[Sca-cooks] Sauces for Caerthe, was Ansteorra Central Regional 12th Night

Lilinah lilinah at earthlink.net
Wed Jan 2 13:51:59 PST 2008

Gwen Cat wrote:
>...Im up to my elbows in prep
>work for Caerthe's (in the Outlands) 12th night feast.
>  Its French (well mostly, I didnt find much in the way
>of dessert recipes) but I put off the sauces for the
>last minute and now am freaking a bit.  I will have
>roast beef (got a GREAT deal on angus london broil)
>and roast chickens (probably storebought pre-roasted,
>since the site has ONE standard home stove and 3
>microwaves) but want to make sauces.  Im thinking
>green garlic and something with orange juice (I have
>the juice from 25 lbs of oranges that I candied the
>peel) and perhaps a cameline (though I HATE cinnamon)
>Anyone have some tried and true recipes for sauces
>they would share?  Feast is not large (in the overall
>SCA sceme of sizes anyhow ;-) about 150 diners, and it
>is this Saturday (Jan 5.) YIKES!

I'd suggest a horseradish sauce for the roast 
beef - i've made both a Spanish and a German 
recipe. There's a fabulous Spanish lemon sauce 
for the chicken, and a lovely German bitter 
orange sauce. You could make either with the 
orange juice. Sure, they'll be different than the 
originals, but i'm sure they'll be good. And, 
finally, there's a German cherry sauce for 
venison and a Spanish garlic-nut sauce, either of 
which might work in your feast.

I made the three Spanish sauces in my very first 
feast, the Beacons Gate Boar Hunt, and the German 
sauces for the same feast one year later. They 
were standard feast size for around here - 
Central West Kingdom - with between 60 and 72 



Horseradish-Honey Sauce
Spanish, de Nola, Libro de Guisados, 1529

Translated from the original by Lady Brighid ni Chiarain

Perejil - Parsley
You must take the parsley and remove the roots, 
and strip off the leaves very well and clean it, 
and grind those leaves a great deal in a mortar, 
and after it is well-ground, toast a crustless 
piece of bread, and soak it in white vinegar, and 
grind it with the parsley, and after it is 
well-ground cast a little pepper into the mortar, 
and mix it well with the parsley and the bread, 
and then cast in honey, which should be melted, 
in the mortar, stirring constantly in one 
direction until the honey incorporates itself 
with the sauce in the mortar, and if the sauce 
should be very thick, clarify it with a little 
watered vinegar, so that it should not be very 
sour, and having done that take two smooth 
pebbles from the sea or river, and cast them in 
the fire, and when they shall be quite ruddy and 
red, cast them with some tongs in the mortar in 
such a manner that they are extinguished there, 
and when all this is done taste it for flavor, 
and make it in such a manner that it tastes a 
little of pepper, and a little sweet-sour, and of 
parsley, and if any of these things is lacking, 
temper [the dish] with it.

Salsa de Rabano Vexisco y de Gallocresta
Sauce of horseradish and of clary sage
In the same manner as the parsley, you can also 
make sauce from the root of the horseradish and 
the same from the leaves of clary sage.

Recipe by Anahita
based on redaction by Lady Brighid ni Chiarain

Makes over 1 quart of sauce
1 lb. fresh horseradish root, finely grated
4 slices Italian bread, toasted lightly
3/4 cup white wine vinegar
2  cups honey
1 cup water
2  tsp black pepper

1. Wash and peel the horseradish root. Chop very coarsely.
2. Toast bread - can be done on grill - or if there's a toaster, use it.
3. Grate horseradish finely. I'm not sure if we 
used the blender or the Cuisinart. Whichever, you 
will probably want to grind it twice to get it 
4. Soak the toasted bread in the vinegar. 
5. Place horseradish in the container of a blender or food processor.
6. Add the toasted bread, crumbling as necessary.
7. Blend a moment until just barely mixed, not pasty.
8. Add the remaining ingredients, adjusting as 
necessary for taste - and Watch Out! as the 
horseradish is STRONG!
9. Add just enough water to make a smooth sauce that is not too thin
10. Just before serving, heat the sauce on low heat until warm.  Do not boil.
WARNING: Don't lean over the blender, the bowl, 
or the pan without acknowledging that there will 
be rising horseradish fumes.

1. I think some folks thought they were having 
some sort of transcendent experience when they 
ate this. It was quite strong but quite good and 
excellent company for the pork. This would also 
be good with any red meat.
2. For a mellower sauce, make a day or two ahead of time.


Horseradish sauce
Das Kochbuch des Meisters Eberhard

The Original

Ein gutte salsen zu machen in der fastenn.
Item nym merrich vnd zustoþ den in einem möerserr
vnd nym mandelkernn oder nuþ vnd zustoþ die auch
vnd geuþ ein wein dar an. Merrich bricht den
stein garr serr, wenn man in isset in der kost.
--- from Thomas Gloning's invaluable site:
[old URL] http://staff-www.uni-marburg.de/~gloning/feyl.htm

2. A good sauce to make in the Fast.
Item. Take horseradish and pound it in a mortar
and take almond kernals or (wal)nuts and pound them also
and pour a wine there in. Horseradish brings the
stone very much, when one eats it in the food.
--- translation by Alia Atlas

NOTE: I, Urtatim, added the [wal] to nuts, above, 
since quite often that is what is meant, as other 
types of nuts are generally clearly specified.

