[Sca-cooks] Basting spit roasted meat

Johnna Holloway johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu
Thu Jan 31 19:13:31 PST 2008

Just signed on after a rough day. I hope this will make sense as
I have already had to resort to taking pain pills.Knee is in bad shape 

Ok --  A Sur-Loyn of Roast  Beef
Holme in the Academy of Armory gives this as first course dish--
A Surloyn of Beef , a Chine or Ribb of Beef .
followed by 10. Loyn of Veal,Roast Venison.

Searching EEBO-TCP and trying various search combinations, it's easy to
turn up

To Roast a Haunch of Venison.

If your Venison be seasoned, you must water it, and stick it with short
sprigs of Rosemary, let your sawce be Claret Wine, a handful of grated
Bread, Cinnamon, Ginger, Sugar, a little Vinegar, boyl these up so
thick as it may only run like Butter, it ought to be sharp and sweet,
dish up your meat on your sawce.

The compleat servant-maid; by Woolley, Hannah, fl. 1670. This edition 1677.

Now to get into beef-- one has to account for variations in spelling
not only as to beef but also as to roast...

The best and longest is Gervase Markham as been mentioned.

So Here's what Markham has to say in the 1623 version of Countrey
contentments, or The English husvvife

Page 79-80
To proceed then to roast meats, it is to bee vnderstood, that in the
generall knowledge thereof are to be obserued these few rules. First,
the cleanely keeping and scowring of of the spits and cobirons; next,
the neat picking and washing of meate before it bee spitted,  then the
spitting and broaching of meate which must bee done so strongly and
firmely, that the meat may by no meanes either shrink from the spit, or
else turne about the spit: and yet euer to obserue, that the spit doe
not goe through any principall part of the meate, but such as is of
least account and esti|mation: and if it be birds or fowle which you
spit, then to
let the spit goe through the hollow of the body of the Fowle, and to
fasten it with pricks or skewers vnder the wings about the thighes of
the Fowle, and at the feete or rump,* according to your manner of
trussing and dressing them. Then to know the temperatures of fiers for
euery meate, and which must haue a slow fire, yet a good one, taking
leasure in roasting, as Chines of Beefe, Swannes, Turkies, Peacockes,
Bustards, and generally any great large Fowle, or any other ioints of
Mutton, Veale, Porke, Kid, Lambe, or such like: whether it be Venison
red, or Fallow, which indeed would lie long at the fire, and soke well
in the roasting, and which would haue a quicke and sharpe fire without
schorching; as Pigges, Pullets, Feasants, Partridge, Quaile, and all
sorts of middle sized or lesser fowle, and all small birds, or compound
roste-meates, as Oliues of Veale, Haslets; a pound of butter roasted; or
puddings simple of themselues; and many other such like, which in|deed
would be suddenly & quickly dispatcht, because it is intended in
Cookery, that on of these dishes must be made ready whilst the other is
in eating. Then to know the com|plexions of meates, as which must be
pale and white rosted, (yet thorowly rosted) as Mutton Veale, Lambe,
Kid, Capon, Pullet, Pheasant, Partridge, Quaile, and all sorts of middle
and small land, or water-fowle, and all small birds, and which must be
browne rosted, as Beefe, venison, Porke Swannne, Geese, Pigges, Crane,
Bustards, and any large fowle, or other thing whose flesh is blacke.
Then to know the best bastings for meat which is sweet butter, sweet
oyle, barreld butter, or fine rendred vp seame with sinamon, cloues, and
mace. There be some that will bast onely with water, and salt, and
nothing else; yet it is but opinion, and that must be the worlds Master
Then the best dredging, which is either fine white-bread crummes well
grated, or els a little very fine white meale, and the crummes very well
mixt together.
Lastly to know when meate is rosted enough; for as too much rarenes is
vnholsome, so too much drinesse is not nourishing. Therefore to know
when it is in the perfit height, and is neither too moist nor too dry,
you shall ob|serue these signes first in your large ioints of meate,
when the stemme or stroke of the meate offendeth, either vp|right or els
goeth from the fire, when it beginneth a little to shrinke from the
spit, or when the grauy which drop|peth from it is cleare without

Page 84

If you will roast a Chine of Beefe, a loyne of Mutton, a Capon, and a
Larke, all at one instant and at one fire, and haue all ready together
and none burnt: you shall first take your Chine of Beefe and perboile if
more then halfe through: Then first take your Capon being large and fat,
and spit it next the hand of the turner, with the legges, from the fire,
then spit the Chine of Beefe, then the Larke, and lastly the loine of
Mutton, and place the Larke so as it may be couered ouer with the Beefe,
and the fat part of the loine of Mutton, without any part disclosed:
Then bast your Capon, and your loine of Mutton, with cold water, and
Salt, the Chine of Beefe with boyling larde: Then when you see the beefe
is almost enough, which you shall has|ten by schorching and opening of
it: then with a cleane cloth you shall wipe the Mutton and Capon all
ouer, and then bast it with sweet butter till all bee enough roasted;
Then with your knife lay the Larke open which by this time will be
stewed betweene the Beefe and Mutton, and basting it also dredge all
together; draw them and serue them vp.

Will this do for tonight? I promise to return with more.
My bedtime reading tonight was already a volume titled
Beef and Liberty Roast Beef, John Bull and the English Nation.
I suspect also that reading Peter Brears' All the King's Cooks
might provide you with a number of interesting points also.

Good night


Michael Gunter wrote:
> I'm doing some research on just what the drippings of
> spit roasted meats would be.  snipped
> Any sources out there for basting juices for whole roasts
> or what would compromise "sewe" of beef?
> I'm still looking and the results are surprising.
> Gunthar

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