in the same way one speaks of 'laced

with parsley'; and this is the manner in which cooks talk.


8 Chicken quarters

4 slices Bacon, diced

2 Chicken livers

2 Onions, finely minced

1 T Cooking fat (e.g. lard)

* cp. Blood

1 slice Bread, toasted dark

* cp. Chicken stock

* cp. Red Wine

* tsp. Long pepper, ground

* tsp. True cinnamon, ground

1/8 tsp. Cloves, ground

1 pinch Saffron, ground

* tsp. Grains of Paradise, ground

1 T Verjuice

1 T Red wine

1 T Wine Vinegar

* cp. Italian parsley (leaves only)

* tsp. Black pepper, ground

* cp. Lard


In a large pot, cover chicken and bacon with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce

heat to medium. Cook until chicken is tender but not falling apart or until

flesh turns white. Remove chicken from stock. Continue boiling the stock

until it is reduced by half.


In another pot, sauté onions in fat until transparent and tender. Whisk in

blood. Continue cooking on low.


Mash liver and put through a sieve.


Mash parsley.


Moisten bread in * cp. of stock and * cp. red wine.

Moisten long pepper, cinnamon, cloves, saffron, grains of paradise and black

pepper in 1 T red wine, verjuice and vinegar.


Mash bread mixture and force through a strainer.


Mix liver into onion mixture. Mix blood into liver mixture, stirring

continuously. Add parsley.  Mix in bread mixture and spice mixture. Simmer,

stirring continuously for 5 min.


Brown chicken in lard.


Serve chicken with sauce poured over top.





Date: Wed, 10 Nov 1999 19:34:37 -0600

From: Mike  Young <uther at>

Subject: Re: SC - Cooking Champions of Ansteorra


I was thrilled to have been chosen to represent Ansteorra with a period

recipe at the Gulf War this year.  The new spices I received for this from

World Spice in Seattle I beleive made the big difference.  The stew was

really tasty.

Beef Stew

redacted by HL Gwyneth Blackrose


2 lbs. stew meat

1 large onion

8 cups water

1/2 tsp. grain of paradise, crushed

1/2 tsp. mace powder

1/2 tsp. sage

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

2 tsp. parsley

1/2 tsp. ground cloves

15 cubebs, crushed

1/2 tsp. white pepper

1.c bread crumbs(I used a period bread recipe and made these)

3 tblsps. red wine vinegar

2 beef bouillon cubes

pinch of saffron


Brown meat and set aside.  Bring water, bouillon, spices and onion to a boil.

Cook until onions are somewhat transparent.  Soak bread in vinegar and

strain through a strainer, stirring into mixture.  Add beef and cook until

thick. Serve hot.


Beef stew is a simple dish but I had never played with cubebs or grains of

paradise before so I did a lot of experimenting to get it the way I wanted it.

I used texts from "Take a Thousand Eggs" - Harleian MS. 279 and "Pleyn

Delit" Harleian MS. 4016 as sources.


What I really want to do at the War is do the cooking over an open fire.





Date: Sat, 04 Mar 2000 04:27:27 +0100

From: Thomas Gloning <gloning at Mailer.Uni-Marburg.DE>

Subject: SC - Beef Stew With Vegetables!!!


<< I want the recipe!!!!!!! >>


"De carnibus uero uaccinis uaporatas factas et in sodinga coctas

utendum, etiam et in iuscello, ut prius expromatas una unda

mittat, et sic in nitida aqua, quantum ratio poscit, coquantur, ut non

addatur aqua, et cum cocta fuerit caro, mittis acetum acerrimum quantum

media bucula, et mittis capita porrorum et puledium modicum,

apii radicis uel finiculum, et coquat in una hora, et sic addis mel

quantum medietatem de aceto uel quis dulcedinem habere uoluerit,

et sic coquat lento foco agetando ipsa olla frequenter manibus,

et bene ius cum carne ipsa temperetur, et sic teri: piper grana L,

costo et spicanardi per singula quantum medietatem solidi, et cariofili

quantum pinsat tremissis I. ista omnia simul trita bene in mortario

fictile addito uino modico, et cum bene tribulatum fuerit, mittis in

olla et agetas bene ita, ut, antequam tollatur de foco, modicum sentiat

et remittat in ius uirtutem suam. ubi tamen fuerit mel aut sapa uel


unum de ipsis, sicut superius contenit, mittatur, et in bucculare

non coquat, sed in olla fictile meliorem saporem facit."

