680 g ripe pears thinly sliced, about 3 cups
240 ml pear juice
15 ml fresh lemon juice
6 egg yolks
180 ml sugar
480 ml heavy cream
5 ml vanilla extract
120 ml corn syrup
1. Combine the pears, the pear juice and the lemon juice in heavy saucepan.Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Transfer to processor; purie untilsmooth. Chill until cold.
2. Whisk the egg yolks, vanilla and the sugar in a bowl to blend. Bring 1cup of cream to simmer in a saucepan. Gradually whisk hot cream into yolkmixture. Return to the same saucepan.. Stir over low heat until the custardthickens and leaves path on back of spoon when a finger is drawn across,about 7 minutes. Do not the mixture boil. Pour through strainer into bowl.Mix in the other cup of cream. Cool for 15 minutes.
3. Add the corn syrup and the 3 cups of pear puree to the custard and whiskuntil blended Chill custard until cold, at least 4 hour or overnight.
4. Transfer custard to ice cream maker. Process according to manufacturer’sinstructions. Transfer to covered container and freeze.
Beef, Stout and Oyster Hatties served with refined Mushy Peas
1 1/2 kg oyster blade steak
1 large onion chopped
1 large carrot chopped
1 stick celery roughly sliced
2 Tbs Ketchup Manis (sticky soy)
250 g oyster mushrooms
1 tsp thyme chopped
2 small bay leaves
800 ml beef stock
stout (Guinness) or Waynes milk stout in this case 1/2 bottle
80 g butter
60 g plain flour
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil (evoo) for frying
16 fresher shucked oysters
3/4 cup cold water
200 g plain flour
200 g self raising flour
50 g lard
1 tsp salt
1. Heat a little olive oil in a large heavy based saute pan, season the
oyster blade and then seal on all sides, cooking the meat in batches so as
not to overcrowd the pan.
2. In a separate pan caramelize the chopped onion, carrot, celery and
mushrooms. Mix the beef and the vegetables together, add the flour and stir
for a few minutes until the flour is well distributed, then add the stout.
Lastly add the sticky soy. Put a lid on and put into the oven at 180C for
two hours. Use the stock if you feel that it needs to be moistened further,
or add during the cooking if it becomes too dry.
3. Once cooked leave the mixture to cool completely – overnight would be
best, before you start making the pies.
4. To make Lard Pastry, combine flours and salt, rub in lard with
5. your fingers till it is at fine crumb stage. Slowly add water to bring it
together, kneading for 3 Min’s. Chill in refrigerator for 20 minutes.
6. Roll out the pastry and line small pie tins, (or make them hat shaped) half fill with meat mixture,
pop in 2 oysters per pie, fill with more meat mixture and then cover the
meat with a pastry top. Cut a slit in the middle of the pastry top to let
steam escape. Brush the pies with egg wash and into the oven for 15 minutes
at 220C then turn the heat down to 200C for a further 10 minutes.
Rabbit stuffed with a Farce of Sour Cherries and Chestnuts served on a bed of Puy Lentils and a glass of Sparkling Merlot
750 ml full-bodied Red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon or Shiraz
200 ml port
3 whole rabbits (deboned)
salt and black pepper
2 Tbs vegetable oil
25 g unsalted Butter
8 large Shallots, peeled
8 large cloves Garlic, peeled
1 Tbs tomato purée
25 g Flour
25 g dried Porcini,
small bunch Thyme, half of it picked from the stalks
2 tbls Sour cherries
1 cup bread crumbs
300 g chicken mince
200 g freshly roasted or a packet vacuum-packed Chestnuts, carefully separated
1. Preheat the oven to 120C/gas ½. In a saucepan, combine the red
wine and port. Bring to a boil over a high heat and simmer until the volume
of liquid has reduced by two-thirds.
2. Debone the rabbits and spread out on cling film in a rectangle and
season. cover with cling film and put on a tray in the fridge.
For the farce
1. In a fry pan sauté the shallots in butter with the garlic then add the
tomato purée, turn up the heat and cook for 1 minute. Sprinkle the flour
over and stir in well. . Pour in the wine marinade, add the dried mushrooms
and thyme sprigs. let cool then add the remainder of ingredients to the
2. Take the rabbit from the fridge and fill with the farce to make sausage
shapes. tightly wrap with cling film.
