Saturday, September 30, 2017

Harleian MS. 279 (ab 1430) -.Cxlij. Vyande Ryalle. - A Royal Dish (incomplete recipe)

My thinking cap! Detail from the Luttrell Psalter British Library add MS 42130
Sometimes in cooking we are presented with a mystery, some portion of the manuscript is missing or has been damaged, and we are given just enough information to begin to interpret a recipe but not enough to complete it.  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 Thomas Austin contains several incomplete recipes, Vyande Ryalle, a Royal Dish is one of them.  Some of the text is missing and it makes it difficult to guess what the missing ingredient is in order to complete the dish. This post reveals my attempts at trying to discover what is missing in hopes of being able to  recreate this interesting sounding dish.  I do have an interpretation at the end of this post, but it is there with the caveat that what I have recreated may have no actual resemblance to the dish as originally intended. 

The   Fourme of Curye has a similarly named dish but it bears no resemblance to this dish that I am attempting to recreate.  The closest that I have come to discovering what the missing ingredient is --and I caution this is a guess on my part--is the Brawn Ryal from Wagstoff Miscellaney. It contains most of the instructions for the dish below, and gives further instructions on the various ways to color it. Here is what I uncovered in my researching of this recipe.

Vyande is another spelling of the word viand, viaunde (French) and viandas (Spanish) which originally meant food (animal or vegetable) or dish in the 11th Century, but eventually became specifically associated with meat.  I find an interesting correlation between Vyande Ryalle, meaning a royal meat or a dish and Brawne Ryal.  In the 13th Century, the word Brawne specifically referred to wild boar but by the early 14th Century "brawne" meant any muscular part of the body.

.Cxlij. Vyande Ryalle.—Nyme gode Mylke of Almaundys, & do it in a potte, & sette it ouer þe fyre, & styre it tyl it boyle almost; þen take flour of Rys & of þe selue Mylke, an draw it þorwe a straynoure, & so þer-with a-lye it tylle it be Chargeaunte, & stere it faste þat it crouste noȝt; þen take [gap: ] owte of grece, & caste it þorw a Skymoure, & colour þat Sewe þer-with; þan take Sugre in confyte, & caste in y-now; sesyn it with Salt & ley þre lechys in a dysshe, & caste Aneys in comfyte þer-on, & þanne serue forth.

Cxlij - Vyande Ryalle. Nyme gode Mylke of Almaundys, and do it in a potte, and sette it ouer the fyre, and styre it tyl it boyle almost; then take flour of Rys and of the selue Mylke, an draw it thorwe a straynoure, and so ther-with a-lye it tylle it be Chargeaunte, and stere it faste that it crouste no3t; then take [Gap) owte of grece, and caste it thorw a Skymoure, and colour that Sewe ther-with; than take Sugre in confyte, and caste in y-now; sesyn it with Salt and ley thre lechys in a dysshe, and caste Aneys in comfyte ther-on, and thanne serue forth.

142 - Royal Dish - Take good milk of almonds, and do it in a pot and stir it over the fire, and stir it till it boil almost (simmers); then take flour of rice and of the same (self) milk, and draw it through a strainer, and so there-with mix it till it be thick, and stir it fast that it crusts not; then take (gap) out of grease, and caste it through a skimmer, and color that sauce there-with; then take sugar in comfit, and caste in enough; season it with salt, and lay three slices in a dish, and caste anise in comfit there-on, and then serve forth.

