Following our Medieval Cookery demonstration on 20th July we are posting the recipes from John Crouch so that you can all have a go at the dishes. Please let us know how you get along and if you can send us pictures to email@example.com
FISH POACHED WITH ANISEED
1kg (2lb) fish fillets
1 teaspoon coriander seed
pinch of aniseed
sharp white vinegar
- Put the fish fillets in a frying pan. Barely cover with water, and season with coriander and aniseed.
- Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes.
- Discard the liquid and serve the fillets with a sprinkling of vinegar.
6 venison steaks 1cm (½in) thick
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons white wine
the juice of 100g (¼lb) sour grapes
¼ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- Grill the steaks until well done, lay on a very hot dish, sprinkle with the ginger, pepper them well, salt very lightly, mix the liquids together and dribble it over the steaks.
- Then sprinkle with the cinnamon and serve.
1lb clear, strongly flavoured honey
½ teaspoon pepper
finely ground crumbs from the inside of a brown loaf
1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
tiny pinch of powered saffron
12-15 box leaves, washed and dried
- Warm the honey over gentle heat until it is too hot to touch in comfort.
- Add the pepper and the saffron, stir it, take away from the heat and add the cinnamon.
- Now add the breadcrumbs, a tablespoon at a time until the mixture is a solid mass. It is impossible to say exactly how much breadcrumbs the honey will absorb – it varies both with the honey and the bread – but the mixture must be as stiff as marzipan so that it can be shaped into a long block and cut into rectangular slices about an inch and a half square.
- At this point if you wish, colour half the gingerbread red with food colouring.
- Arrange the squares on a dish in a pretty pattern and ornament some of them with a box leaf and a clove.
700g (1½lb) cabbage or spring greens
225g (8oz) onions, peeled and finely chopped 225g (8oz) white parts of leeks, thinly sliced
1/8 teaspoon dried saffron strands
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon coriander
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon honey
850ml (1½pt) vegetable stock
- Cut off the stalks of the cabbage.
- Cut the leaves into strips and put into a large pan with the prepared onions and leeks.
- Stir the saffron, salt and spices into the stock, adjusting the quantity of salt if required, then pour the mixture over the vegetables.
- Cook gently, covered, for about 20 minutes or until segments of firm cabbage are tender.
A COMPOTE OF FRUIT
3 small apples and 3 small pears, peeled, cored and sliced ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh chopped mint or 1 teaspoon dried mint
2-3 tablespoons honey (depending on the sharpness of the fruit)
1 tablespoon red wine or cider vinegar
90ml (3floz) each medium white wine and water
- Put the sliced fruit in a flat pan (if it is not to be cooked immediately store the slices in some acidulated water to prevent them turning brown).
- Sprinkle over the pepper and mint.
- Melt the honey with the vinegar, wine and water and pour the mixture over the fruit.
- Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 10-15 minutes or till the fruit is cooked without being mushy; transfer to a serving dish and serve either warm or cold with or without cream.
SMALL MEAT BALLS
800g (2lb) minced lamb
3 egg yolks
½ teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon wine or cider
a pinch each of mace, cloves, cumin and cinnamon 1lt (2pt) hot strong stock 250ml (½pt) cold strong stock 100g (4oz) ground almonds salt pepper
1 tablespoon flour blended in 2 tablespoons water
- Mix the cold broth and slaked flour and simmer gently.
- Make the meatballs from the meat, spices, egg yolks, sugar and wine.
- Dampen your hands if the mixture is too sticky,
- Poach them in the hot stock for 5 minutes.
- Add the ground almonds to the stock.
- Lay the balls in a serving dish and pour the sauce around.
- Add extra spice to the sauce if you like or try an alternative sauce of thin syrup made from half clear honey and half water, with a dash of sharp vinegar added to it.