3. once the rabbit is rolled in sausage shapes you can either put an extra
layer of cling film around it to make sure when they are put in the bain
marie that they don’t take up the water or vac pack them.
4. I use a slow cooker as a water bath and cook for approx 4 hours.
5. Once cool remove cling film and slice into portioned pieces. (this is
easier to do if it has been left to set up in the fridge over night.
6. Place in a backing dish and wrap till needed. Warm through to serve
First course was the parsnip, almond milk and barley soup served in a bread bun.
The bread: very light rye, so as not to over power the soup. Proved and Baked in a mould to keep the sides high. The parsnip soup: made by grinding 2 kg whole almonds to a consistency of bread crumbs, boil in plenty of water till the liquid turns pale and milk like. Strain over night in a muslin cloth to extract all the liquid.
The next day reduce the liquid to half and add equal quantities of good chicken stock approx 10 parsnips and season to taste.
Once the parsnips are soft blitz and add a handful of cooked barley.
this was served with a shot of ewes whey liquor. (found in Tassie)
Medieval food that has to taste good. I do tend to like to push myself, this event wasn’t any different.
Basically, I decided to run a 13-course degustation dinner using dishes you might find in medieval times.
We dressed up, played medieval games (not ones that maimed) and used turnips as currency. I set the table to depict the era and the fun lasted all night.
History of the menu
The exact origins of the “menu” are unknown, but the most popular account dates back to 1541. The duke of Brunswick was seen to have a sheet of paper on the banquet table beside the plate. When asked by a guest what the paper was, he explained that it was a list of dishes to be served and by referring to the list the duke could reserve his appetite for his favourites.
Another version tells a similar story. At a dinner in 1498 Count Hugo de Mounfort was seen to regularly refer to a written parchment. It too contained a list of the dishes to be served. The idea was much admired and was soon adopted. The old-fashioned bills of fare were written on large cards and gaudily decorated with gastronomic symbols. They were so large that only one copy was placed at each end of the table.
Types of People
There were two types of people in medieval times. The very very rich and the very very poor. The nobleman’s diet would have been very different from the diets of those lower down the social scale. Cooked dishes were heavily flavoured with valuable spices such as caraway, nutmeg, cardamom, ginger and pepper. Other commonly used ingredients were cane sugar, almonds, and dried fruits such as dates, figs or raisins. The wealthy treasured these goods that were hugely expensive imported from far away lands.
Banqueting tables at grand feasts were decked out with spectacular dishes – providing the perfect opportunity for the nobleman to show off his wealth. Everyday jellies, pies, fritters and stews were accompanied by magnificent animals such as peacocks, seals, porpoises and even whales. Jellies and custards were dyed with vivid natural colourings sandalwood for red, saffron for a fiery yellow, and boiled blood for black.
Unlike today meals they were not separated into savoury main courses and sweet desserts. Instead, many dishes were laid out together in luxurious chaos. Special courtesy books, which were popular at the time, instructed diners not to fart, scratch flea bites, or pick their noses.
Unless you served in a large household, it would have been difficult to obtain fresh meat or fish. Most people ate preserved foods that had been salted or pickled soon after slaughter or harvest: Bacon, pickled herring, preserved fruits for instance. They often kept pigs, which, unlike cows and sheep, were able to live contentedly in a forest, fending for themselves.
Some peasants tended to keep cows, so a large part of their diets would have included dairy produce such as buttermilk, cheese, or curds and whey. Although if you were a poorer peasant and didn’t own a cow and due to having no refrigeration you’d get your milk from almonds. Yes, not a new concept! Bread was the staple for all classes, although the quality and price varied depending on the type of grain used. The rich would have the upper crust and the base would be a burnt offering to the peasants. Thus the Upper Crust being the rich.
Soup was the first course
Parsnip, almond milk and Barley soup served in a warm bread roll. Suggesting not to eat the bread as we have another 12 courses to go.
Rich and poor alike ate a dish called pottage, a thick soup containing meat, vegetables, or bran. I developed the first course trying to keep in mind some of the above.
Accompaniment of a Shot of Ewes Whey liquor to warm you up.
Preservation of food was very important for these times. The meat was salted, smoked and pickled or most commonly and simply, by keeping the meat alive till needed.