The Middle English Dictionary  was a good location to start to try to discover the missing ingredient in the attempt to recreate this dish. It defines a "Viande (Vyande)" as "Prepared food; a dish, esp. an elaborate dish" also as "specific dishes consisting of ground poultry or fish or fruit boiled in almond milk or wine, thickened and colored yellow". This is interesting because the recipe prior to this in the manuscript is .Cxlj. Noteye, uses hazel leaves (haselle leuys) as a coloring agent for an almond milk and broth based dish which contains ground pork or capon. The instructions clearly indicate that the almond milk and broth are to be thickened with rice flour and seasoned with vinegar, ginger, saffron and salt. Colored with the juice of the hazel leaves, and prior to being served hazel nuts are fried in grease and  placed upon the dish. The instructions also state that the leaves chosen should be young "whyl þat þey ben ȝonge".  I was unsure if hazel leaves were edible but after some time researching discovered that the young leaves are considered a forage food and are edible. 
.Cxlj. Noteye.—Take a gret porcyoun of Haselle leuys, & grynd in a morter as smal as þou may, whyl þat þey ben ȝonge; take þan, & draw vppe a þrift Mylke of Almaundys y-blaunchyd, & temper it with Freysshe broþe; wryng out clene þe Ius of þe leuys; take Fleysshe of Porke or of Capoun, & grynd it smal, & temper it vppe with þe mylke, & caste it in a potte, & þe Ius þer-to,do it ouer þe fyre & late it boyle; take flour of Rys, & a-lye it; take & caste Sugre y-now þer-to, & Vynegre a quantyte, & pouder Gyngere, & Safroun it wel, & Salt; take smal notys, & breke hem; take þe kyrnellys, & make hem whyte, & frye hem vppe in grece; plante þer-with þin mete & serue forth.
The recipe after this is .Cxliii Lampreys in galentyn, another incomplete recipe, but one I was able to successfully locate the missing ingredient for and will be recreating at a later date.  For this dish, lampreys, an eel-like fish, are scalded in hot water and another ingredient, boiled and then served in a sauce made from wine, vinegar, pepper, onions and cinnamon.  It is a good guess that the missing ingredient is either the blood of the lamprey which was thought to provide the fat of the dish, or wine which is missing from the ingredient list, but was a very common to use in cooking fish.

The Wagstaff Miscellany (Beinecke MS 163) ~ 1460 offers a similarly named dish, which may give us a clue as to the missing ingredient for Vyande Ryalle. The first recipe appears to be compilation of several different ways to prepare similar dishes with there different names; Brawn Ryal, Brawn Sypres and Brawn Bruse. It is the first set of instructions that bears the closest resemblance to Vyande Ryalle and it is this set of instructions that leads me to believe that the missing ingredient may be Brawn (pork) or fish offal. It is also my belief that those things which are different in the instructions are additions made over time, but the most basic set of instructions for this dish, with the exception of adding rice flour to thicken it, are there. However, this instructions do indicate that the dish is supposed to be able to be sliced when cold ( ley a cloth on a bord & turne the vessell upsodowne ther on & schake the vessell that hit falle oute cut ther in the lech & serve hit forthe iij or iiij in a dysch). I have colored the matching instructions red and made them bold where they match so that you can see the resemblance.

The second recipe from Wagstaff features a lenten version of Brawn Ryal and gives further instructions to make a spectacle dish. You are instructed to empty out eggshells and then to layer in the brawn ryall, first a layer of white, then yellow, and then white again. The eggshells are to be set into a layer of salt to keep them upright (And yf thu wilt seson hit with the white of eyron breke hem at the grete ende & do out al that ys in the eye wesch the shell drye hem & sett hem on the salt upryght & put ther yn som of the white braune take som of the same braun colourd with safron & medlyd with poudres put ther yn pepenys of the gretnys of a neye yolke & fil hit with [f.66v] the braun that hit stond full when hit ys cold peyl of the shyll set hit in salt as eggez ).

