Menu and Recipes for Lunch for Siege of Harlech III

Based on 14th C English recipes found in Curye on Inglysh, Constance Hieatt and Sharon Butler, Ed.
Served August 24, Anno Societatus XLVIII

Lunch Menu

Bread and Butter
Cheese and Hard Boiled Eggs
Fresh Fruit
Pomme dorrys
Lumbard Mustard
Ryshews of Fruyt
Salat with Chibbols and Oil and Vinegar on the side
Spiced Grape Juice


Pill garlic and cast it in a pot with water and oile and seež it. Do žerto safroun, salt, and poudour fort and dresse it forth hoot

Peel garlic and boil it in a pot with water and oil. Add saffron, salt, and strong powder (powder fort) and dress it forth hot.

1 head garlic, peeled
Salted Water and olive oil to cover
5 or 6 threads of saffron
2 tsp powder fort (or to taste) - For this mix, I used 1 part each cinnamon, ginger, pepper, 1/12 part each clove, grains of paradise, cubeb, long pepper

Boil peeled garlic and saffron in water and oil for 30 minutes. Drain and add hot spices. Alternatively, add spices after boiling is done but without draining, and serve as a hot white gazpacho.


LTak buff & hewe yt small al raw, & cast yt in a morter & grynd yt no?t to small. Tak Safroun & grynd žerwiž.Wan yt ys grounde,take že wyte of že eyryn, ?yf yt be no?t styf; cast into že buf pouder of pepyr, olde reysyns & reysyns of corounse Set ouer a panne wyž fayr water, & mak pelotys of že buf; & wan že water & že pelotes ys wel yboylyd, set yt adoun & kele yt. Put yt on a broche & rost yt, & endorre yt wyž ?olkys of eyryn & serue yt forže

Take raw beef and cut it small, and grind it coarsely in a morter. Grind saffron with it. When it is ground, if it isn't stiff enough, add egg white. Mix in pepper, old raisins, and currents. Boil a pan of water, and make pellots (balls) or the beef. When the water and the pellots are well boiled, let the balls cool. Put them on a spit and rost them basted in egg yolk, and serve it forth.

For eight 2oz meatballs 1 lb ground beef (I used ground round, but you can do your own in a food processor for a more correct texture)
1/4 cup raisins
1 egg white (this is a little runny, but provides a nice texture when cooked. If making multiple sets, I would recommend 2 eggs whites for 3 lbs meat)
1/4 tsp finely ground pepper
1/8 tsp salt
Saffron to taste
4 egg yolks, beaten

Mix beef, raisins, spices and egg whites. (If you are grinding your own meat, add the saffron at this point). Each ball should contain approximately a 1/4 cup of the mixture; roll into a loose ball, squeeze the ball to compact it, then roll a little more to make nicely shaped meatballs. Boil in salted water for 8 minutes then remove and let cool (you can cool them overnight, or just for a few minutes - they need to be cool enough so that the egg yolk won't curdle when applied). When you are ready for the second cooking, preheat your oven to 400. Roll meatballs in your egg yolks to give a good coating, and put on skewer, not touching each other. Let the extra egg yolk drip off for a few minutes. When ready to cook, rest the skewer ends on the edges of the pot (so that the meatballs are suspended above the pot bottom), put into the oven and roast for 5-10 minutes (depending on how cold you let your meatballs get). Serve forth. For a little extra decoration, and to help with the "golden apple" illusion, I like to garnish with whole mint leaves.

Lumbard Mustard

Take mustard seed and waisshe it & drye it in an ovene. Grynde it drye; sarse it thurgh a sarce. Clarifie hony with wyne & vyneger, & stere it wel togedre and make it thikke ynow?; & whan žou wilt spende žerof make it thynne with wyne.

Take mustard seed, wash it and dry it in an oven. When it is dry, grind it and sift it. Clarify honey with wine and vinegar, and stir it with wel togedre [with the mustard powder] and make it thick enough, & when you wil use it make it thin with wine.

