[Sca-cooks] Gervase Markham and "faux venison"

edoard at medievalcookery.com edoard at medievalcookery.com
Wed May 27 07:59:55 PDT 2009

> -------- Original Message --------
> From: "Vandy J. Simpson" 
> Greetings.
>  I'm working on a menu for a late-period feast. One of the books I'd been reading, Tudor Food and Cookery, mentions that "Gervase Markham suggested that by marinating beef or ram-mutton in vinegar, beer and turnsole (a bluish colourant) you could produce counterfeit venison for a pie!"
>  I'm thinking this may have been something they culled from one of their commentary sources, since I don't see Markham listed in the bibliography. (It's an old faded photocopy...) I *feel* like I've seen something like this somewhere else, but maybe I'm just convincing myself I have.
>  I've poked through what I can find of Gervase Markham on line, Kirrily Robert's website, but I'm not seeing a recipe that seems to relate to this.
>  Does anyone out there have any further suggestions? Sources? Memories? I've reached the point where I've read and re-read so many things, my eyes are crossed!

This appears to be a popular trick.  In addition the recipe from
Markham's that Adamantius posted, there are three in Menagier:

And if you wish to make a piece of beef taste like venison of deer or
bear, if you are in bear country, take numble or leg of beef, then
parboil and lard it, spit and roast; and let it be eaten with (a sauce
of) wild boar's tail. Let the beef be parboiled, then lard it along its
length and cut into portions, and then put the hot boar's tail (sauce)
in a dish over your beef which first is roasted or boiled in boiling
water and taken out soon, for this is more tender than deer.  [Le
Menagier de Paris]

BEEF Like BEAR VENISON. A leg of beef. Do it in a black sauce of ginger,
clove, long and grain pepper, etc. And put in each bowl, two pieces, and
it will taste like bear.  [Le Menagier de Paris]

To Counterfeit Bear Venison from a Piece of Beef. Take flank, and let it
be chopped in large chunks as for loin stew, then parboil, lard and
roast: and then boil a boar's tail, and let your meat boil a little, and
throw sauce and all in a dish.  [Le Menagier de Paris]

- Doc

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