|Harleian MS. 279 (ab 1430) - .xxiij. Nomblys of þe venyson.- Numbles of the Venyson|
Numbles (umbles, numlys, ombles, owmlys, humble) is an archaic cooking term that once refered to the back and loins of a deer (from lumbulus meaning the loin). Approximately 1616 it was reffered to as "the ordinairie fee and parts of the deer given unto a keeper by a custome, who hath the skin, head, umbles, chine and shoulder". Today, numbles refers to the soft organs of an animal, specifically a deer. Numbles includes the organs generally referred to as offal--heart, liver, kidneys, sweetbread, spleen and lungs (aka as lights or pluck).
Depending on which definition you choose to use to define "numbles", this recipe from 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 could produce two completely different dishes; one based on the loin, another one based on offal. I personally chose the more conventional meaning of numbles and made this dish using liver. Just a fair warning, very few of the taste testers enjoy organ meats, so they tried the dish with trepidation. I am happy to report that I just *might* have changed a few minds (and stomachs) with this interpretation.
.xxiij. Nomblys of þe venyson.—Take þe Nombles of Venysoun, an cutte hem smal whyle þey ben raw; þan take Freysshe broþe, Watere, an Wyne, of eche a quantyte, an powder Pepir an Canel, and let hem [leaf 9 bk.] boyle to-gederys tyl it be almost y-now; An þenne caste powder Gyngere, an a lytil venegre an Salt, an sesyn it vp, an þanne serue it forth in þe maner of a gode potage.
xxiij - Nomblys of the venyson. Take the Nombles of Venysoun, an cutte hem smal whyle they ben raw; than take Freysshe brothe, Watere, an Wyne, of eche a quantyte, an powder Pepir an Canel, and let hem boyle to-gederys tyl it be almost y-now; An thenne caste powder Gyngere, an a lytil venegre an Salt, an sesyn it vp, an thanne serue it forth in the maner of a gode potage.
Forme of Cury (England, 1390)
Newe Noumbles Of Deer. XX.II. XIIII. Take noumbles and waisshe hem clene with water and salt and perboile hem in water. take hem up an dyce hem. do with hem as with ooþer noumbles.