5 cups ground horseradish root
2-1/2 cups ground almonds
4 cups dry white wine
1 TB salt
1/4 cup sugar

1. Grind horseradish.
2. Add almonds and wine.
3. Let stand overnight.
4. Season with salt and sugar, to taste.

NOTE: I made this a couple days ahead of time, 
which gave it a chance to mellow a bit, so it 
wouldn't be as harsh as what i made last year. It 
has a nice creamy flavor. I rather like it mixed 
with the Swallenberg Sauce.



Limonada - Lemon Sauce
Libre del Coch, Catalan, 1520

What can i say? This was absolutely, 
fantastically delicious. It was served with rice 
cooked in almond milk and "Chykens in Gravey" 
both from Forme of Cury. The chickens were first 
pre-cooked in plain water and the resulting broth 
was used for the sauce. A friend in the hall told 
me that at the table the diners were putting the 
sauce on the chicken and rice, then on the 
vegetables, then dipping bread in it. My friends 
in the dining hall said that there were many 
requests for this recipe.

Original Recipe
Translation by Lady Brighid ni Chiarain.

Take blanched almonds and prepare them, and grind 
them in a mortar, and blend them with good hen's 
broth; and then take new raisins, and clean them 
well of the seeds, and grind them by themselves 
and strain them through a woolen cloth; and after 
they are strained, mix them with the almonds, and 
put everything in the pot where it must cook; and 
put sugar and a little ginger in that same way, 
and set it to cook, constantly stirring it with a 
stick of wood.  And when it is cooked, put a 
little lemon juice, and then stir it a little 
with the wooden stirrer so that the lemon juice 
is well-mixed within it.  And then dish it out 
and cast fine sugar on the dishes.

Recipe by Anahita
Makes 36 cups - 2.5 gallons

12 cups ground blanched and peeled almonds a.
24 cups chicken broth and really good vegetable broth b.
salt as needed c.
2 tsp. good quality real saffron d.
18 cups white granulated sugar
3/4 cup powdered ginger e.
12 cups lemon juice f.
1/2 lb. whole currants g.

1. Grind almonds - we used a blender - obviously 
it took a while to process all the almonds.
2. Mix broth from parboiling chickens and 
additional vegetable stock as needed in large 
stock pot on high fire.
3. Add ground almonds and stir well.
4. Add saffron, ginger, sugar, and stir well.
5. Add lemon juice and stir well.
6. Add currants and stir well.
7. Simmer making sure that sugar is dissolved and 
sauce is well colored and flavored. I don't know 
how long this took. The chicken broth was already 
quite warm when we started. It did take around 
1/2 hour for the saffron to give up its color, 
and then we cooked it a bit longer until it was 
well colored.

This recipe made way too much sauce for the 
feast. With 85 diners and 36 pounds of chicken, 
even diners dipping bread and even their fingers 
into it, less than half the sauce was eaten. Next 
time i'll make much less.
A.1.  I used already peeled almonds from the bulk 
bin of a store that has rapid turnover, so they 
were pretty fresh.
A. 2. You need more than 12 cups of whole almonds 
to make 12 cups of ground almonds. We ground all 
the almonds for the entire feast first, then 
scooped out 12 cups, so i'm not sure exactly how 
many it took.
B. At the feast, I used entirely chicken broth 
that came from precooking 36 pounds of chicken 
breasts and thighs.
C. I don't know how much salt was used. The 
consensus was use little and diners could add 
more if desired. The sauce was so flavorful it 
didn't seem to need much.
D. A. Spend the money for real saffron. And don't 
be fooled by cheap substitutes. What is sold as 
"Mexican saffron" is just safflower. While 
there's nothing "wrong" with it,  it lacks the 
incredible fragrance and flavor of real saffron. 
And it makes a significant difference in the 
flavor of the sauce.
D. B. I got some very good quality saffron, very 
fragrant, very red. Even so, it took about 1/2 
hour before the saffron started to give up its 
E. The powdered ginger came from the bulk section 
of a health food store. It is very very flavorful.
F. It took an entire box of lemons - containing 
at least 40 lemons - to get this much juice.
G. The currants are the standard dried currants 
available in the US - actually a type of tiny 
raisin - which can be found along with raisins in 
most supermarkets. A similar item was available 
in the Medieval and Renaissance period called 
raisins of Corinth or Coryns, under various 
spellings. A couple similar late Renaissance 
recipes called for the inclusion of raisins. A 
couple other similar recipes did not. I decided 
to use currants as i had them on hand. I did not 
grind them as the original recipe instructs 
because i like lumpy food.


