Baronial 12th Night - Beef-y-stewed –Stewed Beef Harl. MS 279, 1430

              

 

.vj. Beef y-Stywyd.—Take fayre beef of þe rybbys of þe fore quarterys, an smyte in fayre pecys, an wasche þe beef in-to a fayre potte; þan take þe water þat þe beef was soþin yn, an strayne it þorw a straynowr, an sethe þe same water and beef in a potte, an let hem boyle to-gederys; þan take canel, clowes, maces, graynys of parise, quibibes, and oynons y-mynced, perceli, an sawge, an caste þer-to, an let hem boyle to-gederys; an þan take a lof of brede, an stepe it with brothe an venegre, an þan draw it þorw a straynoure, and let it be stylle; an whan it is nere y-now, caste þe lycour þer-to, but nowt to moche, an þan let boyle onys, an cast safroun þer-to a quantyte; þan take salt an venegre, and cast þer-to, an loke þat it be poynaunt y-now, & serue forth.

6. Beef Stewed - Take fair beef of the ribs of the fore quarters, and chop (smite) in fair pieces, and wash the beef into a fair pot; then take the water that the beef was washed (sothin) in, and strain it through a strainer, and set the same water and beef in a pot, and let them boil together; then take cinnamon, cloves, mace, grains of paradise, cubebs, and onions minced, parsley and sage, and cast thereto and let them boil together; and then take a loaf of bread, and steep it with broth and vinegar, and then draw it through a strainer, and let it be still; and when it is near enough, cast the liquor thereto, but not too much, and then let boil once, and cast saffron thereto a quantity; then take salt and vinegar and cast thereto, and look that it be sharp (sour) enough, and serve forth.

To Make Stock

Making your own stocks are very cost effective for feasts, so save your bones and your scraps of veggies! Just toss them in a ziplock bag in the freezer until you have enough to make a good stock. Make your stock and can or freeze until needed.

There are two separate ways to make stock. The first is on the stove top/slow cooker and the second is in your oven. I made the chicken and pork stock on the stove top and the beef stock in the oven. For any stock you will need: bones (preferably some with meat) if you are making a meat based stock, vegetables, aromatics, water and time--lots and lots of time.

A good stock will -always- start with cold water. During the initial boiling of the stock--skim, skim, skim. You want to remove any and all impurities that come to the surface. After the initial boiling, lower your temperature to a simmer and *never, ever!* stir the stock. Your stock should be clear and richly colored. A really good meat stock will convert to a gelatin when cold. This happens because the collagin in the bones dissolves which can only happen during a very long simmering process. If you are in a hurry, you can make a good broth, but you cannot make a good stock. A good stock has a deep, well developed flavor that is imparted through the aromatics and vegetables. I prefer to roast my bones before making any meat stock which adds an additional flavor component. If you are making a vegetable stock be sure to include mushrooms, tomatoes (if not cooking period), nori etc.--do not skip this. These vegetables create "umami", a savory or meaty flavor to your stock which is very much needed in vegetable stock.

To make the beef stock for the beef y-stewed I coated approximately 4 pounds of bones with a little bit of oil, salt and pepper and roasted in a 400 degree oven until they were brown. I used rib bones that I found on sale, along with a handful of marrow bones in addition to bones I had saved up.

My basic veggie blend for any stock includes a couple of carrots, celery and onions. I also use parsley, rosemary, thyme, bay and black pepper to the stock. If I have it, I add garlic. Wash your vegetables, roughly chop and make a bed of them for your roasted bones. A good rule of thumb to remember is that for every pound of bones you will need approximately 2 quarts of water. When making stock, be sure that the bones are covered by at least an inch. Add your aromatics, bring to a boil, skim off the scum and then lower the heat and simmer. Simmer times vary but I prefer about five hours for most stocks. Use your best judgment. If you are going to cook your stock in the oven, turn the heat down to about 275 degrees and let simmer over night.

Once you have finished cooking your stock, strain it at least once to make sure that you are removing all the bits. I do this by lining a wire strainer with a piece of muslin and pouring the stock through it. Allow your stock to cool overnight. Once my stock has cooled I remove the fat, reheat and strain it once again just to make sure that it is very clear.

.vj. Beef y-Stywyd.—Take fayre beef of þe rybbys of þe fore quarterys, an smyte in fayre pecys, an wasche þe beef in-to a fayre potte; þan take þe water þat þe beef was soþin yn, an strayne it þorw a straynowr, an sethe þe same water and beef in a potte, an let hem boyle to-gederys; þan take canel, clowes, maces, graynys of parise, quibibes, and oynons y-mynced, perceli, an sawge, an caste þer-to, an let hem boyle to-gederys; an þan take a lof of brede, an stepe it with brothe an venegre, an þan draw it þorw a straynoure, and let it be stylle; an whan it is nere y-now, caste þe lycour þer-to, but nowt to moche, an þan let boyle onys, an cast safroun þer-to a quantyte; þan take salt an venegre, and cast þer-to, an loke þat it be poynaunt y-now, & serue forth.


6. Beef Stewed - Take fair beef of the ribs of the fore quarters, and chop (smite) in fair pieces, and wash the beef into a fair pot; then take the water that the beef was washed (sothin) in, and strain it through a strainer, and set the same water and beef in a pot, and let them boil together; then take cinnamon, cloves, mace, grains of paradise, cubebs, and onions minced, parsley and sage, and cast thereto and let them boil together; and then take a loaf of bread, and steep it with broth and vinegar, and then draw it through a strainer, and let it be still; and when it is near enough, cast the liquor thereto, but not too much, and then let boil once, and cast saffron thereto a quantity; then take salt and vinegar and cast thereto, and look that it be sharp (sour) enough, and serve forth.


Beef-y-stewed –stewed beef Harl. MS 279, 1430

2 pounds stew beef
6 cups stock (you can sub plain water, water w/beef bouillon cubes, or broth)
1/2 tsp. each cinnamon and mace
1/4 tsp. each clove, cubebs and grains of paradise
1 bag pearl onions, or, one medium onion sliced
1 tbsp. parsley
1/2 tbsp. dried sage
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
pinch of saffron
1 tsp. salt or to taste
1/4 tsp. pepper or poudre forte
1/2 to 1 cup breadcrumbs depending on preference

Place onions in a pot and bring to a boil, let them cook approximately five minutes or until they start to become transparent and then drain. Place remainder of ingredients with the exception of the bread crumbs into your pot along with your onions and cook until the beef is tender, approximately an hour. Spoon out about 2 cups of broth, add them to your bread crumbs (I have a confession to make, I honestly have no idea how much broth I added to the bread crumbs, I wanted to make it juicy enough--so 2 cups is a guess), place in the food processor and pulse or grind until you make a slurry. Return this mixture back to your stew and cook until mixture has thickened.

As an alternative and in deference to modern tastes, you could flour and season your beef ahead of time and cook in oil before stewing.


Comments