helvetia

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.

 

Leihen Helvetia! 2016 Feast Menu

For this year’s Helvetia, we’ve decided to tone down the menu, and which is a perfect excuse to get cheeky with a pub food-themed menu! I’ll be working with THL Cas this year, and I’m pretty excited about it! There will likely be some small additions, and I haven’t nailed down which sauces I want to serve yet, so those will come in time. But for now, here’s our offerings for this year’s Leihen Helvetia! Offerings are marked GF for gluten-free and V for ovo-lacto vegetarian.

Saturday breakfast:
Scrambled eggs – GF, V
Sausage
Toast (French & regular) – V
Waffles – V

Saturday lunch:
Ale & onion soup – V
Pork shoulder – GF
Bread – V

Saturday dinner/feast:
Chicken with sauces – GF
Red cabbage – GF, V
Fladen (flatbread pizza)
Pipefarces (breaded fried cheese sticks) – V
Veggie sticks – GF, V
Italian bread pudding – V
Pears stewed in wine – GF, V

Stuffed Eggs Recipe

In the pursuit of foods that would be very recognizable to the modern palate for my 2013 Helvetia menu, I found myself with another 16th century German recipe, this time from the anonymous Mittelniederdeutsches Kochbuch. Christianne Muusers had already translated and adapted this recipe over at her blog Coquinaria, and I had great success with it. What’s not to love about medieval fried and ‘not-so-deviled’ eggs?

Stuffed Eggs

The original author used the Mittelniederdeutsches Kochbuch, as published by Hans Wiswe (edition 1956, p.36), recipe 32, and the Ehlerts translation in modern German, in the Kochbuch des Mittelalters, p.77.

32. Item wyltu maken halve eygere, de ghevullet syn, nym eigere unde sede de hart. Snyt se mydden eyntwey. Nym den doder dar uth den wytten. Stot de doder yn eynen moser. Wen se ghestot synt, so sla dartho roe eigere. Nym salvie unde krusemynte, peper unde safferan. Unde vulle den doder wedder yn dat wytte. So legge se in bottere unde brat se aff alle hart. Nym etick unde ander eygere. Make darover eyn gud so:et. Honnich, peper unde saffran do dartho. Solte dat tomathe. Unde giff dat hen

If you want to make halved eggs that are stuffed, take eggs and boil them hard. Cut them in two. Take the yolks from the whites. Pound the yolks in a mortar. When they are mashed, mix in raw eggs. Take sage and costmary, pepper and saffron. And stuff the yolks back in the whites. Then lay them in butter and bake them very well. Take vinegar and other eggs. Make a good sauce of these. Add honey, pepper and saffron. Salt to taste. And serve it forth.

Modern Recipe:

6 hardboiled eggs
Butter

1 raw egg
The yolks of the hardboiled eggs
4 leaves mint, finely chopped
6 sage leaves, finely chopped
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp saffron (bruised in 1/2 Tbsp hot water)

2 eggs
2 to 3 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp clear honey
Salt and pepper, to taste

Peel the hardboiled eggs and cut them in half length-wise. Take the yolks and mash them together well, then add the raw egg, the chopped herbs, and the spices (and water). Prepare your sauce by gently mixing your eggs, vinegar, honey, and salt and pepper.

Melt your butter in a pan over medium heat and fry the eggs, stuffing-side down first, for a few minutes on each side. Move them to a baking dish, pour the sauce over them, and finish in the oven at 300*F for 15min. Serve warm.

Leihen Helvetia! 2013 Feast Menu

Helvetia 2013 Feast Menu

First Remove
Breads
Flour, butter, oats, cranberries

Flavored butters
Butter, parsley, sage – Butter, honey

Soft Cheese
Milk, chives, onion, lemon juice, salt, pepper

Second Remove
Stuffed eggs
Egg, sage, salt, pepper, saffron, butter, honey, vinegar

Cabbage salad
Red cabbage, onion, apple, honey, red wine vinegar, cloves

Apple tart
Apple, brie, black walnuts, nutmeg, cloves, brown sugar, brandy, flour, egg

Third Remove
Chicken with onion and bacon
Chicken, onion, bacon, garlic, salt, pepper, olive oil