Wagstaff Miscellany (Beinecke MS 163) ~ 1460 [89.] Brawn ryal brawn sypres brawn bruse Take fresh brawn boyle hit in fayre watyr till hit be tendour blanche almondys grynd hem draw hem up with the same broth & a perty of wyn as hote as thu may than make thu milke hote & do thy brawn in a streynour hot & draw hit with the mylke hott do ther to sygure a grete dele venyger set hit on the fyre boyle hit salt hit do hit in a vessel when hit ys cold yf thu nowte have hit out of the vessel with out hote watyr or a ghenst the fyre ley a cloth on a bord & turne the vessell upsodowne ther on & schake the vessell that hit falle oute cut ther in the lech & serve hit forthe iij or iiij in a dysch & strew on poudyr of gynger or paryd gynger [f.66r] mynsyd with anneyce clovys macys & annys in confite yf thu wilt thu may draw som ther of with the same broth & with a perty of wyne with out mylke colourd as bryght as lambur with any colour safr saffron hem when hit ys cold & floresch that othir ther with or els thu mayst cut that othir hit in leches as thu doste that othir & serve hit forth in same maner or thy may turne hit in othir colour yf thu wilt have a grene draw hit with mylke of almonds in to a morter & safron ther with or els put safron when hit ys growndyn muche or lytyll aftur thu wylt make thi colour & colour hit ther with when thu takysthit from the fyre & do ther with as thu dedyst with the todyr and yf thy wile thu may do ther yn poudres or thu may put ther yn a grete quantyte of canell & of gynger & of sawndres to make hit brown & serve hit forthe in the same maner or yf thu wilt thu may take tursele & wesch hit & grynd hit well in wyn that thu sesonyste hit up withe and when hit ys boylyd coloure hit up with bloure sangueyn whethir thu wilt & do ther with as thu dedist with the tothyr or thu may yf thu wilt when thu takyst hit fro the fyre & have al seson hit have brawn sodyn tendyr & when hit ys cold cut hit in leches or dyse hit & cast hit in the pott & stere hit to gedyr & put hit in to that othyr pott vessell when hit ys cold lech hit & do ther with as thu dodyst with that othir & serve hit forth.

Wagstaff Miscellany (Beinecke MS 163) ~ 1460 [90.] Brawn ryall Take the soundes of stokfisch dry & lay hem in watyr iij days & every day change the watyr than take hem up & lay hem on a bord & scharpe hem clene withe the egge of a knyf wesch hem & sethe hem in fayre watyr then take hem up & sethe hem in broth of fresch fysch as of conger til they be tendyr or als in the same watyr and put ther to elys to amend the broth then take blaunch almondys grynd hem with the same broth hote & make up the soundes & grynd hem wyth the same broth & yf thu wilt thu may take som of the elys ther to & temper hem up with the broth hote draw hit as hote as thu may suffyr thy hond ther yn thu mau make hit in al maner as thu makyste brawn of flesch. And yf thu wilt seson hit with the white of eyron breke hem at the grete ende & do out al that ys in the eye wesch the shell drye hem & sett hem on the salt upryght & put ther yn som of the white braune take som of the same braun colourd with safron & medlyd with poudres put ther yn pepenys of the gretnys of a neye yolke & fil hit with [f.66v] the braun that hit stond full when hit ys cold peyl of the shyll set hit in salt as eggez or in crispis and pych hem with clovys a bovyn iiij or v & fill up with blaunch poudyr & serve hem forthe in the stede of egges in he same maner thu may do with brawn in flesch tyme or thu may yf hit somdell of poudyr of gynger & chaunge the colour as thu dedyst braun in flesch tyme.

Unfortunately, I can only take my best guess as to what the missing ingredient is, and will need to conduct further research to try to uncover what is missing.  At the end of this article you will find my best guess interpretation based on the information that I have available.

Two menus in the manuscript feature vyande ryalle in the second course. One is a fast day menu and the other is a meat day menu. Which leads me to believe that the missing ingredient may be saffron as a colorant and or the meat mentioned in Brawn ryal (pork, capon or fish). I find it unlikely that you would fry saffron, without actually seeing the manuscript I have no direction on how big of a gap exists in the text.  The suggestion of saffron is given based on the information from the Middle English Dictionary and the recipe previous to this one which uses the juice of hazel leaves to color a similar sauce.  There is also the suggestion that one component of the dish is thick enough to be sliced (ley thre lechys in a dysshe) because we are instructed to lay three slices in a dish, again, similar to Brawn ryal from Wagstaff.

Conuiuium Flemmynge, Lincolniensis Episcopi.Le .j. cours.

Le .j. cours.
Perrey fyn.} potage.
Rapeye. } potage.
Grete taylys of Milwelle, An lenge.*. [i.e. "Great tails of Milwell and Ling:" see next page, near foot.]
Samoun pollys.
Salt Elys with galentyne.
Gode Pyke an fat.
Grosse tarteȝ.

