A Bardic Feast in 2014

This year’s Bardic feast was French themed – appropriately the cuisine of the troubadours.

The dishes came from:
–       The Vivendier [1] – a fifteenth century French cookery manuscript translated by Terence Scully
–        Le Ménagier de Paris [2] and The Goodman of Paris [3] – two different translations of the 1393 French manuscript

First course

Pour farsir oes [Stuffed Eggs] – Vivendier #8 p.38 [1]

To stuff eggs. Hard boil them in their shells, then shell them and remove their yolks.  Then get parsley, cream, fine runny cheese as in the previous recipe, and the yolks, with everything chopped up finely; add in ground Poudre de Duc or cinnamon and sugar. Fill up your egg whites again. Wrap them carefully in a net so the stuffing doesn’t fall out; then brown them in good hot fresh butter, and coat them with flour if you wish.

Comment: I used modern parsley, as I could not find flat leaf parsley.  I don’t think it worked that well as it was a bit tough and the rest of the mixture was a little too runny.  The frying was odd, but interesting.

Pipefarces – Le Menagier De Paris p.M44 [2]

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.

Comment: These were tasty if rich.  And the cheese (chedder) just melted. Next time something harder possibly.

Mushroom Pies – Le Menagier De Paris p.M31 [2]

Mushrooms of one night are the best, and are small and red inside, closed above: and they should be peeled, then washed in hot water and parboil; if you wish to put them in pastry, add oil, cheese and powdered spices.

Comment: Very tasty!

Second Course

Pastes de pouchins [Chick Pie] – Vivendier #65 [1]

To make Chick Pies. Put into the pastry shell, on its bottom, a layer of pork lard, and likewise over the chicks. When the pie is baked, get a bowlful of verjuice and two hard-boiled egg yolks, then a dozen almonds – peel and grind them, then mix these almonds in with the eggs and the verjuice, strain this and set it to boil with an amount of butter the size of a walnut.  When it has boiled, add in a suitable amount of ginger powder, and pour the mixture through the top of the pie.

Comment: Tasty.  Though it was hard to get the sauce into the pie near the end.

Beef Pasties – Le Menagier De Paris p.M32 [2]

Have good young beef and remove all the fat, and the less good parts are cut in pieces to be used for stock, and then it is carried to the pastry-cook to be chopped up: and the grease with beef marrow.

The meat of a leg of beef is sliced up and put in pastry; and when the pastry is cooked, it is appropriate to throw a wild duck sauce into it.

Comment: Tasty. Though hard to get the wild duck sauce into the pie near the end.

Wild Duck Sauce – Le Menagier De Paris p.M47 [2]

Sauce to boil in pies of young wild duck, duckling, young rabbit or wild rabbit.

Take lots of cinnamon, ginger, clove, grains, half a nutmeg and mace, galingale, and grind them very well, and soak in half verjuice and half vinegar, and the sauce should be clear. And when the pie is just about done, throw this sauce inside it and return to the oven to boil once.

And not that in winter you put more ginger in so it will be stronger in spice, for in winter all the sauces should be stronger than in summer.

Comment: I found this tasty while others found the vinegar too overpowering.

Tart – The Goodman of Paris p.278 [3]

To make a tart (tourte), take four handfuls of beets, two handfuls of parsley, a handful of chervil, a sprig of fennel and two handfuls of spinach, and pick them over and wash them in cold water, then cut up very small; then bray with two sorts of cheese, to wit a hard and a medium, and then add eggs thereto, yolks and whites, and bray them in with the cheese; then put the herbs into a mortar and bray all together and also put therein some fine powder. Or instead of this have ready brayed in the mortar two heads of ginger and onto this bray your cheese, eggs and herbs and take it to the oven and then have your tart made and eat it hot.

Comment: This was said to be tasty!

Final Course

Crepes – Le Menagier De Paris p.M44 [2]

Take flour and mix with eggs both yolks and whites, but throw out the germ, and moisten with water, and add salt and wine, and beat together for a long time: then put some oil on the fire in a small iron skillet, or half oil and half fresh butter, and make it sizzle; and then have a bowl pierced with a hole about the size of your little finger, and put some of the batter in the bowl beginning in the middle, and let it run out all around the pan; then put on a plate, and sprinkle powdered sugar on it.  And let the iron or brass skillet hold three chopines, and the side be half a finger tall, and let it be as broad at the bottom as at the top, neither more nor less; and for a reason.

Comment: Served with cinnamon sugar.  They were slightly different to normal pancakes, but enjoyed nonetheless.


[1] Scully, Terence (translator and editor) [1997] The Vivendier

[2] Hinson, Janet (tr.) [1988] Le Menagier De Paris, inside A Collection of Medieval an Renaissance Cookbooks (Seventh Edition) (1998) Vol II

[3] Power, Eileen (tr.) Coulton, G.G (ed) [1928] The Goodman of Paris (c. 1393) London: Routledge

In service,
Feast Steward, Bardic 2014

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