(Source: Anthimus: De observatione ciborum ad Theodoricum regem

Francorum epistula, ed. Eduard Liechtenhan, Berlin 1963, p. 4f., =

Corpus medicorum latinorum VIII/1)





Date: Fri, 03 Mar 2000 22:55:25 -0500

From: Philip & Susan Troy <troy at>

Subject: Re: SC - Beef Stew With Vegetables!!!


Thomas Gloning wrote:

> (Source: Anthimus: De observatione ciborum ad Theodoricum regem

> Francorum epistula, ed. Eduard Liechtenhan, Berlin 1963, p. 4f., =

> Corpus medicorum latinorum VIII/1)


> Thomas


May I ask a favor? In section 34, on afrutum or spumeum, what, besides

juice or broth, goes into the bottom of the pan? The Mark Grant

translation uses a MS that uses the word "hygrogario", which he

translates as "diluted fish sauce", presumably with water. I believe

another source uses the word "hydrogario", which really ought, I

believe, to be garum or liquamen diluted with water. Still other Latin

originals use "megroario", having apparently lost the "g" in "garum",

while others use egregario (suggesting garum mixed with vinegar, as

would be oxygarum, which also implies vinegar, as in oxymel). One

source, the one sent to me by HG Cariadoc, unfortunately lacks

attribution as to editorship, and IIRC it uses the word "oenogaro",

which would refer to garum diluted with wine.


Now, garum overall is mentioned twice in Anthimus; once it is mentioned

as being more or less prohibited (by Anthimus) as medically inadvisable,

and later it is mentioned in one sauce recipe, diluted with _something_.


Do you have an opinion as to which word might appear in a hypothetical

Ur-text? I mean, I'm cooking this stuff, so I ought to have some idea...

; ) .





Date: Sat, 04 Mar 2000 14:43:05 +0100

From: Thomas Gloning <gloning at Mailer.Uni-Marburg.DE>

Subject: SC - Beef Stew With Vegetables!!!


Adamantius asked me:

<< In section 34, on afrutum or spumeum [in Anthimus] ... Do you have an

opinion as to which word might appear in a hypothetical Ur-text? I mean,

I'm cooking this stuff, so I ought to have some idea... ;  ) . >>


Difficult question! Liechtenhan puts "in egrogario" in his text, thereby

following Karl Mras: Anthimus und andere lateinische ƒrzte im Lichte der

Sprachforschung. In: Wiener Studien 61/62 (1943-47) 98-117, here 116ff.)


The apparatus criticus mentions some variation in the codices, all these

word forms seem more or less corrupt:

- -- megroario (G = a St. Gallen codex from the 9th century)

- -- in egroario (A = a 17th century London codex, that is based on a 9th

century codex; P = a Paris codex from the 11th century)

- -- in egroao, with deleted "ri" (?) (H = a 10th century codex now in


- -- in egrario l (l = a London codex from the 11th century)

- -- in egruario (g = another St. Gallen codex)


Thus, it seems that "in egrogario" is an emendation. Liechtenhan's Index

says: "egrogarium: i.q. hygrog·rion pro hydrog·rion Mras 116 ...". That

means, "hygrogarion" etc. does not appear in any of the old codices, but

is an attempt of a modern editor to give a reason for an emendation and

to make sense of the strange word forms of the codices. The version

"oenogarum" is an emendation that Valentin Rose (an important scholar of

dietetics) gave in his early 1870 edition. Thus, "oenogarum" too is an

attempt of this 19th century editior to make sense of the forms of the



The Thesaurus Linguae Latinae only mentions "egroarium" as a "vox dub.",

a doubtful word with the quotation from Anthimus.


In this case, it seems best to me to follow Liechtenhan and Mras. After

all, the recipe seems to be of Greek origin ("Afratus Graece ..."):

according to Liechtenhan's Index "afrutum" or "afrutus" goes back to

greek "aphroton".