Le .ij. cours.
Lampreys in galentyne.
Vyand Ryal.
Haddok.
Gurnard.
Plays.
Halybutte.
Elys an Lampronys Rostyd.
Flampayn.Le 

.iij. cours.
Mammenye.
Creme de .ij. colourys.
Troutys.
Storioun.
Samon freysshe.
Perche.
Walkys.
Breme de Mere.
Crabbe.
Purpeys Rostyd.
Goions fryid.
Doucetys.

Conuiuium Johannis Stafforde, Episcopi Wellensis in inductu Episcopatus sui, videlicet .xvj.o die Septembris, Anno domini millessimo CCCCmo vicessimo quinto1425 [supplied by ed.] .

Le .j. cours.

Furmenty with venysoun.
Mammenye.
Brawnne.
Kede Roste.
Capoun de haut Grece.
Swan.
Heyroun.
Crane.
A leche.[leaf 48.]
Crustade Ryal.
Frutoure Samata.
A soltelte, a docter of lawe.Le .

ij. cours.
Blaunche Mortrewys.
Vyand Ryal.
Pecoke.
Conyng.
Fesaunte.
Tele.
Chykonys doryd.
Pyions.
Veysoun Rostyd.
Gullys.
Curlew.
Cokyntryche.
A leche.
Pystelade chaud.
Pystelade fryid.
Frytoure damaske.
A sotelte, Egle.Le 

.iij. cours.
Gely.
Creme Moundy.
Pety Curlewe.
Egret.
Pertryche.
Venysoun Roste.
Plovere.
Oxyn kyn̄.
Quaylys.
Snytys.
Herte de Alouse.
Smale byrdys.
Dowcet Ryal.
Petelade Fryid.
Hyrchouns.
Eggys Ryal.
Pomys.
Brawn fryid.
A sotelte, Sent Andrewe.
Frute.
Waffrys.
Vyn dowce.

Similar Recipes

Fourme of Curye [Rylands MS 7] (England, 1390)

.lxlvij. Vyaund ryal. Take wyne qeke other rynysch wyne & hony claryfyed ther with, tak flour of rys, pynes, poudoure ginger, other peper & canel, other flour of canel, poudour of clowes, safroun, safroun, suger cypre, mulleberyes other saundres, & medle alle these to gyder, boyle it and salt hit & loke hit be stondyng & ni. f.

Interpreted Recipe (Caveat --this is a *best guess*)                             Serves 1 as Main, 2 as Side

142 - Royal Dish - Take good milk of almonds, and do it in a pot and stir it over the fire, and stir it till it boil almost (simmers); then take flour of rice and of the same (self) milk, and draw it through a strainer, and so there-with mix it till it be thick, and stir it fast that it crusts not; then take (gap) out of grease, and caste it through a skimmer, and color that sauce there-with; then take sugar in comfit, and cast in enough; season it with salt, and lay three slices in a dish, and cast anise in comfit there-on, and then serve forth.

1 cup almond milk (made from water or broth)
**pinch of saffron (based on information from Wagstaff and the Middle English Dictionary)**
1-2 Tbsp. Rice Flour
**1/4 pound pork(chicken or fish) which has been roasted or fried in grease then sliced**
Red Anise Seed Comfits

Make your almond milk using water, wine or stock as you desire (again this is based on Wagstaff's variations of Brawn Ryall) and bring  to a simmer.  Add rice flour and stir until it reaches your desired thickness.  Meanwhile cook your meat (either roasting it or frying it in grease).  To color your sauce use any of the methods mentioned in Wagstaff (saffron, ginger & cinnamon, sandalwood, turnsole, juice of herbs, etc.). Season with sugar and salt.  If serving cool as suggested by Wagstaff the rice mixture will thicken and if it becomes solid enough, slice it and place it in a dish and then add your meat to it decorating with red anise seed comfits before serving.  If serving warm, place two to three slices of meat in a dish and cover with the rice milk "gravy" decorating with comfits before serving.