Makes approximately 2/3 cup before the final "thinning"
Make a few days ahead to allow the flavors to blend

2 Tbsp each wine and wine vinegar. Red wine and wine vinegar will result in a reddish purple color, while white wine and vinegar will be more yellow. 4 Tbsp honey (the instructions say to "clarify honey" but most commercial honeys are clarified before packaging. If you get fresh honey or harvest your own, you will need to clarify it)
6 (or so) Tbsp mustard powder
Wine to taste

Stir honey, wine, and vinegar together in a small pot, and bring to a slow boil over medium low heat. Let simmer for a few minutes. Stir in mustard powder a Tbsp at a time until the mustard is all incorporated and the mixture is thick as cold honey (make it pretty thick, since you'll be thinning it later). Store covered in the refrigerator (or a cool, dry spot). When ready to serve whisk it one to one or two to one mustard and wine (depending on how thin you want it) and serve.

Ryshews of Fruyt

Take fyges and raisouns; pyke hem (remove stems and such) and waisshe hem in wyne. Grynde hem wiž apples and peeres ypared and ypiked (stemmed, cored and seeded) clene. Do žerto gode powdours and hole spices; make balles žerof, frye in oile, and serue hem forth.

Take figs and raisins, pick them and wash them in wine. Grind them with apples and pears which have been pared and picked clean. To thereto good powders and whole spices; make balls thereof, fry in oil and serve them forth.

Makes 20
4 oz mission figs
4 oz raisins
1 large apple, approx. 6 oz (any tart cooking apple is good)
1 bartlett pear, approx. 6 oz
¾ cup red wine
2 tsp good spice powder - I used powder forte (hot powder), because I prefer the bite that pepper gives to this mixture, but powder douce (sweet powder) is also good. (For ingredients for powder fort, see the aquapatys recipe)
5 cups oil or lard for frying (I use canola oil)

Clean any stems off the figs and raisins, and put them in a pot with wine. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes (This will rehydrate the fruit a bit). Drain. Peel and core the apples and pears. Put it all in your food processor (or dice it with your knife, then grind in a mortar if you are so inclinded) and work until it is the texture of mincemeat filling. Stir in the powder. Use a rounded Tbsp to scoop out balls of the mixture - they should be no larger than a walnut. Squeeze each ball as you make them to make them more compact and to work out a little of the liquid. Heat oil to 365 and fry the balls for 2 minutes. Serve hot. To honor the instructions to use whole spices (which the modern eater tends to find unpleasant to bite into) I use whole cloves and cinnamon sticks as a garnish.


Take good broth and put it in an earthen pot. Take fine bread flour (flour used to make payndemayn) and make a past with water, and roll out paper thin leaves; dry it hard then boil it in broth. Take cheese ruayn (note) grated and lay it in dishes with sweet powder (powder douce) and lay the boiled foils on without breaking the noodles, and put more powder and cheese, and so twice or thrice, and server it forth.

Makes 1 lasagna pan (8-10 servings)
Note - you can make your own noodles using your favorite noodle recipe, but for large groups of people commercial dried noodles work just fine.

1 lb lasagna or reginette noodles
1.5 cup grated cheese per layer (depending on your preference, make two, three, or more layers). I've used swiss and Havarti combined because it has some tang, and some of the creaminess of a brie or pont l'Eveque (although not nearly as strong a flavor). Constance Hieatt, in Curye on Inglysh describes ruayn cheese as "rawe" or "autumn cheese, made a fter the cattle had fed on the second growth, called 'rewen' or 'rowen' in various sources…It appears to be the same cheese called fromage de gaing in France; Pichon, VT p. 14, n.3, identifies Pont l'Eveque as an example." Pont l'Eveque is a lovely smelly creamy cheese with a touch of ammonia aftertaste. If you want to try it, you can find it in a good specialty cheese shop from around $20/lb.
2 Tbsp butter
Powder douce. Every cook has their own recipe for sweet powder (and there are a few sources). I used 2 parts cinnamon, 1 part ginger, 1 part sugar, and 1/6 part nutmeg. (another 1/6 part grains of paradise would not be amiss)
6 quarts broth (chicken, or vegetable) or salted water

