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Harleian MS 279 (~1430) - Fylettys en Galentyne - Stewed Pork

Fylettys en Galentyne
Trying to trace the domestication of pigs is a puzzle.  Research indicates that many plants and animals were domesticated in central Asia, Turkey and Iran and were brought to Europe. However, researchers speculate that the wild pig was native to Europe, and may have been domesticated in Europe separately from similar animals found in Asia.

Pigs were semi-domesticated in the middle ages. They were left to run wild and to care for themselves independently. In November they would be rounded up and slaughtered.  Excess meat was salted or smoked. It is possible that pork was one of the more common foods that were eaten during this time.  The Doomsday Book in 1085 records the population of pigs in Norfolk, Sussex and Essex as 31,000 animals.

One interesting, albeit grim bit of information I ran across while researching domesticated pigs had to do with animal trials.  In the middle ages if an animal committed a crime, it would be put on trial before being punished. There are at least 85 documented animal trials, and possibly more that were undocumented. For more information on animal trials, visit this link.

Another interesting tidbit of information regarding pigs--in 1132, Crown Prince Louis Phillipe died when his horse tripped over a pig in Paris. By the 1300's, pigs become one of the earliest animals to be used in commercial art.  Butcher's shops began to use pigs in artwork as a way of attracting customers to their shops.

.xvj. Fylettys en Galentyne. — Take fayre porke, ]>e fore quarter, an take of ]>e skyne ; an put Jje porke on a fayre spete, an rost it half y-now ; Jjan take it of, an smyte it in fayre pecys, & caste it on a fayre potte ; J^an take oynonys, and schrede hem, an pele hem (an pyle hem nowt to smale), an f rye in a panne of fayre grece ; l^an caste hem in }e potte to ]>e porke ; )7an take gode broth of moton or of beef, an caste J^er-to, an J^an caste J^er-to pouder pepyr, canel, clowys, an macys, an let hem boyle wyl to-gederys ; Jian tak fayre brede, an vynegre, an stepe j^e brede with ]>e same brothe, an strayne it on blode, with ale, or ellys sawnderys, and *salt, an lat hym boyle y-now, an serue it forth.

xvj - Fylettys en Galentyne. Take fayre porke, the fore quarter, an take of the skyne; an put the porke on a fayre spete, an rost it half y-now; than take it of, an smyte it in fayre pecys, and caste it on a fayre potte; than take oynonys, and schrede hem, an pele hem (an pyle hem nowt to smale), an frye in a panne of fayre grece; than caste hem in the potte to the porke; than take gode broth of moton or of beef, an caste ther-to, an than caste ther-to pouder pepyr, canel, clowys, an macys, an let hem boyle wyl to-gederys; than tak fayre brede, an vynegre, an stepe the brede with the same brothe, an strayne it on blode, with ale, or ellys sawnderys, andsalt, an lat hym boyle y-now, an serue it forth.

16. Fillets in Galentyne - Take fair pork, the fore quarter (boston butt or shoulder), an take off the skin; an put the pork on a fair spit, an roast it half enough; than take it off and cut it into bite sized pieces (smyte it in fayre pecys), and cast it on a fair pot; than take onions and shred them, and peel them (and peel them not to small), and fry in a pan of fair grease; then cast them in the pot to the pork; than take good broth of mutton or of beef, and cast there-to, and than cast thereto powder pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and mace, and let them boil well together; than take fair bread, and vinegar, an soak the bread with the same broth, and strain it on blood, with ale, or else sandalwood, and salt, an let them boil enough, and serve it forth.

Interpreted Recipe                                                                    Serves 1 as a main, 2 as a side

1/4 pound pork sliced (I broiled the tenderloin 3 minutes on each side and let cool, then cut into bite sized pieces)
1 C. broth (beef, chicken or a 50/50 mix of beef and chicken)
1/4 C. onion cut into thin slices
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 tsp. each pepper & cinnamon
1/8 tsp. each clove and mace
2 tbsp. bread crumbs (I used rastons)
1 tsp. red wine vinegar
1 tsp. sandalwood
Salt to taste

I had a spare "tail" of tenderloin I had saved for this recipe, so I broiled it for 3 minutes on each side, and set it aside to cool.  While the pork is cooling, slice and shred the onion and cooked it slowly in the olive oil until tender but not browned.  Heat the broth with the sandalwood to just below simmer and allow to steep (I used beef broth andsandalwood chips, I did not get the reddish color I was expecting, you may want to add more sandalwood. What I did get was a broth that looked more substantially brown). Add the vinegar to the bread crumbs and allow to soften.

 Strain the sandalwood from the broth if needed, add the onion, pork into bite sized chunk, cinnamon, pepper, mace and cloves.  Cook until the pork has cooked thoroughly. Add 2 additional tablespoons of the broth to the bread crumbs to make "slurry" of sorts, and then add the breadcrumbs to the pork mixture and stir until the broth has thickened.  Taste for seasoning, add additional salt if needed, and then serve.

My taste testers enjoyed this dish immensely.  There are numerous interpretations of this recipe available online, this is mine.  I would definately serve this dish again in the future.  What I might change the next time I make it is lowering the amount of cinnamon and increasing the amount of sandalwood. I first became familiar with this recipe through the video below.  I very much enjoy watching the many videos produced by Historic Royal Palaces. I highly recommend this resource. 

Similar Recipes:

Forme of Cury (England, 1390)

Fylettes Of Galyntyne. XXVIII. Take fylettes of Pork and rost hem half ynowh smyte hem on pecys. drawe a lyour of brede and blode. and broth and Vineger. and do þerinne. seeþ it wele. and do þerinne powdour an salt an messe it forth.

Filetus in Galentine. Take filetes of porke and half hom rost, Smyte hom in peses with outene bost. Draw3e a lyoure of blode and brede withalle, Do venegur þer to, I wot þou schalle. Fors hit with powder of canel, or gode gynger, Sethe hit with þo flesshe, alle in fere. Salt and messe forthe, þenne Set hit in sale before gode menne.

A Noble Boke off Cookry (England, 1468)

To mak felettes in galentyne tak of the best of ribbes of pork and fley of the skyn and put the flesshe upon a broche and rost it till it be almost enoughe then tak it of and chope it in peces and put it in a pot with onyons butter and faire grece hole clowes maces quybibes and put it to gedur with a crust of bred and try it through a strener with whit wyne put ther to pouder of peper and put it in the pot and when it boilithe let it not be chargant and sesson it up with poudre of guingere and salt it and serue it.


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