Liechtenhan in his translation into German says: "in einem mit Wasser

zubereiteten Fischbrei". (If the latin text of Liechtenhan or his German

translation would be of help in the matter, let me know.) Not diluted

garum, but sort of a paste!


There is another aspect that might be important: later on in the recipe

there are alternatives mentioned: "tamen solimus et de pisce bono in

ipsa opera admiscere" (something like 'however, we also use to put good

fish into this dish'). "tamen" signifies a contrast. To make sense of

this passage I think we must assume either (1) that there is no fish in

the dish at all (the contrast being fish/no fish), or (2) that

egrogarium is made from fishes that are not so "good" or not so

expensive (the contrast being good and expensive/not so good and not so

expensive). -- The version (2) seems plausible to me.


"aphratum" is also mentioned in Isidor of Sevilla's chapter on dishes:

"Aphratum, quod Latine spumeum vocatur; aphrÚs enim Graece spuma

dicitur" (20.2.29), but there is nothing else mentioned that might be of



Then, there is a passage in another early medical writer, Alexander

Trallianus, where the word "aphraton" is used in some connection with

fish, but there is dispute whether or not this passage has something to

do with the Anthimus-passage (Moriz Haupt, Opuscula III 587 says yes,

the people of the Thesaurus Linguae Latinae say no). I won't touch this



To sum up: the editors and philologist made some effort to make sense of

the somewhat corrupt word forms in the codices. The best proposal to me

seems "egrogarium" that seems to go back to greek "hygrog·rion" or

"hydrog·rion". And that seems to signifie something like a fish paste of

the not so expensive garum-fishes ("ein mit Wasser zubereiteter

Fischbrei"). According to AndrÈ, greek "g·ros (g·ron)" was used for the

fishes and the category of fish, that garum was made of. garum/liquamen

diluted with water would be much more liquid than a paste.


Have fun (and mistrust everything I say)!

I am very much looking forward to your report of the event,





Date: Mon, 28 Aug 2000 16:46:44 -0400

From: "Barbara Sall" <socha at>

Subject: SC - Kid's recipes


I am not sure where I got this recipe.  A friend of mine had alot of period

cookbooks and I copied what sounded good to me.


Casserole of Pork

Serves 6 - 8

2 lbs boneless pork, cubed

1/2 cup smoked ham, diced

4 Tablespoons flour

2 Tablespoons butter

2 cups  chicken stock

2 cups red wine

12 white onions

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground mace

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1 slice bread

1 Tablespoon vinegar


Put the stock, wine, onions and seasonings in a stock pot.  Toss the pork

and ham in the flour and brown in butter.  Add them to the stock mix.

Simmer for 1 1/2 hours over medium low heat.  Stir occasionally.  Remove the

onions and puree them.  Return them to the pot and cook for another 1/2

hour. Soak the bread in vinegar, puree it and add to stew to thicken.  Cook

for 10 minutes more and serve.


I usually do not puree the onions and I decrust the bread.  I do recommend

that you decrease the amount of wine and vinegar.  How much I am not sure.

I have not experimented with it yet.  If I come up with any other recipes

that she likes, I will put them up under Kid's recipes.  How soon do you

need them?  Have fun.





Date: Thu, 12 Aug 2004 16:54:15 -0400

From: Patrick Levsque <pleves1 at>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] need recipe

To: "Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at>"

        <sca-cooks at>


All right If you want something that can feed about 2 dozens, try this:


(from the Romanian cookbook, still in the Florilegium as well. A bit  

OOP, but who cares, it's yummy!)


Veal breast and ribs. Make veal breast stewed with meat stock, with lard

bits or butte, cloves, nutmeg, a little pepper, salt, a glass of white

wine, turnips chopped small, whole umbrella nuts, dry plums and dry



This is basically a stew. It is added later in the book that you can

substitute beef for veal (therefore reducing the cost). I personnally

recommend cooking it on an open fire, with a good, fragrant wood (like apple

wood). You'll have to make sure the stew doesn't stick to the bottom and

burn. Substitute pine nuts for umbrella nuts and it will work just fine

(it's verysimilar - see previous discussion).