Preheat the oven to 400F. Bring the broth or salted water to a boil and boil the noodles for 8-10 minutes (Note, these won't cook any in the oven, so they need to nearly done, although not overdone, when they come out of the pot). Drain noodles, and mix with butter to keep then soft and malleable. Butter the bottom of a pan, and put your powder in an clean salt shaker. Put in a layer of noodles, a good layer of cheese and sprinkle on the spice liberally (you want a fairly good amount of spice in this evenly distributed). Repeat for as many layers as you like, ending with a noodle layer. Sprinkle a light coating of spice on top, and, if you like, add a little extra of your cheese mix (or add a little blue cheese or stilton on top). Bake for 8-10 minutes (just long enough to melt the cheese), cut and serve.

Salat with Chibbols and Oil and Vinegar on the side

Take persel, sawge, grene garlic, chibolles, oynouns, leek, borage, myntes, porrettes, fenel, and toun cressis, rew, rosemarye, purslarye; laue and waische hem clene. Pike hem. Pluk hem small wiž žyn honed, and myng hem wel with rawe oile; lay on vyneger and salt, and serue it forth.

Take parsley, sage, green garlic, green/spring onions, onions, leek, borage, mints, porrets (a type of leek or green onion), fennel, and garden cress, rue, rosemary, purslain, clean them carefully. Pick them. Pluck them into small pieces with your hands and mix well with raw oil, add vinegar and salt and serve it forth.

Serves as many as you make
This is not a strict following of this recipe (some would say not even a loose following), but rather uses the green things I have (and some lettuce to make it stretch).

Romaine lettuce
Watercress (strictly speaking, this should be salad cress - which is I was unable to obtain - the plants have a similar flavor, but different texture)
Green onions (both the white and green parts)

No portions here. This is an "as you like it" salad. I would advise making using the lettuce and/or parsley as the main body of the dish, mainly because the other ingredients flavors are too strong and will be overpowering. You'll only need a three or four sage leaves for a normal sized salad bowl. Mint, use a handful or two. For fennel you can use the tops or the bulb or both. If you use the bulb, shave it as thin as you can. Personally, I like lots of little green onion rounds in my salad, but today I'm serving it on the side (since many find raw onion - even raw spring onion) to be an objectionable vegetable. To dress, first add your oil to your salad (a couple of tablespoons to a regular salad bowl is sufficient), and toss so that everything has a coat of oil on it (light coat). Then add your vinegar and salt. Today, because many folks either don't want dressing, or want to dress their own, an olive oil and wine vinegar dressing and salt are offered.


Take wyne and hony and found it togyder and skym it clene, and seež it long. Do žerto powdour of ginger peper and salt. Tost brede and lay the sewe žerto; kerue pecys of ginger and flour it žerwith, and messe it forth

Take wine and honey and (found) it together and skim it clean, and seeth it long. Do thereto powder or ginger, pepper, and salt. Toast bread and lay the mixture on it, carve pieces of ginger and flourish (sprinkle or decorate with) it on the bread, and serve it forth.

Makes 9 servings
3 slices round sourdough bread.
1 cup wine
1 cup honey
1 tsp powdered ginger
1 tsp finely ground pepper
¼ tsp salt

Fresh ginger, minced and rolled in sugar (the recipe doesn't call for the sugar rolling, but we found the flavors melded better that way)

Mix wine, honey, ginger, pepper, and salt, bring it to a boil over a slow fire and let simmer for 10-15 minutes. Cool. Toast bread and cut each slice into thirds. Apply honey-wine syrup to the bread with a pastry brush, and decorate it with the ginger, and serve it forth.


