Medieval Recipes

Medieval Recipe Gallery


Dediti Ventri

A cookery group in the Barony of al-Barran, Kingdom of the Outlands, dedicated to the study, practice and promotion of European medieval and renaissance culinary arts.


Recipes from a feast prepared for the Hodag Defender Tourney, March 28, AS XXXII.

1st course: bread, honey butter (for the consumptives among you),
cheese, and pickled mushrooms

2nd course: porrey chapeleyn

3rd course: roasted chicken served with almond pomegranate sauce,
cameline sauce, and sage-based sauce, and fried beanes

4th course: lamb in garlic and rauioles

5th course: payn ragoun, gingerbrede, and strawberry tarts


Pickled Mushrooms

To pickle mushrooms

Source: Elinor Fettiplace's Receipt Book: Elizabethan Country House Cooking, Hilary Spurling, 1986.

Take your Buttons, clen ym with a spunge & put ym in cold water as you clean ym, then put ym dry in a stewpan & shake a hand full of salt over ym, yn stew ym in their own liquor till they are a little tender; then strain ym from ye liquor & put ym upon a cloath to dry til they are quite cold. Make your Pickle before you do your Mushroom, yt it may be quite cold before your put ym in. The Pickle must be made with White-Wine, White-Pepper, quarter'd Nutmeg, a Blade of Mace & a Race of ginger.

2/3 cup white wine
6 white peppercorns
1/2 whole nutmeg
1 blade of mace
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
1 pound small mushrooms
1 teaspoon salt, heaped

Make the marinade first. Put the wine, pepper, nutmeg, mace and ginger in a small saucepan and simmer, covered, for ten minutes. Leave to cool while preparing the mushrooms. Clean mushrooms. Put them whole into a large, heavy saucepan with a heaped teaspoon of salt. Heat gently on medium low, shaking and stirring with a wooden spoon occasionally. Keep covered between stirrings. They should be tender and done in about ten minutes, with almost all juices reabsorbed.

Pour the marinade over the mushrooms in their pan as soon as they are done. Pour all into a bowl and leave covered at room temperature for a few hours to let the flavors develop.


Porrey Chapeleyn

Source: Curye on Inglysch: English culinary manuscripts of the fourteenth century, Hieatt and Butler from: Part II: Diuersa Servicia

For to make a porrey chapeleyn, tak an hundred onyons o[th]er an half, & take oyle de olyf & boyle togedere in a pot; & tak almande mylk & boyle yt & do [th]ereto. Tak & Make a [th]ynne paast of dow, & make [th]erof as it were ringis. Tak & fry hem in oyle de olyue or in white grees & boil al togedere.

3-4 large onions, chopped
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cups almond milk*
Salt, pepper, nutmeg to taste
Wonton skins or homemade pasta dough, cut into "ring" shapes and fried in olive oil, reserve for garnishing

In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over low heat and slowly begin to carmelize the onions, about 30 minutes or until their volumn is reduced by half. Add the almond milk and simmer gently for 20 to 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Serve with the fried rings as garnish.

*Make almond milk by taking about two cups of blanched, ground almonds, steeping them in warm water, and straining. You should have a rich, sweet, milk-like liquid.


Almond Pomgranate Sauce

Source: Libro del Coch, as translated in Barbara Santich's Original Mediteranian Cuisine

Take fine white almonds and grind them well in a mortar. And when they are well pounded, blend with the juice of sour pomegranates. Then add to the mortar powdered sugar, cinnamon and ginger, because in the colour and the flavor cinnamon should predominated. And this sauce does not need to be strained.

1/2 cup blanched almonds, ground
1/4 cup pomegranate juice or diluted pomegranate molasses (add a little lemon juice if it's too sweet)
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
3/4 teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon powdered sugar

Mix all these ingredients together, and add additional pomegranate juice, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the sauce reaches the desired consistency. A blender can be a plus.


Cameline Sauce

Source: The Viandier of Taillevent, translated and edited by Terence Scully (1988)

To Make Cameline Sauce. Grind ginger, a great deal of cinnamon, cloves, grains of paradise, mace, and if you wish, long pepper; strain bread that has been moistened in vinegar, strain everything together and salt as necessary.