I don't give any proportions because, 1, people say I have no sense of

proportion :-)) and 2, I generally add the quantities I feel appropriate at

any given moment. You can fiddle with it anyway you want. Lots of nuts and

cherries is always good, though.


I served this for our Household at a camping event in June and it worked

very well.





Date: Thu, 23 Sep 2004 07:15:05 -0400

From: "Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius"

        <adamantius.magister at>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] pottage?

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at>


Also sprach Stefan li Rous:

> So, what is a good definition of a "pottage"? What are the dividing

> lines between a pottage, a stew, a bruit, a porridge and a soup?


Oy! Always he wants the straight, simple answers to complicated

kvest... I mean questions.


The short answer is there are no dividing lines between those dishes

so named, or rather, the names have denoted increasingly broadened

sets over time, to the point where there's been considerable blurring

of the "lines" and overlapping of the categories.


Mostly what we can fall back on is the original, dictionary

definition of each word, as determined when the dictionary entries

were written and/or back-determined, if you know what I mean.


So. A pottage, depending on who you talk to, is either a dish cooked

in a pot, or a dish sufficiently liquid to drink (as in potable). You

eat it with a spoon. The Larousse Gastronomique defines a potee as

anything cooked in an earthenware pot, and I was taught that to the

French, a potage (with one "t") is a soup with a phase of thin to

semi-thick liquid with solids in it, anything from, say, minestrone

to New England Clam Chowder. In Middle English I'd say a pottage is

anything you eat with a spoon or drink, as opposed to something you

eat with a knife -- IOW, there is a clear distinction between

lechemeats and pottages, but just to make sure Stefan is confused,

roasts can be cut up and sauced or recooked to make pottages ;-).


A stew is pretty straightforward. With a surprisingly small number of

exceptions (i.e. bouillabaisse), stews are denoted by slow, gentle

cooking, usually of tough meats and wintry vegetables. Similar to

braising. The name appears to refer to a cooking method and, perhaps,

a related piece of equipment, the use of a fire whose temperature can

be kept low and burn slowly and long, later using a firebox called a

stove. Estouffade and etouffee are essentially stews, both in concept

and etymology.


A brewet? It's brewed, I guess. I'm not sure if the medieval

distinction between it and other slow-cooked liquid foods is any more

clear, but maybe it's a tradition derived from saying the same thing

in two different languages, which is something you run across a lot

in medieval England. Hieatt and Butler aren't much help; their

glossary in Curye On Inglysch says a brewet or a bruet is a broth, or

something cooked in it. OTOH, since broths are made by cooking things

in water, it has a dual nature as both a foundation and a by-product,

which makes the definition just a bit circular.


A porridge today denotes a grain-based dish, usually a moderately

thin gruelly stuff, at least when hot, but the name appears to

ultimately come down to leeks, from something like poree or poire in

French. In simpler terms, porrey is a leek soup, and by extension,

any of several soupy green vegetable dishes (I believe le Menagier

identifies spinach specifically as "a kind of porrey"). I suspect

that grains got added to porreys as a thickener, and over time became

the dominant ingredient.


Soups are dishes of liquidy stuff poured over sops of bread, usually,

but not always, toasted. Mostly they were (back in the days when sops

were involved) relatively thin, but as always, the exception

sometimes proves the rule.


So, as I said earlier in my rant on the blurred lines, all of the

above are pottages (but not necessarily potages ;-) ), and some are

soups, in addition to whatever else they may be.





Date: Thu, 23 Sep 2004 09:15:04 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] pottage, soup, et al

To: ooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at>


Michael Dixon wrote:

> Stew refers to the cooking method, stewing, originally "bathe in a

steam bath," from O.Fr. estuver "bathe, stew," (of uncertain origin,

> possibly from V.L. *extufare "evaporate" ).

> snipped

> Toki Redbeard


Stew isn't all that clear-cut--

stew stiu, sb.3 Sc. and north. [Of obscure etymology. The sense hstory

of stew  sb.2 and

the related vb. seems to exclude the possibility of connexion with those

words. From the similarity of sense, the word has been supposed to be

cognate with (M)Dutch, LG. stof, OHG. stoup (mod.G. staub), Da. stv,

dust; but the phonoogical possibility of this has not been shown. ]


It's meant things like:


Suffocating vapour, stench, or clouds of dust.


