Libre del Coch — Meat Casserole [CAZUELA DE CARNE]

Libre del Coch was published in 1520 in Barcelona. It was written in Catalan – a language related to, but distinct from, Spanish, written by Ruperto de Nola.

Meat Casserole [CAZUELA DE CARNE]
You must take meat and cut it into pieces the size of a walnut, and gently fry it with the fat of good bacon; and when it is well gently fried, cast in good broth, and cook it in a casserole; and cast in all fine spices, and saffron, and a little orange juice or verjuice, and cook it very well until the meat begins to fall apart and only a little broth remains; and then take three or four eggs beaten with orange juice or verjuice, and cast it into the casserole; and when you wish to eat, give it four or five stirs with a large spoon, and then it will thicken; and when it is thick, remove it from the fire; and prepare dishes, and cast cinnamon upon each one. However, there are those who do not wish to cast in eggs or spice, but only cinnamon and cloves, and cook them with the meat, as said above, and cast vinegar on it so that it may have flavor; and there are others who put all the meat whole and in one piece, full of cinnamon, and whole cloves, and ground spices in the broth, and this must be turned little by little, so that it does not cook more at one end than the other. And so nothing is necessary but cloves and cinnamon, and those moderately.

Recipe:
2.5 Lbs of Beef, trimmed and cubed (I used Beef Round)
26 oz Beef Stock (no salt)
6 tbs bacon fat
4 strips bacon, rendered and chopped well
1 Cup Orange Juice
1/8 tsp Saffron (healthy pinch)
Salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika and onion powder to season meat
3 eggs

Season beef and brown using bacon fat. Drain and place in large cook pot. Add broth, saffron, bacon and orange juice. Bring to boil, then place on high simmer (slow boil) until the meat falls apart (1.5-3 hours) and the broth cooks down. Skim off any fat. Once cooked down and meat is all tender, add in eggs. Once eggs are thoroughly incorporated, the sauce should be thicker. Serve.

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