Recipe Wednesday: Meat Dishes From The Middle Ages

Sorry, guys. Looks like I fell off the blogcycle again. Let’s see if we can get ‘er going again with this:

Still posting recipes and pictures from the SCA Known World Cooks and Bards event near Woodland Park, CO, last month. This time, meat dishes!

First up, homemade sausages:

Beef Sausages

I was always intimidated by the idea of making homemade sausages, until I did it once.  Then I realized that it wasn’t really all that hard.  The important thing is to keep everything clean and cold.  (I’ll do a more thorough posting on the sausage-making process at some point, but those are the most important details.)

These particular sausages are made from beef rather than pork, although they still use pork casings.  (We saved some of the meat out to fry up without casings for diners who don’t eat pork.)

The recipe comes from Platina , by way of Master Robin Vinehall, who is responsible for the modern version of the recipe below.

Master Robin Vinehall’s Beef Sausages

20. Meat Sausages
Take meat from a veal haunch, and cut it up small with its own fat or with lard. Grind marjoram and parsley together, and beat egg yolk and grated cheese with a paddle, sprinkle on spices, make a single mass and mix everything with the meat itself. Then wrap this mixture with pork or veal casing, after it has been cut off in pieces to the size of an egg. Cook on a spit at the hearth on a slow fire. The common people call this sausage mortadella because it is surely more pleasant a little raw than overcooked. For this reason it is digested slowly, makes obstructions, creates stone, but nevertheless helps the heart and liver.
–Platina, On Right Pleasure and Good Health, c. 1475

5 pounds ground beef (high-fat – not more than 78% lean!)
8 egg yolks
1 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sage
2/3 teaspoon fennel seed
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 1/2 teaspoon marjoram
2 tablespoons salt (Note: If you make this sausage without the casing, cut the salt in half.)
2/3 teaspoon thyme
sausage casings

Grind all the spices and mix together. Then mix them thoroughly with the ground beef, egg yolks and cheese. Finally, stuff the sausage casing with the mixture; putting the sausage and cheese mixture through the meat grinder a second time gives a more finely textured sausage.

The spices and cheese make this a wonderfully tasty sausage.

Next, a chicken dish:  Mosy for Soper in Somer

Mosy for Soper in Somer

I don’t know what it is about this dish that makes it especially good for supper in summer, because I think it’s good all year ’round.

Mosy for Soper in Somer
(Chicken and Pine Nuts)

Mosy for Soper in Somer.
Take ſmale chekyns and chop hom, and ſethe hom in brothe of beef, and wyne; and caſt therto clowes, maces, pynes, and hew parſel and ſauge and caſt therto, and colour hit with ſaffron; and take pouder of pepur, or of greynes de paris, and put therto, and take eyren broken, and drawe thurgh a ſtreynour zolk and al, and bete hit with a pot ſtik, and put therto an unce of ginger, and ſhote al into the ſame pot to the chekeneſſe, and ſtur hit well, and when hit begyunes to boyle ſet hit from the fire; and ſerve hit forthe.
–Arundel MS. 344 (early 15th c.), quoted in Ancient Cookery

5 pounds boneless chicken, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cans beef broth (or equivalent fresh)
2 cups white wine
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon mace
1 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup parsley, washed and plucked
1/2 teaspoon dried sage, or 1 tablespoon fresh
3-5 threads saffron
1/2 teaspoon pepper or ground grains of paradise, or a combination
5 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon ginger

Mix broth, wine, cloves, mace, pine nuts, parsley, sage, saffron, and pepper/grains in a medium stockpot. Bring to a boil. Add chicken and simmer for 45 minutes, or until chicken is stewed and tender. Draw out 1 cup of the hot broth. Add the eggs to this, a little at a time, stirring constantly; then add this mixture back to the simmering stockpot a little at a time, stirring constantly. Add ginger and bring to a boil.

The eggs thicken the broth; or at least, they’re supposed to.  Quite often, they just curdle (at least in my experience).  But they still add nice body to the broth.

There were other meat dishes as well, and while I don’t have the recipes handy for sharing, I’ll still share the pretty pictures!

Pork sausages:

Pork Sausages

Chicken Pie:

Chicken Pie

Venison Stew:

Venison Stew

And last, some lovely Garlic-Crusted Lamb:


And that’s all for this time!

Next week, I’ll be back with some additional tea sandwiches.


About sheilamcclune

Aspiring author, sharing the tidbits I've learned along the way.
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