Harleian MS. 279 (ab 1430) - .xxxvij. Autre Vele en bokenade.-Another Veal in Bokenade (stewed)

xxxvij. Autre Vele en bokenade.-Another Veal in Bokenade (stewed)

It's a gray day today, cloudy with a promise of rain. The kind of day that makes you want to curl up with a good book and some comfort food and stay indoors. So I went in search of a recipe that would fall into the category of "yummy comfort food" from Two fifteenth-century cookery-books. Harleian ms. 279 (ab. 1430), & Harl. ms. 4016 (ab. 1450), with extracts from Ashmole ms. 1429, Laud ms. 553, & Douce ms. 55" Thomas Austin and found another recipe for another bokenade.  My previously published version for Henne in Bokenade netted rave reviews from the taste testers, so I was eager to give this version an attempt and we were not disappointed.  

The taste testers and I each enjoyed this dish. It is a bit reminiscent of .vj. Beef y-Stywyd evoking the warmed spice flavors of Cincinnati style chili, without the acidic bite of vinegar.  This is a milder version and has made it onto the ever growing list of things that must be served at an event. Although, with events few and far between, and competition growing more and more fierce (it's been about two years since my last feast and a year since my last luncheon), I believe I am going to resort to  Plan B--holding dinner parties at the house--oh! The horrors!

.xxxvij. Autre Vele en bokenade.—Take Vele, an Make it clene, and hakke it to gobettys, an sethe it; an take fat brothe, an temper vp þine Almaundys þat þou hast y-grounde, an lye it with Flowre of Rys, and do þer-to gode powder of Gyngere, & Galyngale, Canel, Maces, Quybybis, and Oynonys y-mynsyd, & Roysonys of coraunce, & coloure yt wyth Safroun, and put þer-to þin Vele, & serue forth.

xxxvij - Autre Vele en bokenade. Take Vele, an Make it clene, and hakke it to gobettys, an sethe it; an take fat brothe, an temper vp thine Almaundys that thou hast y-grounde, an lye it with Flowre of Rys, and do ther-to gode powder of Gyngere, and Galyngale, Canel, Maces, Quybybis, and Oynonys y-mynsyd, and Roysonys of coraunce, and coloure yt wyth Safroun, and put ther-to thin Vele, and serue forth [correction; sic = f].

Interpreted Recipes

1/4 pound veal-or lacking veal stew beef
1 cup beef broth or stock
1/4 cup almond flour
2 tbsp. rice four
1/4 tsp. each ginger and galingale
1/8 tsp. each cinnamon, mace and cubebs
1/4 cup onion sliced
1 tbsp. currants
pinch of saffron

Because veal is very expensive and my budget this week is tight, I purchased stew beef instead of veal, so the flavor of this dish might have been a bit richer then it would have been if I were using veal.  I made almond milk by adding the almond flour to the beef broth and pureeing in a blender.  I placed the beef, almond milk, ginger, galingale, cinnamon, mace, cubebs, onion and currents into a pan on the stove and cooked until the meat was tender and the onions had become transparent.  I did add a beef bouillon cube for salt and additional flavor during this process. At this point, add  saffron and rice flour and cook until you have reached your desired thickness.

This was a beautifully easy and quick recipe to throw together, and I suspect it could be made in a crockpot. It absolutely fit the bill of "comfort food" and I would serve this with rice as a side. I also found that the rice flour wasn't absolutely necessary. If you cannot find rice flour, don't fret--it is easily made in your blender.  This process also works for millet, wheat, oats, quinoa, nuts and legumes.   You can use a coffee grinder, but there is no need. Just remember that your homemade flours might be a bit more "gritty" then flour you can buy, so you will want to strain your broth if you use it.

To make homemade rice flour, add your rice to your blender and blend until it becomes a powder.  For harder grains you may want to pulse a few times to start the process.  Use a small amount of your rice--I do mine in quarter to half cup batches. Store in an air tight container.

Similar Recipes

.Cxvj. Veel in buknade. Tak fayr veel & kyt in smale pecys & boyle hit tendur in fyne broth other in water, thenne tak white brede other wastel & drawe ther of a white lyour with fyne broth, & do the lyour to the veel & do safroun ther to, thanne take persel & bray hyt in a morter, & the juys ther of do therto & thanne this is half yelow & half grene, thanne take a porcioun of wyne & poudour marchaunt & do ther to and let hit boile wel, & do ther to a littul od vyneger & serve hit forth.

Veel in bucnade. Chop vele in pecys do hit in a pot do ther to onyons cut grete & herbes & good pouderez clovys macyz sygure safron & salt & boyle hit with a lytyll swete broth than put ther to good cow mylke boyle hit up with yolkes of eyron lete hit be rennyng & serve hit forth & make hit with cowe mylke in this maner a fore sayd & thu mayste make hit with almond mylke in the same maner and when hit ys boyled sesyn hit up withe poudyr of gynger & vergeys.