What It Was Like To Visit a Medieval Tavern
What It Was Like To Visit a Medieval Tavern
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Medieval 15th century stew with meat, spices, and verjuice, and thickened with egg yolks.

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 to 4 lbs (1.5 kg) beef, goat, or chicken, with bones
  • Water or broth (or a combination), enough to cover the meat
  • Small handful of fresh parsley
  • A few leaves of fresh sage
  • A few sprigs of fresh hyssop, or about 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon mace
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • A pinch of saffron, ground
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) verjuice*

*See notes below.

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place the meat in a large pot and pour in enough water and/or broth to cover it. Bring it to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Skim off any scum or foam that rises to the surface. Simmer for about 1 hour, or until the meat easily comes away from the bone.
  2. Take the pot off the heat, remove the meat, and cut it into bite-sized pieces. Strain the broth.
  3. Return the cut up meat and the broth to the pot. Chop the parsley, sage, and hyssop very fine, then add them to the pot. Add the mace and cloves, and give it a stir. Bring the stew to a simmer. Cover the pot with the lid and let it simmer for anywhere from 1 to 2 hours. The time is up to you, it just depends on how tender you want the meat to get. Check the pot a few times and add more broth and/or water if it starts to get low.
  4. After the meat is as tender as you like, take the pot off the heat. Let the broth cool for a few minutes while you whisk the eggs in a bowl, just enough so that they’re smooth. Take about 1/2 cup (120 ml) of the broth and add it to the yolks in a slow stream, whisking constantly. After the 1/2 cup of broth has been added, whisk in the ginger, saffron, and salt. Pour this mixture into the pot, then stir in the verjuice. (Add the yolks right before you want to serve it. If you reheat the stew, they’re likely to scramble a bit.)
  5. Serve it forth.

NOTES

  • Verjuice is made from unripened grapes and has a vinegary acidic-ness mixed with some sweetness. If you can't find it, try using a mixture of equal parts grape juice and red wine vinegar.

 

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