     1375 Barbour Bruce xi. 614 Sic ane stew raiss owth thame then Of

      aynding, bath of hors and men.


Stew at one time refered to the pond in which fish were kept--


in stew = OF. en estui, said of fish kept in confinement, to be ready

for the table.


     C. 1386 Chaucer Prol. 350 Ful many a fat partrich hadde he in

      Muwe, And many a Breem, and many a luce in Stuwe.


Avessel for boiling, a caldron. Obs.


     C. 1305 Land Cokaygne 109 Þe leuerokes.;Li/enticons/yogh.giftiþ

      adun to man is muþ Idi/enticons/ in stu ful swiþe wel

      Pudrid wiþ gilofre and canel;


also it was  A heated room; a room with  fireplace.


     C. 1374 Chaucer Troylus iii. 601 Troylus..myght it se Thurgh out a

      lytel wyndowe in a stuwe, Ther he by-shet syn myd-nyght was [in]



The modern meaning in the noun sense may be 18th century---


A preparation of meat slowlyboiled in a stew-pan, generally containing

vegetables, rice, etc.


   1756 Mrs. Calderwood in Coltness Collect. (Maitl. Club) 252 They

      can dress..upon this stove, a roast, a boill, a fry, a stew and a



As a verb--

stew, v.1 Obs. Also3 steowien. [Early ME. steowi, stewe (the compound

wiðstewe occurs C. 1175 Lamb. Hom. 15), perh. repr. OE. *steowan:-WGer.

*stawwjan (3 sing. *stawiþ), whence MLG., MHG. stöuwen, stauwen to

check, restrain, hinder, mod.G. stauen to dam up. ] trans. To chek,



   C. 1205 Lay. 6266 And he sette stronge lawen to steowien his folke


also as a verb--


trans. To bathe in a hot bath or a vapour bath.


   * C. 1400 tr. Secreta Secret., Gov. Lordsh. 69 Aftir þat stewe þe

      with stewynge couenableto þe tyme, for þat mekyl profytes;


2. Cooking.


a. trans. To boil slowly in a close vessel; to cook (meat, fruit, etc.)

in a liquid kept at the simmering-point.


   C. 1420 Liber Cocorum (1862) 14 Stue thy peions thus thou schalle.




intr. Of mea, fruit, etc.: To undergo stewing; to be cooked by slow

boiling in a closed vessel. Also (of an infusion of tea, etc.), to

`stand' on the leaves, etc. Also transf., of the pot containing it.


   1594 Gd. Huswifes Handmaid Kitchin 1 Let them [Turneps, et.] stew

      till they be verie tender.


There are also some uses where as a verb it meant close up in a bed or

stink with sweat.

This was all from OED.





Date: Sun, 19 Dec 2004 06:19:36 -0800 (PST)

From: Louise Smithson <helewyse at>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: Mace and Must Substitute

To: sca-cooks at



Second, i noticed bottles of "grape molasses" next to the bottles of

"pomegranate molasses".


So, anyway, anyone needing must for Greco-Roman or other cuisine, try

your local Near Eastern market fo "grape molasses" - or just soak

raisins in water, squeeze 'em good, and use the liquid.



I have used the grape molasses sucessfully in feast situations to  

substitute for grape must, it adds a sweet grape flavor without the  

cost. It isn't identical as it is far more concentrated than grape  

must and hasn't been aged.  But it makes a good substitute.  Add some  

to your pot roast next time you make some, it also goes great in beef  

or venison stews.  Here is a recipe from scappi for just that dish.


Beef stew in the German style. Recipe 12 Chapter 2 Scappi


Take the loin from a fat animal and take the part of the muscle from  

the shoulder and the fat with it. And clean it from the nerves and skin  

and wash it with wine, vinegar and water and put it into a stewing pot  

with pepper, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger. Add pieces of ham or  

pork jowl that aren’t rancid. Pass the wash liquid through a sieve and  

add it to the pot along with some grape must. After it has rested for  

four hours in this marinade cover the pot and seal it with pastry and  

let it cook very slowly for two hours. And when it is nearly cooked add  

raisins and cherries and let it finish cooking. When it is cooked it  

should be served hot with the same sauce above. One can also cook with  

this whole onions that have first been roasted on the grill or  

parboiled in water. In the same way you can prepare the tip of the  

breast and the shoulder and the leg of the said animal after you have  

cut it in more pieces. With this dish in the winter on can also cook  

quail, pheasant and other wild birds.



