Recipes in England during the Elizabethan Era
In the Elizabethan era, the details of food and dining are most aptly described in Chapter VI of Modern History Sourcebook: William Harrison (1534-1593): Description Of Elizabethan England, 1577 (from Holinshed’s Chronicles).
The situation of our region, lying near unto the north, doth cause the heat of our stomachs to be of somewhat greater force: therefore our bodies do crave a little more ample nourishment than the inhabitants of the hotter regions are accustomed withal, whose digestive force is not altogether so vehement, because their internal heat is not so strong as ours, which is kept in by the coldness of the air that from time to time (especially in winter) doth environ our bodies.
Here are some of the known Elizabethan recipes in England.
1. An Hearbe Pudding
- 3 cups of oatmeale (oatmeal)
- 1 cup of hot milke (milk)
- ½ box sweete hearbs (spinach, chopped)
- 4 eggs
- salt & pepper
- ¼ teaspoon nutmegg (nutmeg)
- ½ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup currans (currant)
- 1 tablespoon rose water
- 2 tablespoons butter, unsalted
- Water (for boiling)
- Pot, pan, chopping board, cleaver, cheesecloth, string and strainer
- Break oatmeal into smaller portions
- Mix oatmeal and hot milk and let it steep overnight
- Mix chopped spinach, eggs, nutmeg, sugar, cinnamon, currant, rose water and the oatmeal-milk mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. (Pepper is optional.) Mix them well until you create a paste.
- Lay one cheesecloth on top another and place paste. Tie the ends with a string. Set aside.
- Boil water in a pot, once water is boiling, drop the cheesecloth bag.
- Cook for 20-30 minutes.
- Melt butter on another pan over low heat. Set aside.
- Strain and remove the mold from the cheesecloth.
- Place the melted butter on top and dash it with sugar before serving.
2. Oxford Kates Sausages
- 1 pound lean pork
- ¼ pound beef suet (fat) or butter
- 1 teaspoon ground pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cloves
- ¼ teaspoon mace
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 1 egg white
- 2 egg yolks
- Pan, food processor/ meat shredder, chopping board and tongs
- Ground beef suet or melt butter.
- Beat the egg while and the egg yolks.
- Mix all ingredients above until you make a nice, evenly distributed dough-like paste.
- Shape into sausages, size them as you desire but it is suggested to follow the size of
- your fingers. Set aside.
- Simmer suet or butter. Once it is simmering already, use your tongs to place each sausage carefully. Fry until they are golden brown.
3. To boyle a Capon in white broth
- Capon (male chicken castrated at a young age)
- White wine
- Mace (nutmeg)
- Lemon rind
- 3 Egg yolks
- Vergious (sour grape juice)
- Water (for boiling)
- Pot, Pan
- Simmer the chicken in white wine. Set chicken aside.
- Use the broth from the chicken and white wine and mix sour grape juice, mace, peppercorn, endives, lettuce, raisins, dates cinnamon, sugar and rind. Once thoroughly mixed, bring to a boil.
- Boil eggs, strain and add to the mixture.
- Drizzle the broth mixture on the capon and serve.