[Sca-cooks] finding bacon recipes was bacon

Phil Troy / G. Tacitus Adamantius adamantius1 at verizon.net
Fri Aug 6 17:54:59 PDT 2010

On Aug 5, 2010, at 7:38 PM, Stefan li Rous wrote:

> Johnnae posted this recipe:
> <<< This is an excerpt from A Book of Cookrye
> (England, 1591)
> The original source can be found at Mark and Jane Waks' website
> Take your Bacon and boyle it, and stuffe it with Parcely and Sage, and  
> yolks of hard Egges, and when it is boyled, stuffe it and let it boyle  
> againe, season it with Pepper, cloves and mace, whole cloves stick   
> fast in, so then lay it in your paste with salt butter. >>>
> Okay, I think I understand this recipe.
> Take some bacon. (not American streaky bacon, other stuff). I'm assuming fresh, non-smoked meat here.
> boil it.
> stuff it with some parsley and sage and the yolks of hard boiled eggs.
> Then boil it some more. 
> Sprinkle on pepper, cloves and mace. Stud the outside of the bacon with cloves.
> However... What is this paste to lay it in? And what are you supposed to do then?  If it is a dough paste, I'd expect you to need to bake it. Probably not to boil it again. But it call for either. I don't think stuffing it inside a paste of, or even a barrel of, salt butter would act to preserve it.
> So, what are your interpretations of this recipe?

I would guess, even though some specific telling details are missing, that what's being discussed is a pie. My speculation, yes...

You're parboiling the piece of bacon (my vote would be for cured bacon) until [nearly] tender, cutting a slit/pocket in it, putting in a fairly classic green-egg-yolk stuffing found in many medieval poultry recipes, then baking the meat in a pastry shell, with butter added to keep it from frying out, and possibly to fill in air spaces to make the cooled pie keep a few days in the larder.

Considering that some people still bake Virginia hams after boiling, in a pastry shell instead of doing the sweet glaze thing (the pastry may or may not be considered part of the finished dish), and the fact that so much of this recipe just reads like a number of meat pie recipes, I'd think it highly possible.

It'd be interesting to look at the other recipes in whatever section it appears in in the original source; sometimes a lot of assumptions are there to be made if a recipe like this appears in the middle of a bunch of other pie recipes, or recipes with names beginning, say, "To Bake A Stuffed Collar Of Bacon".


"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 bellies."
			-- Rabbi Israel Salanter

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