2 slices toast, turned into bread crumbs
White wine vinegar
3/4 teaspoon ground Ceylon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (scant)
1/4 teaspoon ground mace (scant)
1/4 teaspoon ground grains of paradise

Mix the bread crumbs with just enough vinegar to develope a spreadable consistency. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Thin to desired consistency with water, one tablespoon at a time.


Sage-based Sauce

Source: Le Menagier De Paris (about 1395) translated by Janet Hinson (1988)

...then grind up ginger, cinnamon sticks, grains, cloves, and grind well without sieving; then grind up bread moistened with the chicken liquid, plenty of parsley, some sage and a little saffron among the greens to make it greener, and sieve it, (and some sieve with this hard-cooked egg yolks)
and soak in good vinegar...

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground Ceylon cinnamon
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon ground grains of paradise
pinch ground cloves
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup chicken stock
2-3 tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons ground sage
pinch saffron threads
2 hard-cooked egg yolks, mashed
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, or to taste

Mix the ginger, cinnamon, grains of paradise, cloves, bread crumbs and saffron threads in a bowl. Pour over chicken stock and mix well. Allow to steep for a few minutes. Stir in the parsley, sage, and well crumbled egg yolks. Mix thoroughly. Stir in white wine vinegar to taste. Thin to desired consistency with additional chicken stock and/or vinegar.


Fried Beans

To Fry Beanes

Source: A Proper New Booke of Cookery, 1575

Take your beanes and boyle them, & put them into a frying pan with a dish of butter, & one or two Oynions, and so let them frye till they be brown al together, then cast a little salt upon them, and then serue them forth.

1 cup dried small peeled, split fava beans
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup butter
salt, to taste

Rinse the fava beans and put in a pot with water to cover by an inch. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until the favas are tender. Drain and rinse them. In a large skillet, melt the butter and add the onion and cooked favas. Cook them over medium heat, stirring often, until they begin to brown. Season to taste with salt.



Source: This particular ravioi recipe is from Hieatt and Butler's Curye on Inglysch, Part IV: Forme of Cury

Take [s]wete chese & grynde hit smal, & medle hit wyt eyren & saffron and a god quantitie of buttur. Make a [th]in foile of dowe & close hem [th]erin as tureletes, & cast hem in boylyng watur, & sethe hem [th]erin. Take hot buttur meltede & chese ygratede, & ley [th]l rauioles in dissches; & ley [th]l hote buttur wyt gratede chese bine[th]e & apoue, & cast [th]eron powdur douce.

1 stick butter, room temperature
4 cups grated Havarti
1/8 teaspoon saffron threads, steeped in 1 tablespoon hot water
2 eggs
50 wonton wrappers*
1/4 cup melted butter
3 tablespoons grated Havarti
ground Ceylon cinnamon
ground ginger

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter until it becomes pale yellow.

Add grated cheese and mix until it is thoroughly incorporated. Add one egg and the saffron water and beat well.

Brush the edges of each wonton wrapper with beaten egg and spoon a little of the cheese filling into the center. Fold over and seal the edges well. Repeat until all filling and wrappers have been used.

Cook the raviolis in small batches in rapidly boiling water for 2-3 minutes. Toss with melted butter and grated Havarti. Sprinkle with cinnamon and ginger.

*While fresh pasta is worth the effort, wonton skins will do in a pinch.


Lamb in Garlic

Source: Platina's De Honesta Voluptate trans. Elizabeth Andrews 1967

Notes: The original recipe is for kid in garlic. Unfortunately, kid can be relatively difficult to obtain, but boneless leg of lamb is much more common. And, according to medieval humeral theory, lamb is an acceptable substitute for kid.

Grease a whole kid or the fourth part of one, with lard and cleaned garlic cloves; put it ona spit and turn it near the fire. Baste it often with sprigs of bay leaf or rosemary and the sauce which I am about to describe. Take verjuice and the rich juice of the meat, the yolks of two eggs well beaten, two cloves of garlic well pounded, a dash of saffron and a little pepper and mix this all together and pour it into a dish. With this (as I said) you baste what you are cooking. When it is cooked, put it into a dish and pour part of the sauce over it and sprinkle with finely chopped parsley...

