Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Harleian MS. 279 (ab 1430) - lvij - Charlet a-forcyd ryally - Pork cooked in milk Reinforced Royally

lvij - Charlet a-forcyd ryally - Pork cooked in milk Reinforced Royally
This is the second of the "charlette" dishes found in Two fifteenth-century cookery-books : Harleian MS. 279 (ab 1430), & Harl. MS. 4016 (ab. 1450), with extracts from Ashmole MS. 1439, Laud MS. 553, & Douce MS. 55 by Thomas Austin, and the one that was least preferred of the taste testers.  

The almond milk created a finer curd then the regular milk when it was tempered with the wine, resulting in a much finer "grain" to the sliced product. This would have been a very costly dish to make with the addition of ginger, galingale, sugar and the large quantity of saffron used.  It is my belief that this was a dish to show off the wealth of the host, and not necessarily a dish that would have been eaten "every day".

This dish was the least favorite of all of the dishes that I have attempted to reinterpret and that says a lot considering the doozy's I have found; Cxxxj - A potage colde, .Cvj. Rapeye of Fleysshe and lxxj - Murrey to name a few.  This is on my "too period to be enjoyed by modern tastes list" and I do not have plans at this time to attempt to introduce the modern medieval palette to it.

.lvij. Charlet a-forcyd ryally.—Take gode Mylke of Almaunde; take tender Porke, an hew it smal, an bray it on a morter; take eyroun, an draw þorw a cloþe; temper vppe þin flesshe þer-with, an caste on þe potte; take þe mylke, an sette it ouer þe fyre; sesyn it wyth Salt an Safroun caste þer-on; boyle it, an when yt komyth on hy, a-lye it with wyne, an sette it a-doun; take vppe an ley it on a cloþe, an presse it a lytil; ondo it a-ȝen, & caste þer-on pouder Gyngere, Galyngale, Sugre y-now; menge it to-gederys, presse it a-aȝen, seþe þe broþe wyl; take styf Almaunde mylke y-temperyd with Freysshe brothe, & caste þer-on Saffroun an Sugre y-now, an a lytil Salt, & boyle it, þan take and set it owt; leche now þin mete, & ley þer-of in a dysshe; take þe sewe, & ley a-boue; take Maces & Sugre, & caste þer-on, & serue forth.

lvij - Charlet a-forcyd ryally. Take gode Mylke of Almaunde; take tender Porke, an hew it smal, an bray it on a morter; take eyroun, an draw thorw a clothe; temper vppe thin flesshe ther-with, an caste on the potte; take the mylke, an sette it ouer the fyre; sesyn it wyth Salt an Safroun caste ther-on; boyle it, an when yt komyth on hy, a-lye it with wyne, an sette it a-doun; take vppe an ley it on a clothe, an presse it a lytil; ondo it a-3en, and caste ther-on pouder Gyngere, Galyngale, Sugre y-now; menge it to-gederys, presse it a-a3en, sethe [correction; sic = MS. seye .] the brothe wyl; take styf Almaunde mylke y-temperyd with Freysshe brothe, and caste ther-on Saffroun an Sugre y-now, an a lytil Salt, and boyle it, than take and set it owt; leche now thin mete, and ley ther-of in a dysshe; take the sewe, and ley a-boue; take Maces and Sugre, and caste ther-on, and serue forth [correction; sic = f].

57. Charlette Reinforced Royally - Take good milk of almond; take tender pork, and cut it small and grind it in a mortar; take eggs, and draw through a cloth; temper up the flesh there-with, and caste on a pot; take the milk, and set it over the fire; season it with salt and saffron caste there on; boil it and when it cometh on high, mix it with wine, and set it down; take up an lay it on a cloth, and press it a little, and do it again, and caste there-on powder ginger, galingale, sugar enough; mix it together, press it again, cook the broth well: take stiff almond milk mixed with fresh broth, and caste there-on saffron and sugar enough, and a little salt, and boil it, then take and set it out; slice now your meat, and lay there-of in a dish; take the sauce and lay above; take mace and sugar and caste there-on and serve forth.

Interpreted Recipe                                                          Makes approximately six 1" slices 

For the Charlette:

1/4 pound pork or veal (I used ground pork)
2 eggs
Salt to taste
Pinch of saffron
2 tbsp. wine
1/8 tsp. each ginger and galingale
1/4 tsp. sugar

For the Sauce: 

1/4 cup almond milk
Salt to taste
Pinch of Saffron 

Pinch each of mace and sugar to be dusted over the dish before serving.

Heat the pork, salt and saffron in the almond milk until it is cooked through.  In the meantime, beat the eggs with the wine and add the ginger, galingale and sugar. When the pork is cooked through, turn the heat up on the mixture and when it comes to boil add in the egg and wine mixture.  Stir constantly for approximately five minutes.  You will notice that the curds and whey will begin to separate almost immediately and the egg will begin to curd as well.  After five minutes or so, turn off the heat and allow to cool a little bit.  

Put cheesecloth into a strainer and pour the mixture into it.  Press with a plate and weights as you would for cheese (I used two 28 ounce cans).  Once the whey stops dripping from the "cheese" set it on a tray and let it cool.  Once cool slice into 1" slices and place into a shallow bowl. 

To make the sauce, heat the almond milk, salt and saffron until the desired colored is reach, stirring constantly to prevent scorching of your almond milk.  Pour the heated broth over the cheese and dust with a pinch of mace and sugar before serving. 

This made six 1" slices. I believe that two slices would make an adequate main course as the cheese is very dense in texture; so approximately three servings from 1 cup of milk, or six side servings.  You could even be creative with the cutting of your slices, making them just slightly smaller or cutting into cubes and this could serve a single table at an event. 

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.xl. Charlet forsed. Tak mylke & seeth hit & swenge therwith yolkes of ayroun & do therto & poudour of ginger, & sugur & safroun & cast therto, tak the charlet out of the broth & messe hyt in dysches, lay the sewe o noward, floures hit with poudour douce and sugur.

A Noble Boke off Cookry (England, 1468)

To mak charlet forced tak cowe mylk and yolks of eggs draw throughe a stren and bet it to gedur then tak freshe pork smalle hewene and cast all to gedure in a pan and colour it with saffrone and let it boile till it be on a crud then take it up and lay it on a clothe upon a bord and presse out the whey then tak the mylk of almondes or cow creme and sett it on the fyere put ther to sugur and colour it depe with saffrone then leshe out the crud and couche it in dishes and pour out the ceripe and cast on sugur and canelle and serve it.


Charlet Enforesyd. Recipe swete mylk and egges зolkes & ale, & seth pork withoute erbis, brayed, & lat it boyle tyll it do crud; and colour it with saferon, & þan take it vp & press it. Þan take creme of almondes or of kow mylk & boyle itt, & put þerto ginger & colour it depe with saferon, & lay þerof .iij. lechis or .v. in a dysh of þe charlet & poure þe [c]reme apon it; and medyl sugure, sawndyrs, & masz togydere & strew it þeron & serof it forth.