Jamie Oliver

forum: Food & Drink

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#21 Tue 15 Jul 08 11:32am


Occupation Student
From Channel Islands
Member since Sat 12 Jul 08

Re: Medieval cooking

Well no experience yet, but i'll review this next week. On sunday we're holding a party, and the main food is hog roast.. yummy ... we have to dig a 7ft by 4ft ditch in the garden, light a huge fire in there for 2 hours before we start cooking, and have to cook for 7-8 hours!
The pig has to be basted for 24 hours (i think we're using the bath, or an empty freezer) then kept cold for another 24 hours... It's a big job!
I'll get back to you all and tell you how it went! mrgreen

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#22 Tue 15 Jul 08 3:08pm


Occupation Project Manager
From Ontario, Canada
Member since Tue 15 Jul 08

Re: Medieval cooking

I'm actually planning a sort of Medevil party, complete with pig on a spit. Anyone have any recipes, ideas or tips on how to cook one?

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#23 Tue 15 Jul 08 6:59pm


Member since Tue 15 Jul 08

Re: Medieval cooking

Interesting ...I listen to Splendid Table podcasts at work - and funny enough a recent one was exactly about this topic :
http://splendidtable.publicradio.org/li … 07_12.html

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#24 Tue 15 Jul 08 7:19pm


Member since Tue 15 Jul 08

Re: Medieval cooking

Well Jamie,

the cleft between who ate what in Medieveal times was more than huge.
The rich were overfed with such niceties as Roast Lark , or Hedgehog braised in Honey. I cant imagine you doing that. Getting back to the lower classes though
they simply had their gruel or if they were lucky they lived near rivers or the sea and they fished, or were allowed to fish.

I think if you wish to take a culinary journey into those times you wont find too much from the serfs except bread and perhaps some good cheese recipes. But if you can take the good things from both sides perhaps you might come up with
a dish like ( just my suggestion) Chicken marinated in Honey, Strong Ale and
Almonds and braised in a Salt crust in a slow oven.  Served with Plums, Cheese, and Fresh Bread. 

yours very hungrily now hmm

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#25 Tue 15 Jul 08 7:36pm


Forum champ
From Switzerland
Member since Fri 15 Apr 05

Re: Medieval cooking

Hedgehog braised in honey?  I've never, in a fair amount of research, come across anything resembling that!  Roast lark sounds very Roman, but songbirds are still relatively popular in many areas of southern Europe in particular.  I've dug out some stuff that might be of relevance in terms of cooking methods, but one thing that needs to be kept in mind is that the term "medieval" spans a thousand years (by accepted UK reckoning).  Will post at length later but in the meanwhile, dinner calls!

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#26 Tue 15 Jul 08 8:34pm


Member since Tue 15 Jul 08

Re: Medieval cooking

Hi James,

You might want to have a look at this website: www.coquinaria.nl/english/index.htm
It is owned by a Dutch lady who recreated various historic recepies; from the old Roman times up to the 19th century. All kinds of Medieval Dutch dishes can be found on her website. They've all been translated from 'old' Dutch to the language we use today. Quite interesting. It might help your quest looking for historic cooking methods, recepies and ingredients.

Hope it helps! I'll get back preparing dinner for some hungry Brazilians.
Um abraço

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#27 Tue 15 Jul 08 9:50pm


Forum champ
Occupation Walking the Old Ways
From Living in the Wild Woods
Member since Wed 16 Jan 08

Re: Medieval cooking

Even when I was younger my family were still eating Hedgehog baked in clay in the embers of the fire.................Medieval it might have been, but just because Tesco doesn't stock it doesn't mean it isn't still eaten!