4-5 lb. boneless leg of lamb
7 large cloves garlic
1-2 teaspoons fresh packed rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons lard
1 1/2 teaspoons verjuice
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/8 teaspoon saffron threads
Finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Preheat oven to 450°. Cut off as much of the fat from the leg of lamb as possible, and rinse well. In a small food processor, finely mince the garlic, rosemary, salt and pepper. Mix in the lard, and rub this mixture over all surfaces of the lamb. Roll the lamb back into its original shape, place in a baking dish and place in the oven. Immediately reduce the temperature to 325° and continue baking 30 minutes per pound of lamb.

After the lamb has cooked for at least an hour, mix the basting sauce. Steep 1/8 teaspoon saffron threads in several tablespoons of the pan juices and 1 1/2 teaspoons verjuice. Add 2 cloves of crushed garlic, a few grinds of pepper and one slightly beaten egg yolk. Mix this throughly and baste the lamb with it. Continue to baste the lamb periodically with the pan juices until done. To serve, slice the lamb and serve with the skimmed pan juices. Garnish with parsley, if desired.


Payn Ragoun

Source: Forme of Cury from the second edition of Pleyn Delit: Medieval Cookery for Modern Cooks, Hieatt, Hosington & Butler 1996

Notes: We've modified the recipe a bit by doubling the quantity of pine nuts Hieatt, Hosington & Butler suggest. All other directions and quantities are theirs.

Take hony and sugur cipre and clarifie it togydre, and boile it with esy fyre, and kepe it wel fro brennyng. And whan it hath yboiled a while, take up a drope [th]erof wi[th] [th]y fyngur and do itin a litel water, and like if it hong togydre; and take it fro the gyre and do [th]erto pynes the thriddendele & powdour gyngever, and stere it togyder til it bygynne to thik, and cast it on a wete table; lesh it and serve it forth with fryed mete, on flessh dayes or on fysshe dayes.



To make gingerbrede.

Source: Goud Kokery section of Curye on Inglysch: English culinary
manuscripts to the fourteenth century
, Hieatt & Butler

Notes: This is a slightly modified version of the redaction in Cariadoc and Elizabeth's Miscellany 1992.

Take goode honey & clarifie it on [th]e fere, & take fayre paynemayn or wastel brede & grate it, & caste it into [th]e boylenge hony, & stere it well togyder faste with a sklyse [th]at it bren not to [th]e vessell. & [th]anne take it doun and put [th]erin ginger, longe pepper & saundres, & tempere itvp with [th]in handes; & than put hem to a flatt boyste & strawe [th]eron suger, & pick [th]erin clowes rounde about by [th]e egge and in [th]e mydes yf it piece you, &c.

1 cup honey
3-4 cups bread crumbs
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground long pepper
1/4 teaspoon powdered saunders
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Bring the honey to a boil and allow to simmer a few minutes. Remove from heat and stir in bread crumbs, ginger, long pepper and saunders until well mixed. Pour mixture onto waxed paper and allow mixture to cool. Mix the sugar and cloves together on a small plate. Take the honey mixture by teaspoons, roll into a ball, and roll in the sugar mixture.


Strawberry Tarts

To make a tarte of Strawberries

Source: The Good Huswifes Jewell Dawson, 1596

Notes: For convenience and feast serving sizes, the strawberries have been pureed.

Wash your strawberries, and put them into your Tarte, and season them with suger, cynamon and Ginger, and put in a little red wine into them.

2 pints strawberries, washed and hulled
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon Ceylon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
2 tablespoons red wine

Puree the strawberries in a food processor. Place all the ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Continue stirring while the mixture boils for six minutes. Turn off the heat, and skim off any foam. Allow the mixture to cool.

Our tarts were formed using cupcake pans. Cut circles of dough with a biscuit cutter that is larger than the bottom of the cupcake molds. Press the dough into the bottom and sides, and carefully spoon a little strawberry filling into each mold. Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes, or until the crust is lightly browned. Remove the tarts from the pan and cool.



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