[Sca-cooks] Uses for fresh apricots???

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Sat Aug 2 16:51:29 PDT 2008

On Aug 2, 2008, at 7:20 PM, Stefan li Rous wrote:

> Doing a search in the Florilegium, I got about 80 hits. Here is an  
> interesting recipe from this file:
> roast-pork-msg    (60K)  1/21/07    Cooking pork roasts. Medieval  
> recipes.
> http://www.florilegium.org/files/FOOD-MEATS/roast-pork-msg.html
> Pork Roast with Apricot & Prune Stuffing
> by THL Gillian of Lynnhaven
> "Allowes de Mutton: Take faire mutton of the Buttes, and kutte hit  
> in the
> maner of stekes; And then take faire rawe parcelly, and oynons shred  
> smale,
> yolkes of eron sodden hard, and mary or suet; hew all thes smale  
> togidre,
> and then case thereto pouder of ginger, and saffron, and stere hem  
> togidre
> with thi honde, and ley hem vppe- on the stekes al abrode; and cast
> there-to salt, and rolle hem togidre, and put hem on a spitte and  
> roste hem
> until the be ynough."    "Take a Thousand Eggs or More",  vol. 1,  
> Cindy
> Renfrow, p. 107 (from the Harleian Ms 4016)
> "A-nother manere: Take Fygys, Roysonys, and Porke, and a lytel brede
> y-ground y-fere; tak hym vppe, and purt Pepir y-now ther-to, and  
> Maces,
> Clowys, and make thin in cofyn, and outte thin comade ther-on."  
> "Take a
> Thousand Eggs or More",  vol. 2, Cindy Renfrow, p. 215 (from the  
> Harleian
> Ms 279)

It probably needs to be pointed out, if we're doing the scholarship  
thing, that the above recipes come from different sources (even though  
the second one begins with "another manner", it does not refer to the  
previous quoted recipe). The first appears to be for stuffed, small  
meat rolls (Taillevent calls them aloyeaux, generally believed to be a  
sort of subtlety made to look like little larks on a spit, like modern  
ortolans -- this is not really a recipe for a stuffed roast, but more  
analogous -- in fact directly so -- to the modern recipes for  
saltimbocca, or beef "birds" or "olives" of beef. In fact, "olives" in  
this case are not olives, but probably a corruption of aloyeaux or  
alowes. They're pretty small, maybe 1-3 to a serving. You can probably  
find modern versions in The Joy of Cooking, and at least one of James  
Beard's books.

The second recipe is for a pork and fruit tart, baked in a pastry. The  
source gives a recipe for tartes de char (meat tarts), then two more,  
similar recipes, each beginning with, "A-no(th)er manere", meaning,  
essentially, "another way to do this is...". The recipe quoted is the  
only one of the series of three that doesn't specifically instruct the  
cook to bake the result in the oven, but the one before it does, as  
does the one after it. And it clearly instructs the cook to make a  
coffin and place the meat-fruit mixture in it.

So while these are legit period recipes, and the recipe for stuffed  
pork roast looks like fine food, I'm not entirely clear on how the  
period recipes are being used as inspiration for the modern one,  
except to reinforce the ideas of stuffing meat before cooking, and  
mixing meat with fruit. Using those ideas as justification for  
stuffing meat with fruit and roasting it, well, I'm not saying it  
wasn't done, but it may require a bit of a leap of faith.

Adamantius, Reluctant Bad Cop

"Most men worry about their own bellies, and other people's souls,  
when we all ought to worry about our own souls, and other people's  
			-- Rabbi Israel Salanter

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