I’ve written about the making of the boar’s head here. I think we mucked up the timing for this one. Next time I’ll cut up the spare head stuffing and serve it to the high table while we cut up the head. It was pretty tasty, although I’m not sure I would bother with the rabbits next time. There were no leftovers.
This was based on a recipe in Peter Brear’s book, “All the King’s Cooks: The Tudor Kitchens of King Henry VIII at Hampton Court Palace”. He says it’s from Murrell 1638, which I haven’t been able to find online. The recipe is awesome and fabulous for pre-prep.
I boiled then very gently simmered all the 10kg of pork in 8 litres of white wine, water to cover, pepper and bay leaves. When it was cooked (a bit more than 2 hours) I turned it off and left it to cool overnight. Then I put it all into a 20L lidded bucket with a light brine (270mL salt to 10L water) and put it in the fridge until I was sure it was really cool. Then I took it out and left it for 2 days. At the feast we just had to pull it out of the brine and slice it. It was delicious, flavoursome and moist. There were no leftovers.
Pies de Parys (Mss Harl 4016)
Take and smyte faire buttes of porke and buttes of vele togidre, and put hit in a faire potte. And putte thereto fair broth and a quantite of wyne, and lete all boile togidre til hit be ynogh; and then take hit fro the fire and lete kele a litel, and cast thereto raw yolkes of eyren and poudre of gyngevere, sugre and salt, and mynced dates, reysyns of corence. Make then coffyns of feyre past, and do it therynne, and kevere it & lete bake ynogh.
I wanted to make the mince pies from the Tudor Monastery Farm Christmas special, but mostly I wanted to make pies without using pie tins AND I wanted to use the pie warmer in the kitchen to heat them. I also wanted to pre-make them and keep them without refrigeration, so I used Del’s recipe. It had the bonus that it uses chicken instead of pork, catering for one of my food “allergies”.
We made the pies a week before the event and next time I’ll be a bit more careful about measuring the salt in the pastry – some wasn’t easy to eat. It was hard to get the pies to stand up, and I used this youtube video for pointers. We made the first coffins in a large batch then filled and lidded them, but it was VERY hard to get the lids to seal, even with flour and water paste. Then we just filled and lidded them as we went and it was much better. Unfortunately, I wasn’t happy with the seal on the majority of the pies after they were cooked, so we froze the pies for storage during the week. These seemed to be eaten well, although some people didn’t eat the pastry (I don’t blame them).
Zervelat (Sabrina Welserin)
24 How one should make Zervelat 
First take four pounds of pork from the tender area of the leg and two pounds of bacon. Let this be finely chopped and add to it three ounces of salt, one pound of grated cheese, one and one half ounces of pepper and one and one half ounces of ginger. When it is chopped then knead the following into it, one and one half ounces cinnamon, one fourth ounce of cloves, one fourth ounce of nutmeg and one ounce of sugar. The sausage skins must be cleaned and subsequently colored yellow, for which one needs not quite one fourth ounce of saffron. Tie it up on both ends and pour in approximately one quart of fresh water. The entire amount of salt, ginger and pepper should not be added, taste it first and season it accordingly. It should be cooked about as long as to cook eggs. The seasoning and the salt must be put into it according to one’s own discretion, it must be tried first.
This was a pre-prep item which we froze in coils. I put them in an esky on Friday night, but many of the bags were still frozen at cooking time. We used the microwave to defrost them. They were boiled in batches in a big pot outside and then moved to the outside bbq to fry to brown. There were some leftovers, but the King mentioned them as particularly good.
Tardpolene, actually Torta (Libro de Arte Coquinaria)
Take good cheese with eight eggs and with some good pork or veal fat, or butter, some whole currents, ginger, cinnamon, a little grated bread, a little fatty stock made yellow with saffron, and prepare a torta following the recipe for torta biancha.
I need to make an admission. I advertised this as tardpolene, but then I used a recipe for Italian Torta from “The Original Mediterranean Cuisine”, It’s similar, but doesn’t have as much dried fruit and is easier to make – no food processor required to mince all that dried fruit. Next time I would allow 300g of ricotta per tart. There were no leftovers
Minces (Le Menagier de Paris)
Little cabbages called minces are eaten with raw herbs in vinegar, and if one has plenty, they are good trimmed, washed in hot water and cooked whole with a little water; and when they are cooked, add some salt and oil and serve drained. (Note; this seems to be a different translation from the link I found)
Brussel sprouts was a controversial decision, but allowing 2 per person, assuming that 50% of people wouldn’t like them so there would be 4 for the people who did, seems to be about right. I think there were only 40 or so that came back to the kitchen. We just boiled them and added olive oil and salt. We didn’t add the herbs in vinegar.
Frytour of Pasternakes (Forme of Cury 154)
Take skyrwittes and pasternakes and apples, and perboile hem. Make a btour of flour and ayren; cast therto ale and zest, safroun and salt. Wete hem in the batour and frye hem in oile or in grece; do therto almaund mylke, and serve it forth.
These were so popular!! I deliberately cut the parsnips like chips, and used a pretty standard beer batter, omitting the eggs and saffron. They took a long time to fry and mucked up the timing for the feast, waiting for them to all be cooked. Next time we will be a bit cleverer about the oil, probably using a larger pot so it doesn’t cool down as much as each batch was added, or else two pots of oil.