Archive for the ‘Medieval Miscellany’ Category


Medieval Menu: Hedgehogs

   Posted by: Julia Redlich


1kg pork or veal mince (or mix of both)
1 cup soft breadcrumbs
Mixed herbs
Tsp black pepper
½ tsp ground ginger
1 egg
Slivered almonds
A handful of currants


Mix mince, breadcrumbs, herbs, pepper, ginger and egg together. Shape small amounts of mixture to resemble half pears. Stick slivered almonds (about 7 – 8 for each) into the shapes and add currants for eyes.

Place on a greased tray and bake in a moderate oven for about 30 minutes. Serve on a tasting platter with fresh herbs.


Medieval Menu: Pears in Wine Syrup

   Posted by: Julia Redlich


3 large pears
300 g dark berries
300 ml red wine
300 ml white wine
25 g sugar
pinch ground ginger
pinch ground cinnamon


Peel and core the pears, wash the berries and drain.

Place fruit in a pan and heat in red wine, turning occasionally to coat evenly.  Simmer until tender, then cool in the liquid.

Drain, reserving liquid.  Cut pears in half.  Sieve the berries and return them to liquid.

Now boil white wine, sugar and spices until they form a syrup.  Add the pears and bring back to boil, to simmer for two or three minutes.

Serve hot with the berry/wine sauce.

Note: fresh berries might not be available, so, substitute tinned varieties obtainable from your non-medieval supermarket.


Medieval Menu: Hippocras

   Posted by: Julia Redlich


10 cups red wine
juice of 3 lemons or oranges
2 cinnamon sticks
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup brown sugar
2 lemons or oranges, sliced
4 cups lemonade (optional)


Place all ingredients in a large bowl and heat gently (slow cookers are good).

Serve hot but not boiling.

Note: To dilute or extend hippocras add 4 cups of lemonade 10 minutes before serving and reheat.


Medieval Menu: Crustade of Chicken

   Posted by: Julia Redlich



20 cm pastry flan (lid optional)
4 chicken breasts
black pepper to taste
4 cloves
150 ml white wine
150 ml chicken stock
50 g mushrooms, chopped
15 g butter
25 g bacon, chopped
3 eggs
½ teaspoon ground ginger


Preheat oven to 175° C.

Place chicken, pepper and cloves in a pan and simmer in the wine and chicken stock for about 45 minutes or until meat is tender.

Saute mushrooms in butter, then add chicken and chopped bacon.  Lightly beat the eggs and ginger and extra seasoning if desired and add to the meat mixture.

Transfer to the pastry flan and cover with a pastry lid brushed with a little milk or beaten egg or with foil. Cook in preheated oven for about 30 minutes, a little longer if you have a pastry lid.


Medieval Menu: Pease Pudding

   Posted by: Julia Redlich


1 cup split peas
2 thick slices of ham
1 cup water
Seasoning of your choice to taste


Preheat oven to 135° C and prepare a lightly greased 23cm pie dish.

Wash the split peas and place in the dish.  Cut the ham slices into bite-sized pieces and mix with the peas.  Add seasoning, then pour the water over the mixture just enough to cover it.  Simmer in the oven until peas are dissolved and the mixture springs back when you touch it.

Serve hot to start your meal.  (Try it cold with a salad in summer.)


You may find the water has to be topped up to stop the pudding becoming too dry while cooking.


Medieval Menu: Autumn Chutney

   Posted by: Julia Redlich


2.5kg apples’
1kg tomatoes
500g pears
1 large onion, chopped finely
1kg chopped dates
1kg soft brown sugar
500ml malt vinegar
1tsp pepper
2 level tsp mixed spice
1 tablespoon salt


Peel and core apples and pears, then chop into small pieces. Plunge tomatoes into boiling water for a minute, then skin and chop roughly. Place apples, pears and tomatoes and remaining ingredients into a large pan and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for about 2 hours until fruit and vegetables are soft and the mixture is thick.

Test by drawing a wooden spoon across the mixture so that it leaves a slight channel for a moment.

Pour chutney into clean heated jars and cover with vinegar-proof covers, ie lids that are made of glass, plastic or coated metal. If a metal lid is used, make sure you give it a vinegar-proof lining.


Medieval Menu: Simple Meat Loaf

   Posted by: Julia Redlich

Ingredient (Serves 6)

1 kg minced beef
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ cup red wine
salt and black pepper to taste
sprinkling of sage to taste
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
½ cup almond milk (see above)
1 teaspoon honey
sprinkling of ground cloves


Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.

Combine all ingredients and place evenly in a lightly greased loaf tin, about 22cm x 12cm. Cover with foil and bake for about 1 hour.

When ready, remove and drain off fat carefully before turning onto a serving dish and garnish with fresh herbs.


If serving cold later, cover with foil after draining and place in refrigerator with weights on top (tins from your pantry are ideal).


Medieval Menu: Autumn Fruit Pie

   Posted by: Julia Redlich


Ingredients (Serves 6)

4 apples
4 pears
1 cup water
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons plain flour
¾ cup sugar
½ cup dried figs or dates, chopped
½ cup raisins
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon lemon juice
a little red wine or brandy
shortcrust pastry to line and cover a 23cm pie dish


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

Peel, core and slice apples and pears.  Place peel, cores and 1 tablespoon sugar in 1 cup of water and boil until reduced by about one-third.

Toss sliced fruit with flour and remaining sugar.  Steep dried fruits with spices in lemon juice and wine.  Add to the sliced fruit mixture and pour the whole into the pastry-lined pie dish.

Strain the peel/core liquid and pour over the fruit.  Cover with a pastry lid, brush with milk or beaten egg.  Bake for about 30 minutes or until pastry is a golden brown.


Medieval Menu: Lenten Pottage

   Posted by: Julia Redlich

Digging in the vaults of this website, we came across the medievally-inspired recipes, which our long-time member Julia had provided.  It would be a great pity if they were forgotten.  Today we start with a recipe fitting for the last week of Lent:  Lenten Pottage.


Ingredients (Serves 8)

8 large onions, sliced
125ml sunflower oil
100g ground almonds
½ teaspoon honey
150 ml white wine
150 ml boiling water
8 rounds of bread, cut thickly, crusts removed if desired


Simmer sliced onions in oil until soft and golden.

Soak almonds in honey, 75ml wine and water for about 10 minutes.

Toast the bread slices lightly and place in individual bowls.

Add remaining 75ml wine to onions and heat. Pour the almond milk over the toasted bread and arrange the onions on the top.

Note:  Almond Milk

This is used in many medieval recipes. For the ingredients and method, see above.
If using for a dessert, add a little extra honey and substitute milk for water.


A happy third Sunday in Advent

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis Tags: , help all our readers to get into the spirit of the season, here is a link to a rendition of the medieval carol ‘Gaudete’, performed by the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge.

(Photograph of the Old Court of Clare College, Cambridge:  © Copyright Scriniary and licensed for reuse under thisCreative Commons Licence)