Le Viandier de Taillevent - Translation - Pottages


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171. Here is how you make the pottage called menjoire.

Firstly, the meat needed is young peacocks, pheasants or partridges, or if you can find none of these, plovers, cranes, larks or other small birds. Roast the meat on the spit and when it is nearly cooked, dismember them (especially the large birds such as young peacocks, pheasants or partridges), fry them in lard in an iron pan, and put them in the pot in which you wish to make your pottage.

To make the broth, take some white bread browned on the grill, soaked and sprinkled with the broth of a shin of beef, and strained through cheesecloth. You need cassia flowers, cinnamon, Mecca ginger, a bit of cloves, long pepper, grains of paradise and some Hippocras (depending on the quantity of pottage you wish to make). Steep the spices and Hippocras together, throw them into the pot with the meat and broth, and boil everything together. Add just a bit of vinegar, but do not let it boil for very long. Add sugar to taste. According to the fashions, put gilded wafers on the pottage when it is set out, or white or red anise, or pomegranate powder [seeds?].

If you wish to make it for a fish day, take whole unpeeled almonds, wash very well, crush and grind in a mortar, and strain through cheesecloth. If there is not enough liquid, take a bit of white bread, or bread crumbs from two or three white bread loaves; have a bit of clear puree [of peas] in which the peas have not burst too much, a bit of white or red wine, and a bit of verjuice; steep the almonds and bread; and strain everything through cheesecloth. You need the same spices mentioned above. Fry all the fish (to wit, perch, pickerel, crayfish tails and loach, the finest that you can find) in fresh or salted butter, and then de-salt it. Set out your fish on plates and put the broth on top. Add white or red anise, pomegranate [seeds], or some peeled almonds browned a bit in a little fresh butter on the fire.




172. Laces of white capon meat.

Cook your capon with shins of beef. Take all the white capon meat and shred it as one shreds wool. Take some other capon limbs, cut them into pieces, and fry them in lard until they are lightly browned. Set them out on plates and put the shreds on top. Peel almonds, crush, steep in your broth, and add some white wine and verjuice. Take [one part of] pared Mecca ginger and two parts of grains of paradise, and reduce to powder, with sugar to taste. It should be sweet with sugar. Take some peeled white almonds fried in lard or in soft pork fat, and stick them into the pottage when it is set out (it should be thick enough that the almonds can stand upright). Sprinkle on top some red anise.

173. Crayfish stew.

Take almonds, wash without blanching or peeling, and crush. Take some fine large crayfish, cook them in two parts of water and one part of wine, with a bit of vinegar if you wish, drain them, and let them cool. Remove the feet and tails from their shells and set them aside. Beat and crush the carcasses very well (like the almonds), steep everything in clear puree of peas, wine and verjuice, and strain together through cheesecloth. Take the crayfish feet and tails, fry them in a bit of butter, dry them like fried loach, and boil them in a pan or fine clean pot. Take ginger, a bit of cinnamon, a bit of grains of paradise, a bit less cloves than grains, and a bit of long pepper, steep in a bit of wine and verjuice, and add sugar generously. Boil everything together and salt lightly. If you wish to add fried fish do so. It should be thick enough to cover your meat.




174. Meat rosy.

Take unpeeled almonds, crush very well, steep in beef broth, wine and verjuice, and strain through cheesecloth. Take your meat (to wit, breast of veal and chicken (whole or in quarters) cooked together with a shin of beef or other good bit), and fry in lard until it is browned. Take fine cinnamon (not much), white Mecca ginger and Small Spices such as grains of paradise, cloves and long pepper. To give colour, use turnsole or alkanets. Alkanets is as suitable as turnsole if you can find some, because it does not have as vivid a colour as the turnsole. Soak it in a bit of hotter than lukewarm water for 3 or 4 hours. Afterwards throw it in your pot, and stir it very well (after the pottage has boiled) until it has a colour resembling roses.

175. Partridge trimolette.

Prepare them, roast them on the spit until they are nearly done, remove them from the spit, quarter them or leave them whole, and put them in a fine clean pot. Chop onions as finely as you can, fry them in a bit of lard, and throw them on top of the partridges, and shake the pot often. Take some chicken livers with a little bread, brown well on the grill, soak [in beef broth], strain through cheesecloth, and throw on your partridge meat. Afterwards, take fine cinnamon, a bit of ginger, some whole cloves, grains of paradise (a bit more generously) and long pepper, and steep in good Hippocras. This done, put everything in your pot, throw some sugar on top, and cover your pot very well so that no steam escapes. When you wish to remove it from the fire, add just a bit of vinegar, but do not let it boil.




176. Soup of red deer testicles in deer hunting season.

Scald and wash the red deer testicles very well in boiling water, cook them well, cool them, slice them into cubes (neither too large nor too small), and fry them in lard. To the same pan add some beef broth and leafy parsley. Add Fine Powder (in moderation so that it is not too spicy) steeped in one part of wine and two parts of verjuice (or gooseberries instead of verjuice). To give it liquid, you need to have a little Cameline [Sauce]; or take one or two chicken livers and a little white bread, [soak in beef broth], sieve, and add to your pot instead of Cameline [Sauce]. Throw in a bit of vinegar, and salt to taste.

177. Quiche flans.

Mix cream and well beaten egg yolks. Have pie crusts (larger than usual) sprinkled inside with Fine or White Powder. Have eels as thick as a fist, scald them, roast them very well, cut them into sections, and stand them on end in the flans, three or four in each one. Sugar them well when they are cooked, and let them cool.





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