Pork
Pork, white wine, chicken broth, apple juice, raisins, gluten-free soy sauce,
ginger, salt, pepper, corn starch

Genovese tart
Spinach, milk, olive oil, salt, pepper, flour, egg

Applesauce
Apple, sugar, white wine, cinnamon, ginger

Fourth Remove
Blackstone Mountain cakes
Anise extract, almond, almond extract, flour, egg, milk, cream cheese, powdered sugar
Raspberries, apples, caramel, cream, honey

Gluten-free cupcakes
Aniseed, anise extract, almond, almond extract, gluten-free cake mix, egg, milk, cream cheese, powdered sugar

Strauben Recipe

As published in Æthelmearc’s unofficial companion to the Æstel, the Æstel Æxtra:

Recipe: Strauben
by Lady Astridr Vigaskegg

Strauben in the German equivalent of funnel cake. It was recorded in 1553 by a lady named Sabina Welserin in her cookbook, Das Kochbuch der Sabina Welserin. It is served with snow (whipped cream) and fruit preserves.

86 If you would bake a good fried Strauben

Then bring water to a boil and pour it on the flour, stir it together well, beat eggs into it and salt it, take a small Strauben funnel, which should have a hole as wide as a finger, and let the batter run through and fry the Strauben. The batter should be warm.

Modern Recipe:

1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
3 2/3 c all-purpose flour
3 eggs
1/4 c white sugar
2 c milk

Mix salt, baking powder, and half the flour, then set aside.

Cream eggs, sugar, and milk. Add dry mix and beat until smooth. Add flour until desired consistency is reached. Remember, this has to run through a funnel!

Heat the oil to about 375*F, and pour in batter through funnel. Fry until golden brown, and use tongs (and maybe a spatula) to flip the cake. Drain on paper towels, then serve.

Venison in a Sauce Recipe

As published in the Barony of Blackstone Mountain’s newsletter, The Banner, and BMDL’s newsletter, The Althing:

Venison in a Sauce
by Lady Astridr Vigaskegg

While doing my research for the feast at Leihen Helvetia, I fell in love with this particular recipe from Das Kochbuch der Sabina Welserin. I was able to bring about ~10 gallons of venison (thanks, Dad!) to the feast, and I prepared this dish with no instructions aside from the original recipe itself. I’ve done my best to transcribe the process into approximate measurements, as “shake a handful or so of ____ over the large pan of ~4.5 gallons of venison until it looks decent” really doesn’t help anyone reading this. My two bits of advice for this are: 1.) To get as much blood out of the venison as possible, brine it once or twice in the water/vinegar solution. 2.) Play around with the spices before you add it to the venison, if you’re uncertain. As long as you keep the spices balanced, there’s no wrong way to make this, so have fun with it!

Das Kochbuch der Sabina Welserin, 1553
7 To make a sauce in which to put a haunch of venison

Lard it well and roast it and make a good sauce for it. Take Reinfal and stir cherry syrup into it, and fry Lebkuchen in fat and chop good sweet apples, almonds, cloves, cinnamon sticks, ginger, currants, pepper and raisins and let it all cook together. When you want to serve it, then pour the sauce over it. It is also for marinating a boar’s head. Then cook it in two parts water and one third vinegar. The head of a pig is also made in this manner.

Modern Recipe:
Venison
Apple cider vinegar
Water
1 c white wine
1/3 c cherry (or berry) juice concentrate
1/2 c apple cider vinegar
1 c water
2 large apples (or pears), sliced
5 whole cloves
3 small cinnamon sticks
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 c almond slivers
1/2 c currants (or dried cranberries)
1/2 c raisins
2 T butter
Lebkuchen crumbs*

Brine venison in a 1 part-salt water and 1 part-apple cider vinegar mixture for about an hour. Rinse the meat, then set into your roasting pan. Combine the wine, syrup concentrate, and vinegar with your spices and apples and pour over the venison. Cover and bake at 325*F for about 2 1/2 – 3 hours. Fry the Lebkuchen in butter, add to the sauce and drippings to thicken it.

*Note: Lebkuchen cookies are a type of gingerbread cookie made with cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and ginger.