(Note: this recipe originally calls for beef as the meat, however the  

recipe for venison states that it may be cooked in whatever way is  

appropriate for beef).






1 l venison round steak

1 teaspoon spice blend from Scappi (consists of cinnamon, cloves,  

nutmeg, ginger, grains of paradise, saffron and sugar)

1 teaspoon salt.

1/2 cup white wine

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup grape must

1 onion

1 ounce each currants and cherries




Make the marinade by blending the spices and liquid ingredients. Put  

the venison to marinade for at least one hour. Meanwhile slice and  

parboil the onions. Put all ingredients except the dried fruit into a  

heavy bottomed pan and cook on a low flame for 1 1/2 hours. Add the  

dried fruit and cook for a further 10 minutes. Allow to cool in the  

juice then reduce the stock to thicken. Serve warm.



Date: Thu, 9 Feb 2006 20:14:09 EST

From: Bronwynmgn at

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Foods for Begining SCA Cooks

To: sca-cooks at


SilverR0se at writes:

<<Does anyone have any suggestions for good foods to introduce to  newbies?

The recipes must be able to be made the night before and served  room  

Temperature or cold. >>


I have successfully used "Drye Stewe for Beeff" for such a purpose. It's

effectively pot roast, using wine as the liquid, and putting diced onions,

whole cloves, blade mace, and ground pepper on top of the meat while cooking.

Bloody easy to make.  It's from a 15th century English  manuscript known as



Take a fair urthen pot, and lay hit well with splentes in the bothum that

the flessh neight hit not; then take rybbes of beef or faire leches, and  couche

hom above the splentes, and do therto onyons mynced, and clowes, and maces,

and pouder of pepur and wyn, and stop hit well that no eyre goo oute, and

sethe hit wyth esy fyre.


Brangwayna Morgan



Date: Fri, 10 Feb 2006 09:28:44 -0800

From: Susan Fox <selene at>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Foods for Begining SCA Cooks

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at>


> This recipe sounds great, but what are "splentes"?

> Renata


Splints. You put it pieces of wood in the pot to keep the meat from

actually touching the bottom and burning.  Modern equivalent could be

one of those steaming baskets.  Although come to think of it, a nice

citrus or stone-fruit wood, still green, might add something to the

flavor. If you want to try it with fresh plum, orange or lemon branches

I can arrange that.


Selene C.



Date: Fri, 10 Feb 2006 12:37:33 EST

From: SilverR0se at

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Foods for Begining SCA Cooks

To: sca-cooks at


Ah, now it is clear why it is called a "Drye" stew! I appreciate your  

Offer of wood, but I will try it first in a steamer.


Renata ::not always brave when faced with a new recipe...::



Date: Fri, 10 Feb 2006 10:04:59 -0800

From: David Friedman <ddfr at>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Foods for Begining SCA Cooks

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at>


>> This recipe sounds great, but what are "splentes"?

>> Renata

> Splints.  You put it pieces of wood in the pot to keep the meat from

> actually touching the bottom and burning.  Modern equivalent could

> be one of those steaming baskets.  Although come to think of it, a

> nice citrus or stone-fruit wood, still green, might add something to

> the flavor.  If you want to try it with fresh plum, orange or lemon

> branches I can arrange that.


Plum is possible--I think we can be pretty sure that English cooks in

the 15th century didn't have ready access to orange or lemon branches.


What struck me about the recipe was that it sounded rather like capon

y-stewed, with beef substituted for poultry.


Also that it sounded good.