Sour Orange Juice Sauce
Marx Rumpolt, Ein New Kochbuch, c. 1581

5. Saur Pomeranzen Safft
Wenn man die Pomeranzen auszdruckt/
macht man den Safft an mit Zimmet und Zucker/
kalt zu dem Braten gegeben/ ist gut und wolgeschmack.

Recipe by Anahita

1 pint purchased bitter orange marmalade made with Seville oranges
6 cups water
2 TB tsp sugar
1 TB ground cinnamon
salt to taste
rosewater to taste

1. Mix marmelade with water to make 8 cups.
2. Mix orange liquid with cinnamon, a pinch of salt, and rosewater.
3. Let stand until well blended, about 15 minutes or more.
4. Taste and adjust seasoning.

A. At the time i could not find Seville/bitter 
oranges, so i bought marmalade made with them. 
Since the original recipe called for sugar, i 
figured it would be fine.
B. Several people remarked that with a little 
more sugar, this would make a delicious 
beverage... In fact, after the feast, some guy 
came in the kitchen with one of those ubiquitous 
"sports" water bottles, poured all the rest of 
the sauce into it and took it away...



A sauce for a haunch of venison
Sabina Welser, c. 1553

7. To make a sauce in which to put a haunch of 
venison Lard it well and roast it and make a good 
sauce for it. Take Reinfal and stir cherry syrup 
into it, and fry Lebkuchen in fat and chop good 
sweet apples, almonds, cloves, cinnamon sticks, 
ginger, currants, pepper and raisins and let it 
all cook together. When you want to serve it, 
then pour the sauce over it. It is also for 
marinating a boar's head. Then cook it in two 
parts water and one third vinegar. The head of a 
pig is also made in this manner.

Recipe by Anahita

1 dozen purchased German Lebkuchen
1 Tb. butter
2 quarts sweet white Rhine wine
1 quart cherry syrup (purchased, made in Eastern Europe)
10 sweet apples, cored and chopped
1/2 tsp. cloves
5 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp. ginger
1 tsp. pepper
1/4 c. raisins
1/4 c. currants
1-1/2 c finely chopped almonds
white wine vinegar, to taste - should be a little tart

1. Cook Lebkuchen in enough butter until soft.
2. Add wine and cherry syrup to Lebkuchen, stirring to dissolve and blend.
3. Add remaining ingredients and simmer thick.

I'm sure that the Lebkuchen i used are not like 
those that would have been used by Welser. I 
suspect hers would have been more like ginger 
bread (since the name means "ginger cake"), in 
this case 16th c. gingerbread, which is made of 
bread crumbs and is not a chemically leavened 
cake. What i used are imported from Germany, and 
somehow a cross between a cookie and a cake.


Garlic Sauce with Walnuts and Almonds
Spanish, Diego Granado, Libro del Arte de Cozina, 1599


Para Hazer Ajada con Nuezes Tiernas y Almendras
To make garlic sauce with tender walnuts and almonds
Take six ounces of tender peeled walnuts, and 
four [ounces] of fresh sweet almonds, and six 
cloves of boiled garlic, or one and a half raw, 
and grind them in the mortar, with four ounces of 
a crustless piece of bread soaked in broth of 
mutton, or of fish which is not very salty, and 
once they are ground put in a quarter [ounce] of 
ground ginger.  If the sauce is well ground, it 
is not necessary to strain it, but just thin it 
with one of the above mentioned broths, and if 
the walnuts were dried, let them be soaked in 
cold water, until they soften again, and can be 
cleaned.  With the above mentioned sauce, you can 
grind a little bit of turnip, or of crisp-leaf 
cabbage well-cooked in good meat broth, if it is 
a day for it.
--- Translated by Lady Brighid ni Chiarain

Recipe by Anahita
Makes about 1-1/2 gal.

2-1/2 lb walnuts
1-3/4 lb almonds, blanched
28 oz white bread, crusts removed
7-14 cups vegetable broth, as needed
1-3/4  ounce ground ginger
40 cloves garlic
salt to taste

1. Soak the nuts in cold water overnight, or at least several hours.
2. Drain, and grind finely in a food processor.
3. Soak bread in broth.
4. Add the bread soaked in broth, ginger and garlic to the walnuts.
5. Blend until smooth.
6. Taste and salt as necessary
7. If necessary, add more broth and/or water to 
adjust the consistency of the sauce.

A. Lady Brighid, who shared this recipe with me, 
had made this sauce according to the recipe and 
felt it was too bland. I suggested that perhaps 
the original meant "head" rather than "clove", 
but she is certain that her translation from the 
Spanish is correct. I have no reason to doubt 
her, and suspect the possibility of a scribal 
error in the original. So I increased the amount 
of garlic because it wouldn't have been much of a 
garlic sauce with 10 ounces of nuts and 1-1/2 
cloves garlic.
B. I suspect that perhaps this was supposed to 
have more of an alioli or aioli-like consistency. 
Our sauce was not quite so smooth.
C. This would have a different flavor and 
consistency when made with boiled or roasted 
garlic, and worth the experiment.

Urtatim (that's err-tah-TEEM)
the persona formerly known as Anahita

My LibraryThing

More information about the Sca-cooks mailing list