Archive for the ‘Medieval Menu’ Category


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 Meal Fit for a King

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis Tags:

On this website, Julia has brought us a variety of recipes with a medieval flavor, so when a friend recently posted a link to a YouTube clip of ‘Clarissa and the King’s Cookbook’, I immediately thought of her and all our readers interested in cooking.

In this programme, well-known TV chef Clarissa Dickson Wright investigates The Forme of Cury, a cook book from the court of Richard II, and also tries out some of the recipes.

While with the “cury” of the title, we may think of our favourite Indian or Thai restaurant, here it is simply the Middle English word for “cookery”.  It is one of the oldest cook books in English, compiled by the master-cooks at the court of Richard II (1367-1400).  It is a manuscript scroll made of vellum.  Altogether it contains 196 recipes, from everyday dishes to impressive dishes for banquets, including the spectacular subtleties.

Some of the things on offer sound a bit strange to modern ears, such as whales, cranes, curlews, herons, seals and porpoises. Let’s hope that 600 odd years ago they were more plentiful than today.

On the other hand the spices like caraway, nutmeg, cardamom, ginger and pepper were rare and exotic then, whereas today you find them on any supermarket shelf.  I found the mention of olive oil quite intriguing, as not that long ago most northern Europeans would have regarded olive oil with some suspicion as foreign.

The photograph shows one of a series of reliefs depicting the life of St Martin (1983) at the Bonn Minster by renowned artist Ernemann Sander  (photo by Dorothea Preis)

One of the recipes, Clarissa tries out on the show, is goose with a stuffing of herbs and fruit.  It sounds quite delicious and I could imagine it serving to my family.  Where I come from, goose is the typical meal for the feast of St Martin (11 November – which is why I posted this today) and Christmas.  Not that this was the only treat on this saint’s  feast day.  At primary school we would make lanterns to walk in the St Martin’s procession in the late afternoon, complete with someone dressed up as the saint riding at the front and reenacting the episode of cutting a cloak in half.  Afterwards we would each get a “Weckmann”, a pastry in the shape of a man.

Weckmann (photo by Flammingo, obtained through Wikimedia Commons)

The recipes have been used in a book, To the King’s Taste: Richard II’s Book of Feasts and Recipes Adapted for Modern Cooking.


Medieval Recipes

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis Tags:

Should you be desperate for a new recipe idea to try out over the long weekend, have a look at what the British Library has to offer!  Unicorn sounds pretty special, doesn’t it?

Have a look a at the Medieval and Earlier Manuscripts Blog of the British Library for more information (click here).

(P.S. In case you are wondering, note the date of this post…)