Date: Mon, 03 Apr 2006 18:57:08 -0400

From: Patrick Levesque <petruvoda at>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Dikabrika

To: "Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at>"

        <sca-cooks at>


Decided to work from Perry's new translation of a Baghdad Cookery Book

tonight, and I happened to have all the ingredients for that dish. I don't

feel too comfortable copying the translation straight out (would Charles

Perry mind?), but it's easy to find in PPC #79 (ask Devra :-))


So here goes my interpretation:


1 pound veal cubes

1 leek

2 onions

1 handful of coarsely chopped fresh coriander

1 teaspoon powdered coriander seeds

9 ounces canned chickpeas (don¹t keep the dry stuff here as I rarely  

cook with them)

1/4 cup soy sauce (instead of murri, presumably; I have to venture in  

the Arab market one of these days to see if I can find real murri)

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar.

Salt, pepper


It's actually a pretty straightforward recipe, although I adapted some of it,

and I don't know how much I would stray from period techniques in so  



Basically, I browned the veal cubes in olive oil, took them out, added the

onions and leeks for a couple of minutes, added back the meat, covered with

water and added the coriander (fresh and dry) and the chickpeas, as well as

salt and pepper.


Brought everything to a boil, added the vinegar, soy sauce and sugar.

Brought to a boil again, covered, and simmered for 90 minutes, with the last

20 minutes uncovered to boil down the sauce.


The text calls for some mixed spice near the end, which I didn't add, but I

believe a little bit of cardamom wouldn't be too bad in this case.


Once it has boiled down, the sauce is actually quite thick. This is really

unexpensive and easy to prepare, and would make a wonderful sideboard dish,

IMHO. It wasn't really sour (for a recipe that is in the 'sour dishes'

section) but then again, I didn't put in that much vinegar. Add more if

you're partial to the sharp taste. Go easy on the salt, though. It's salty

enough with the soy sauce.





Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2011 14:53:25 -0600

From: Michael Gunter <dookgunthar at>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Egredouce - i.e. Glop


Here is the version of Egredouce I made as part of my A&S project. Sorry that it isn't in modern recipe format, I'll try to simplify it a bit. Not putting in modern recipe format cost me a couple of points at the Gulf Wars A&S Champion competition.  :-)


Take Porke or Beef, whether the likey, & leche it thinne thwerte; then broyle it brouna litel, & then mynce it lyke Venyson; choppe it in sewe, then caste it in a potte & do ther-to Freyssh brothe; take Erbis, Onynonys, Percely & Sawge, & other gode erbis, then lye it vppe with brede; take Pepir & Safroun, pouder Canel, Vynegre, or Eysel Wyne, Brothe an Salt, & let yet boyle to-gederys, tylle they ben y-now, & than serue it forth rennyng.


My reading:

Take pork or beef, whichever you prefer, and slice it thin crosswise; then broil it brown a little, and then mince it like Venison; chop it in the drippings and then put it into a pot and add fresh broth (light chicken broth); take herbs, onions, parsley and sage and other good herbs, then thicken it with bread; take pepper and saffron, cinnamon, vinegar or else wine, broth and salt, and let it boil together, until they be cooked enough and then serve it forth hot.


I took sirloin steaks and broiled them while basting them with cinnamon and butter.  I had researched basting sauces for various meats and found beef to be basted with either plain water or cinnamon and butter. I used some of the drippings from to cook green peas in for another portion of my meal.


Once cooked I chopped up the meat and basting juices and added chicken broth. Then I added minced onions, parsley, sage, oregano, basil and rosemary and brought it to a boil. Then breadcrumbs were added with black pepper, cinnamon, saffron and red wine vinegar to taste. Then cooked it down a bit until everything kind of came together.


It was thick, gloppy, ugly and really tasty. I tried disguising it by topping with minced parsley but it didn't help much.





Date: Thu, 27 Jan 2011 16:05:04 -0600

From: Michael Gunter <dookgunthar at>

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Egredouce - i.e. Glop


<<< I'm getting the aigre part -- vinegar, but where's the douce? I think

this is the first egredouce I've ever seen that doesn't have a

sweetening agent... I believe most of the recipes I've seen have been

for sort of sweet-and-sour dried-fruit chutney sauce over fried fish or

meat. >>>


I fully agree and was rather confused about that as well.

The recipe comes from Two Fifteenth Century Cookbooks p. 31/58


I keep wondering if this was a simple pottage and mis-titled.

I'd like to find the real name but I'll keep making it.


<<< Adamantius (away from his desk right now, but later) >>>




<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at