Month: October 2016

Fladen

Fladen. If you Google the word (and add “food” in the search as well, to avoid the fishing coveralls..), you’ll find modern pictures of flatbread pizza. Let this reassure you that some things don’t actually change (much).

Ein Buch von gutter spise, 1350, contains several fladen recipes, and the three I sourced specifically call for these basics: A mixture of meat and cheese, bound with egg, placed on a leaf of dough, which is then baked.

In two of these recipes, the meat is specifically “chopped small”, which, personally, calls to mind modern meatloaf — ground beef (and other things) bound with egg. Another two call for mixtures of both beef (belly, loin, sirloin, and rib meat) and chicken. The recipes I used aren’t overly specific about spices, though it appears salt and pepper were among the norm.

So, armed with this knowledge, I decided to Live The Dream and serve flatbread pizza at this pub-feast.

For 6 9×13″ pans of fladen, we used roughly 4lbs of skirt steak, 4lbs of chicken, 4lbs of bacon, 3 tubs of shaved Parmesan cheese, and less than one 5c bag of shredded mozzarella cheese.

Pick your dough recipe of choice, make it, and press it into an oiled pan. We next sprinkled basil and kosher salt over the crust, then began layering our meats. The steak and chicken had been cooked in salt, pepper, and garlic, and the bacon fried until just cooked, and I cut them all with kitchen shears before layering them. The cheeses came next, and they baked for about half an hour at about 400F. (Trust your dough recipe for the bake time.)

For this experiment, the flatbread dough recipe I’d chosen was not ideal, and it ended up a good deal thicker than I’d wanted, but was great for a thicker crust pizza. Bacon, of course, makes everything better, and I’ll absolutely be doing this again.

86. Einen fladenEin Buch von gutter spise
Der einen fladen machen wölle von fleische. der nem fleisch. daz do ge von dem lumbel oder von dem wenste. und nim knücken und daz daz wol gesoten werde. und hackez cleyne. und ribe halb als vil keses drunder. und mengez mit eyern. daz ez dicke werde. und würtzez mit pfeffer. und slahe ez uf ein blat von teyge gemacht und schiuz ez in einen ofen. und laz ez backen. und giv in dar also heiz.

He who wants to make a fladen of meat. He takes meat from the sirloin or of the belly. And take bony pieces of meat (possibly ribs) and that that becomes well boiled. And cut it small. And grate half as much cheese thereunder. And mix it with eggs, (so) that it becomes thick. and spice it with pepper and pound (put) it on a leaf made of dough and shove it in an oven and let it bake and give it there also hot.

87. Einen fladen (A fladen) Ein Buch von gutter spise
Aber einen fladen von wensten und von knucken wol gesoten. und rip aber als vil keses drunder. als vil des fleisches ist. und rüerez wol. und mengez with eyern. des viertels als vil hüener drunder gestrauwet. sie sint gesoten oder gebraten. dan mache alles uf ein blat von teyge. und schiuz in eynen ofen un laz backen. und give in also heiz hin für die herren. und versaltz niht. daz ist auch gut.

But a fladen of belly (meat) and of bony pieces of meat (possibly ribs) well boiled. And grate but as much cheese thereunder, as much as the meat is. And give it impetus well and mix it with eggs. A fourth as much hen thereunder sprinkled; it is boiled or roasted. Then make all on a leaf of dough and shove it in a oven and let it bake. And give it also hot out for the masters. And do not oversalt. That is also good.

92. Einen fladen (A fladen) – Ein Buch von gutter spise
Der einen fladen wölle machen von fleische von lumbeln gemacht. des siedez wol und hackez cleine. und ribe keses genue drin. und slahe eyer auch genue drin. und würtz ez wol. und machen ein blat von teyge gesetzt. dri ecken von basteln als ein schilt. in den fladen. und mit hüenren gefült. und versaltz niht. und gibz hin.

How one wants to make a fladen of meat of the loin. Boil that well and chop it small. And grate cheese enough therein. And beat eggs also enough therein. And spice it well. And put on a leaf made of dough. Three squares (or chevrons) of basteln as a shield in the cake. And with chicken filled. And do not oversalt. And give out.

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Pipefarces

Let’s talk pipefarces.

Earlier this year, I had been lazily researching for an idea I’d had for a class, which essentially was how to pad your medieval menu with food that’s easily relatable to the modern palate. Several years ago, I’d discovered that whipped cream was a medieval treat, but discovering pipefarces blew that out of the water.

Take egg yolks and flour and salt, and a little wine, and beat together strongly, and cheese chopped in thin slices, and then roll the slices of cheese in the batter, and then fry in an iron skillet with oil in it. This can also be made using beef marrow.

Mozzarella sticks? In a medieval cookbook? Yes. Yes, mozzarella sticks, as we know and love them today, in Le Menagier de Paris, 1393.

The recipe is easy enough — roll cheese slices in a simple batter and fry them. For this feast, I had my kitchen staff dip the cheese in egg, then breadcrumbs, repeat that, and then place them in the hot oil. Though not the precise same method, this one is tried and true, and resulted in perfect mozzarella sticks. (I also pre-made some gluten-free mozz sticks using gluten-free breadcrumbs!) I’ll take the steps to combine the flour and egg mixture the next time I make these for an event.

Lord Ulrich Eisenhand and Rohesia Whytemere, my fry cooks! Photo by Lord Sasson della Sancta Victoria.