Friday, December 15, 2017

Harleian MS. 279 (ab 1430) - .lxxxxij. Oystrys in bruette.

Harleian MS. 279 (ab 1430) - .lxxxxij. Oystrys in bruette.


The last pottage recipe 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 Thomas Austin  for oysters is Oysters in Bruet.  It is very similar to  the previously published xl. Oystrys in grauy bastard.  The difference is in the spicing (adds cinnamon), and in the specific set of instructions "Take an schene Oystrys", indicating that for this dish the oysters should be removed from their shells.  

.lxxxxij. Oystrys in bruette.—Take an schene*. [for schele. ] Oystrys, an kepe þe water þat cometh of hem, an strayne it, an put it in a potte, & Ale þer-to, an a lytil brede þer-to; put Gyngere, Canel, Pouder of Pepir þer-to, Safroun an Salt; an whan it is y-now al-moste, putte on þin Oystrys: loke þat þey ben wyl y-wasshe for*. [on account of. ] þe schullys: & þan serue forth.


92. Oysters in Bruet - Take and shell oysters, and keep the water that come of them, and strain it, and put it in a pot, and ale there-to, and a little bread thereto; put ginger, cinnamon, powder pepper there-to, saffron and salt; and when it is enough almost, put on your oysters; look that they be well washed for the shells: and then serve forth

Interpreted Recips                                                             Serves 2 as main, 1 as side

1/2 cup Ale (dark to compliment the oysters)
1/2 to 1 can oysters 
1/2 cup oyster liquor, fish stock or clam juice
1-2 tbsp. bread crumbs
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. pepper
2-3 threads of saffron
salt to taste

For instructions on how to properly clean fresh oysters, please refer to xl. Oystres en grauey .

Bring ale and oyster liquor (fish stock or clam juice) to a boil in the pan, slowly add bread crumbs and spices.  When the mixture starts to thicken add your oysters. Cook until heated through and serve.

This was another example of using the wrong ale ruining the dish :-/ Having had such dim luck with the ginger flavored ale, I used a darker lager, which unfortunately made the dish taste muddy and slightly bitter.  The taste testers were not impressed.  BUT--they did agree that the addition of the cinnamon and not including sugar, this dish was a bit more elevated then  xl. Oystrys in grauy bastard.

My taste tester did agree that they would try this dish if it were served to them at an event, but strongly suggested that less ale, or a different ale be used (Might I suggest Guinness, porter or a stout?) If you should try any of these recipes--please leave feedback.

Oysters...strike 2!