Tag Archives: medieval

Libre del Coch — Leek Pottage

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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.

LEEK POTTAGE [POTAJE DE PORRADA]
You must take leeks, well-peeled, and washed and cleaned the night before, set them to soak in an earthen bowl filled with water, in the night air; and let them be this way all night until the morning; and then give them a boil, moderately, because they are very difficult to cook; and when they are well-boiled, press them a great deal between two chopping blocks, and gently fry them with the fat of good bacon; and do not cast salt upon them; and when they are well gently fried, set them to cook in a little good broth which is fatty; and then take almond milk and cast it in the pot and cook it until it is quite thick; and when it is thick, taste it for salt, and if it lacks salt cast it in; and then prepare dishes, and [cast] upon them sugar and cinnamon.

Recipe:
3 Large Leeks, washed and chopped
32oz Chicken Broth (no salt)
4 tsp Bacon fat
4 strips Bacon, cooked, rendered and chopped small
3 Cups Almond Milk (possibly creamier with 4 cups)
Salt to taste

Take leeks and boil until tender. Drain. Press to squeeze out as much water as possible. In a hot pan, add bacon fat and leeks. Brown leeks until they are camel zed. Add cooked bacon and mix with leeks. Add stock and almond milk, bring to a quick boil, then lower temperature to a simmer. Simmer at least 30 minutes.

I ended up taking the soup and putting into a blender to liquefy all ingredients. Add salt to taste. You can serve without blending, but the blending makes a very smooth, creamy, soup.

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La vraye methode de trencher les viande

La vraye methode de trencher les viandes (VM) was published some time in the late 17th or early 18th century. It seems to be a derivative work, using many, but not all, of the illustrations from Jacques Vontet’s L’art de trancher la viande et toute sorte de fruictz : la monde italienne et nouvelle a la françoise (AT), published in Lyon in 1647.

Here are some translated sections (found here):

Though the art of carving Meats does not seem to be useful except to Trencher carvers, or the Master of the hotel of the House of Princes, or to people of means, Seeing that many think that it is only at their table where one observes the Method of serving by fork or of cutting in the air, See that I avow nevertheless, that there is no-one even of a mediocre condition to whom the art of carving is not greatly necessary, since he cannot Invite his friends to any banquet, that he is not at the same time obliged to serve them which he could not do with honor, without knowing the art of carving, for there is nothing of such bad grace as a badly portioned part, and badly served, this is why I believed, that all those who frequent fellowships, or who voyage, either in Germany, Italy, or Spain where one observes this Method will be greatly curious to be able in a little time to know how to cut up all sorts of Meats, & in all ways, and according to the diverse Usages of the country such that I have learned in the House of the Princes of Spain, and Italy, as You may see by the diverse skewering of all sorts of.

Meats which you will notice by the listing of the figures and beside it the means to be able to slake one’s appetite without spoiling the other pieces, and to find a better morsel, and in addition, to peel a pear in diverse manners, to cut lemons, oranges, to represent all sorts of animals, Such as Eagle, Scorpion, and which I promise to teach with great ease, and all sorts of people desiring to serve with honor an honest company.