There were the spitted meats etc, but there were also some really weird taste combos even by todays standards! & they ate bits of animal that would turn most people up.  puke

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#28 Wed 16 Jul 08 5:40am


Occupation Landscape Architect
From Lisboa
Member since Wed 16 Jul 08

Re: Medieval cooking

Hey Jamie,

I'm portuguese and we appreciate good food with many dishes coming from medieval times and all the later introductions and changes originated from the discoveries, with many flavours from Africa, Asia and Brazil.
I've just finished a reading a book (in portuguese and no translation, yet) called 'The Cook Of King John VI'. It's at the time the portuguese court went to Brazil in 1808, because Napoleon was invading Portugal. They stayed in Rio de Janeiro till 1821, making it the center of the portuguese empire for all those years. King John VI was a great admirer of food, specialy well cooked food. The book is written by a portuguese chef and it's a called historycal romance (so it's based on real facts) and as the plot develops through the court intrigues, food plays a very important role and some recipies from the XVIII-XIX century are displayed throughout the book. I have to say that it's mentioned in the book and it's thought to be truth that John VI was poisened with arsenic in his food...

I'm very interested in History and food is a big part of our history, so though it's not recipies from medievel era, I think it's quite interesting to know these ones, too. I've learned that just before King John VI, his mother Queen Mary I was the first monarch in Portugal to call a foreign Chef to refine our culinary. This was a french Cook who introduced lots herbs and spices, the use of hunting birds and other animals. Before we used to eat more Pork and its varieties. But this french man learned a lot too, he used a portuguese cooking book from 1680 called Kitchen's Art and adapted it to the 1800. Then when 10 000 portuguese monarchs, nobles and servants transferred to Brazil all the food was further mixed with the tropical scents.

Well here goes 1 example: (Trying my best translation)
Cow's Toungue with Madeira Sauce

1 Cow's toungue
3 dl of Madeira Wine
2 medium onions
2 or 3 big carrots
10 grains of black pepper
4 "cravinhos" (Clove)
Salt at taste
branch of smells composed by leaf of laurel, parsley and French-garlic
1 L of Beef Stock (Broth)

Put the toungue in a bowl with salt and water, lead to the fire to boil around 20 minutes. Take the tounge out and peel the skin of. Put it in a clay bowl, with sliim sliced onion, slices of carrots, the grains of pepper, the cravinhos, the branch of smells and season with salt.
Cover with the beef stock (broth) and the Madeira Wine. Take it to the oven for 2 hours. After take the toungue and slice it to smaller pieces. (If the sauce is too liquid, heat it till it's thicker).
Serve it with potato or carrot puree

Have a good one! See you next recipe  thumbsup
Cheers José

Last edited by yetsize (Wed 16 Jul 08 4:41pm)

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#29 Wed 16 Jul 08 12:07pm


Member since Sat 31 Mar 07

Re: Medieval cooking

Hey Jamie...

I'm from the Philippines and in the Province where I live, fire log or charcoal cooking is becoming more and more common these days.  My grandparents has been using one over the years, actually. 

Only problem with this way of cooking is that the fire tends to be untamed and would probably burn or cook the food much faster than expected.  On the upside, food cooked this way gets a different taste from the smoke - this actually gives the food more character, especially to rice. 

There is even a delicacy here called "tinapa", or simply, "smoked fish" - a gutted and smoked milk fish.  It's orange and very tasty.  People would use wet wood carvings to smoke it.  And there is also a popular and quite traditional dessert, called Bibingka.  It's sort of a flat muffin, baked in a bin-like rectangular tins, with hot charcoals on top. 

We are from different ends of the worlds, so I guess your idea of medieval cooking is different from mine.  Although, same process would apply as far as log/charcoal cooking goes, the only difference is the resources we use.  That said, I hope I am of any help. 

Good luck to everything,

Eduard   thumbsup

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#30 Wed 16 Jul 08 12:15pm


Forum super champ
Occupation living life
From Friuli northern Italy
Member since Mon 14 Jan 08

Re: Medieval cooking

Hot charcoals on top to cook dolci seems to be comune denominatore form Friuli to Philippines

if comprehension could spread as simple kitchen tricks peace would be cosa fatta

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