15th Century English menu and recipes (a selection of our group’s favorites)
First, the bibliography because we would be lost without all the hard work and research that has gone into these publications. We highly recommend you purchase any/all of these books if you have any interest in medieval cooking:
- Take a Thousand Eggs Or More by Cindy Renfrow
- To The king’s Taste by Lorna J. Sass
- Medieval Cookbook by Maggie Black
- The Medieval Kitchen: Recipes from France and Italy by Odile Redon
- A Boke of Gode Cookery Vol 1 by James L. Matterer
- The Culinary Recipes of Medieval England by Constance Hieatt
- Websites: www.godecookery.com , www.medievalcookery.com
A typical menu for our weekend events:
Mid-day meal for Saturday:
- Soup: Zanzarelli, Pork tartlet soup or Cock-a-Leekie are usually preferred
- Pasties: usually mushroom and cheese and/or “pies of Paris”
- Meat: Beef or Pork Roast or chickens (spit roasted over the fire) often served with a cameline sauce
- Vegetable: Leeks and mushrooms
- Bread, butter, cheeses and hard salami type sausage
- Something sweet: Custard Pie and/or “fruit patties”
Mid-day meal for Sunday :
- Mushroom and cheese pasties
- Stewed Lombard (Pork)
- Benes yfryed (Fava beans with onions, garlic and bacon)
- Fruit patties (apple)
- Custard pie
We cook on site, over the campfire with authentic cookware. We do one main meal per day served around 1-2pm. The meal is cooked, prepared and eaten in front of the public. For our usual meals we like to have a soup (especially if the weather is cool), bread, wine, a roasting meat, some form of pasties, a warm side dish and a selection of desserts.
Pork tartlet Soup (soup of little raviolis stuffed with pork and spices):
For the noodle dough:
- 2 cups sifted flour
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 1 egg lightly beaten
- About ¼ cup of cold water
Sift flour and salt together. Make a small well in the center of the flour – pour the egg and water into it. Combine all ingredients, mixing and kneading until smooth, (elastic dough is formed in about 10 minutes). Allow dough to sit for about 20 minutes. Divide dough in half and on a lightly floured surface roll out halves one at a time into sheets almost paper thin. Dough will be elastic and much determination is required in this process. Cut each sheet of dough into about 10 or 12 rectangular pieces.
For the filling and broth:
- 3 eggs
- 1/8 teaspoon of saffron
- ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
- A pinch of mace
- 10 cubebs of black pepper, finely crushed
- ¼ teaspoon of aniseed
- 1/8 teaspoon of each cloves and nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- ¾ lb of ground pork
- 1/3 cup of currants
- 6 cups of chicken or beef stock
Beat the two eggs, spices and salt together. Blend egg mixture with the pork and currants. Place a teaspoon of the filling on each piece of dough. Beat the third egg and use egg as a glue to coat the edges of the dough. Fold each piece of dough over the stuffing so the edges meet and seal pocket by pressing the sides together.
Bring stock to a boil and add the tartlets as well as any leftover stuffing. Reduce heat to a gentle boil. Cook for about 10-12 minutes. Serve.
This one is a huge favorite of the group! We serve it over our beef loin which is spit roasted over the fire.
- 2 cups of red wine
- 1 cup of honey
- ½ teaspoon each of Cinnamon, Ginger and Nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon of ground cloves
- ½ cup of sugar
- ¼ cup of apple cider vinegar
- 3 teaspoons of corn starch
Mix all ingredients in a sauce pan and cook over a medium flame while stirring occasionally until thickens to a syrup like consistency.
Mushroom and cheese pasties:
- 1 ½ lbs. of sliced mushrooms (we like a mix of ½ bella – ½ button)
- 2 tbs. olive oil
- 1 cup of grated or shredded cheese (we like a mix of Irish cheddar and mozzarella)
- ½ tsp of each salt and ginger
- ¼ tsp of pepper
- Pie crusts for shells
Saute’ mushrooms in olive oil; drain and let cool. Mix mushrooms, cheese and spices in a bowl. Place into a pie shell with or without lid or form into small mini pies or pasties as we did. Pierce crust at top to vent. Glaze crust with a beaten egg and bake at 350° for 35-40minutes – until golden brown. Serve hot or cold.