Take and make a foile of gode past as thynne as paper; kerue it out wyt a saucer & frye it in oile; ožer in grece; and že remnaunt, take hony clarified and flamme žerwith. Alye hem vp and serue hem forth.

Take a make a foile of gode paste as thin as paper, carve it out with a saucer and fry it in oil, or in grease, and for the rest, take clarified honey and dress the fried rounds with it; serve it forth.

Makes 32-40
(The "paste" recipe is based on recipe for Pasta Noodles from Joy of Cooking)
2 cups all purpose flour
3 large eggs, beaten
Lard or oil (I used canola oil)
Honey (Most commercial honey is already clarified, but if you buy comb in or raw, you will want to clarify it first)

Mound your flour on a board or in a bowl and make a well in the center; pour your eggs into the well and mix into the flour. Knead the mixture for 10 minutes (yup, 10 minutes is THE magic number) flouring your board as necessary. Roll into a ball, and divide into four parts Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest at room temperature for at least 1 hour (if you do this the night before, let the dough come to room temperature before rolling). Roll dough on a floured surface. Sprinkle sugar onto the dough when it starts getting thin (less than 1/8 inch thick) - roll as thin as you are able, sprinkling on a little more sugar each time you flipi the dough (it will be as thin as pasta dough, or a good heavy construction paper). Cut leaves with a large biscuit cutter. In a 10 inch frying pan, heat 3-4 inches of oil to 240F. Drop in 4-5 circles at a time, and fry on one side until golden brown and puffy, then flip and fry until both sides are nicely colored. Remove from oil, drain on a paper towel. Drizzle on honey and, if desired, powder with powdered sugar, and serve.

Spiced Grape Juice (based on Potus ypocras)

Take a half lb. of canel tried; of gyngyer tried, a half lb; of greynes, iii unce; of longe peper, iii unce; of clowis, ii unce, of notemegges, ii unce & a half; of carewey, ii unce; of spikenard, a half unce, of galingale, ii unce, of sugar, ii lb. Si deficiat sugar, take a potel of hony.

Take half a lb of good cinnamon sticks, half a lb of ginger root; 3 ounces grains of paradise, 3 ounces long pepper, 2 ounces cloves, 2 ½ ounces nutmegs, 2 ounces of caraway, ½ ounce spikenard (possibly lavender or valerian) , 2 ounce galingale, two pounds of sugar. If you don't have sugar, take a potel of honey. (CH notes that a potel is a 2 quart vessel)

1 11.4 oz can Welsh's concentrated grape juice
3 Cinnamon sticks, broken/bruised but not powdered
4 slices Dried ginger root
10 Grains of paradise, cracked but not ground
3 Long pepper, cracked but not ground
4 Cloves
A little Nutmeg
½ tsp Caraway

Note - this is an adaptation, intended to give a sense of the original and also provide a drink for a large number of people. This is not an aperitif, and I'm leaving out the extra sugar. Mix the concentrated grape juice using twice the water that is called for. Add the spices to the mix and chill overnight. Filter the spices out through a fine sieve (or just put them in a bag for the original soak, and remove the bag before serving). Serve it forth.

Hieatt, Constance B and Sharon Butler. Curye on Inglysch. English Culinary Manuscripts of the Fourteenth Century (Including The Forme of Cury), New York, Oxford University Press, 1985
OED Online. June 2013. Oxford University Press. 21 August 2013
Middle English Dictionary. University of Michigan. Middle English Compendium. 2013.
Rombauer, Irma S, Marion Rombauer Becker, Ethan Becker. Joy of Cooking. New York. Scribner. 2006

Adler-France, Chris. Renaissance Spices - Show and Smell. 2007. Cress. Anon. Garden Herbs. 2005

Copyright September, 2013, Gretchen Beck. Feel free to share so long as proper credit is given.