Harleian MS 279 (ab 1430) -lvj. Poumes - Meat Dumplings

Poumes - Meat Dumplings
One of the more unusual recipes that I ran across 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 is a recipe for a spiced meatball made of veal that is first cooked in water, and then roasted on a spit and covered with green batter.  I had to try it and I am glad I did. These were good!! They tasted quite a bit like deep fried mincemeat pies and I wish I would have amped up the spicing a bit more.  They were easy to make, and the fussiest part of making them was dipping each one individually in the batter and then tossing them into the fryer.  These have made it onto the "must try at a future feast" list.

I chose to fry the batter coated meatballs instead of trying to roast them on a spit. The reason I chose to fry the meatballs instead of spit roasting is because I don't have a spit roaster. I was afraid if I tried to imitate a spit roasting by baking in the oven that I would end up with a smoke mess.  Frying batter is a known method in period and I've used a similar method for making Trayne Roast, also known as mock entrails. 

lvj. Poumes.—Take fayre buttys of Vele & hewe hem, and grynd hem in a morter, & wyth þe ȝolkys of eyroun, & with þe whyte of eyroun; an caste þer-to powder Pepyr, Canel, Gyngere, Clowys powþer, & datys y-mynced, Safroun, & raysonys of Coraunce, an sethe in a panne wyth fayre water, an let it boyle; þan wete þin handys in Raw eyroun, þan take it an rolle it in þin hondys, smaller or gretter, as þow wolt haue it, an caste it in-to boyling water, an let boyle y-now; þan putte it on a Spete round, an lete hem rosty; þen take flowre an ȝolkys of eyroun, an þe whyte, an draw hem þorwe a straynowre, an caste þer-to pouder Gyngere, an make þin*. [Thine. ] bature grene with þe Ius of Percely, or Malwys, in tyme of ȝere Whete, an caste on þe pommys as þey turne a-boute, & serue forth.

xlvj - Poumes. Take fayre buttys of Vele and hewe hem, and grynd hem in a morter, and wyth the 3olkys of eyroun, and with the whyte of eyroun; an caste ther-to powder Pepyr, Canel, Gyngere, Clowys powther, and datys y-mynced, Safroun, and raysonys of Coraunce, an sethe in a panne wyth fayre water, an let it boyle; than wete thin handys in Raw eyroun, than take it an rolle it in thin hondys, smaller or gretter, as thow wolt haue it, an caste it in-to boyling water, an let boyle y-now; than putte it on a Spete round, an lete hem rosty; then take flowre an 3olkys of eyroun, an the whyte, an draw hem thorwe a straynowre, an caste ther-to pouder Gyngere, an make thin (Note: Thine) bature grene with the Ius of Percely, or Malwys, in tyme of 3ere Whete, an caste on the pommys as they turne a-boute, and serue forth [correction; sic = f].

46 - Poumes - Take fair butts of veal and hew them, and grind them in a mortar, and with the yolks of eggs, and with the white of eggs; and caste there-to powder pepper, cinnamon, ginger, clove powder, and dates minced, saffron, and raisons of Corrance, and boil in a pan with fair water, and let it boil; then wet your hands in raw egg, then take it and roll it (the meat) in your hands, smaller or greater, as you will have it, and cast it into boiling water, and let boil enough; then put it on a spit round, and let them roast; then take flour and yolks of eggs, and the white, and draw them through a strainer, and caste there-to powder ginger, and make thine batter green with the juice of parsely or mallow, in time of year wheat, and caste on the dumplings (pommys) as they turn about, and serve forth.

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

1/4 pound ground veal
1 egg
1/4 tsp. each pepper and cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ginger and cloves
1 date minced
Pinch of saffron
2 tsp. raisons
1/2 cup flour
1 egg
1/2 tsp. ginger
Water as needed
Oil to fry
*Green food color or juice of parsley to desired color

Mix the veal, egg, pepper, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, date, saffron and raisins together in a bowl and shape into balls.  Place the balls into a pan of water and slowly bring to a boil, lower heat and cook until done.

Meanwhile, make your batter using flour, egg and ginger.  Add water if paste is too think (I used medium eggs, so needed to add water, batter should be the consistency of pancake batter).  Add food color or parsley juice.

When meatballs are thoroughly cooked, strain from the water and dry with a towel.  Heat the oil, and then dip each meatball into the batter and add to the oil.  Cook until the batter is crispy.

I let my daughter and her friends (the taste testers) color the batter--yes, it is lime green, which is a fun little color, and I imagine that with all of the variety of colors available to the medieval (and modern) cook that a batch of these on a table in the kingdom or baronial colors would be very festive indeed.  Not to mention....tasty!

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Forme of Cury (England, 1390)

XLII - FOR TO MAKE POMMEDORRY. Tak Buff and hewe yt smal al raw and cast yt in a morter and grynd yt nozt to smal tak safroun and grynd therewyth wan yt ys grounde tak the wyte of the eyryn zyf yt be nozt styf. Cast into the Buf pouder of Pepyr olde resyns and of coronse set over a panne wyth fayr water and mak pelotys of the Buf and wan the water and the pelots ys wel yboylyd and set yt adoun and kele yt and put yt on a broche and rost yt and endorre yt wyth zolkys ofeyryn and serve yt forthe.

For powme dorrys. Take porke and grynde hit rawe, I kenne, Temper hit with swongen egges. þenne Kast powder to make hit on a balle. In playand water þou kast hit schalle To harden, þenne up þou take, Enbroche hit fayre for goddes sake. Endore hit with 3olkes of egges þen With a fedyr at fyre, as I þe kenne. Bothe grene and rede þow may hit make With iuse of herb3 I undertake. Halde under a dysshe þat no3t be lost, More honest hit is as þou wele wost.

A Noble Boke off Cookry (England, 1468)

To mak pomes tak and grind raw pork and temper them with swonge egges caft ther to good poudurs and [quere, rolle omitted?] it in a balle and lay it in boillinge water to hardyn then tak it up and endore it with yolks of eggs and ye may make it grene or red with juce of erbes and serue it