Leeks and Mushrooms:
- 8 small leeks (or 4 large)
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- 1 ½ lbs. of sliced mushrooms (we used a mix of ½ bella – ½ button)
- 1 cup of chicken stock
- ½ tsp of brown sugar
- 1/8 tsp of saffron
- ½ tsp of ginger
- Beurre manie’ : 3 tablespoons of butter combined with 3 tablespoons of flour
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
Wash leeks thoroughly and slice into rings. Saute in butter in a large deep pan until they begin to wilt. Add the mushrooms and toss to coat contents in the butter. Wisk together the stock, sugar and ginger then pour over the leeks and mushrooms. Simmer, covered, for about 2 minutes. Add the beurre manie’, stirring rapidly over a low flame until the liquid thickens and the vegetables are evenly glazed. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.
Benes yfryed (Fava beans with garlic, bacon and onions):
- 1 package of dry fava beans or 2 cans (cans are much easier)
- 1 large or 2 small onions
- Bacon, about 6 slices of thick cut- cut into chunks
- Olive oil
If using dry beans – Boil or soak beans until tender and remove husk like shells. If using canned beans they should be ready to use. Sauté onions in olive oil until soft then add beans, bacon and garlic.
Stewed Lombard (a pork, almond and wine stew):
- 1 ½ lbs of lean pork cut into bite sized pieces
- 4 cups of red wine
- 2 medium onions, cut small
- 1 cup of slivered, blanched almonds
- 1 teaspoon sugar or to taste
- ½ teaspoon of powdered ginger
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/8 teaspoon of each: saffron, cinnamon and allspice
- Salt to taste
- Butter for sautéing
In a large heavy pot or Dutch oven brown the pork thoroughly over medium heat. Add onions and continue cooking until they are translucent. In a separate frying pan – melt the butter and brown the slivered almonds over low heat. Add the almonds, wine, sugar and spices to the pot with the pork and onions. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer (covered) for 30 minutes.
- 1 cup of light cream
- 1 egg
- 3 egg yolks, beaten
- ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
- Pinch of saffron, crumbled
- 3 table spoons of honey
- One 8” pie shell
Beat the one whole egg and use to glaze the entire pie crust. Pierce the bottom of the raw pie crust in a few places to prevent it from bubbling up. Bake the empty pie shell for 10 minutes at 400° or until a lovely golden color. Reduce oven to 325°.
Beat together the cream, egg yolks, saffron and sugar in a bowl until well mixed. Pour into pie shell and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a fork inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Serve hot or refrigerate and serve cold.
Fruit patties (apple):
- 2-3 apples, (we recommend Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, Cortland or Empire – we use a mix of these types)
- 3 tablespoons of raisins
- 6 dried figs, chopped
- ½ cup of walnut pieces
- ¼ teaspoon of dried ginger
- ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1 pinch of ground cloves
- Pie dough to form pastry shells
- 1 egg, beaten
Pre heat the oven to 450°. Peel, core and chop (or slice) the apples. Place apple slices into a large bowl or pot and pour boiling water directly over them. Cover and set aside at room temperature for 10 minutes (this is not a medieval technique but trust me it works beautifully!) Drain apples well and transfer to a large bowl. Add raisins, chopped figs, walnut pieces, ginger, cinnamon and cloves to the apples and mix well.
Make or buy pie dough and cut into shapes – circles, squares or triangles (we do circles). Glaze the edges of the dough circles with the beaten egg (to act as a glue and hold the pocket closed over the filling). Place a portion of the filling on each dough shape and close into a pocket, press edges together to seal. Place patties on a cookie tray lined with parchment paper. Cut little vent holes into each then glaze with the remaining beaten egg. Bake for approx. 20- 30 minutes or until golden brown.
(The above filling is delicious in a full size apple pie as well! When I do, I add ½ cup of sugar to modernize it for my family’s sweet tooth.)
(This page is perpetually under construction)