Disclaimer : please, be indulgent, it's my first English blog post ! But if you see some mistakes tell me, I'll be happy to progress.

This is the result of the first challenge of the Historical Food Fortnightly.

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The challenge

Food is described in great detail in much of the literature of the past. Make a dish that has been mentioned in a work of literature, based on historical documentation about that food item.

The first challenge was pretty difficult because I want to make the challenges with my favourite re-enactment period (12th and 13th century).

Medieval, especially 13th century literature, describes food as a symbolic object. There are a lot of feast or banquets in literature but descriptions often seems like : There were so much food and so good I can't describe or enumerate them.

In Le roman de la rose ou de Guillaume de Dole, Jean Renart described some food : beef with garlic with sour sauce (aigrés) :

il orent boef au premier mes
as bons aus, destrempé d'aigrés
they get beef as first dish
with good garlics, with aigret.

The Recipe

I looked for a beef with garlic in some recipes books (Le Viandier de Taillevent, Le Ménagier de Paris) and found no beef, but pork with garlic and a sour sauce. Aigret is a sour sauce (sour is aigre in french).

I had a choice : adapt the recipe of the cooking book or adapt the recipe of the novel. I choose to respect the cooking book, because I wanted to make something strongly documented.

So I made a roast pork with aigret sauce and braised cabbage (because I had to cook cabbage for my sauce).

The Date/Year and Region

Le roman de la Rose ou de Guillaume de Dole is a 1210 french novel.

Le ménagier de Paris is a French medieval guidebook from 1393.

Le viandier de Taillevent is a recipe collection dated to around 1300.

So it is a french dish from 13th / 14th century.

How Did You Make It

The roast pork recipe comes from Le Viandier de Taillevent :
Garlic is fried in a pan with the pork fat.

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The pork and garlic. Garlic baked too long because my pork was frozen.

The aigret recipe comes from Le ménagier de Paris :
It's a boiled sauce with ginger and saffron, some eau de choux (cabbage bouillon) and roasted bread (to thicken the sauce) and verjuice (I used lemon instead because I didn't have verjuice).

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The aigret with saffron's stigma on the surface.

I served a braised cabbage with spices (ginger, galangal, black pepper, long pepper, clove) as I had to cook cabbage to have the bouillon.

Time to Complete

About 90minutes but the cabbage had to be baked much longer.

Total Cost

I don't know because I already have all the ingredients. But with spices and especially saffron, the sauce may be a little bit expensive.

How Successful Was It

It tasted good. Especially the sauce ! The garlic was a little bit burned and the cabbage underdone but it was good.

How Accurate Is It

Pretty accurate, except the lemon juice instead of verjuice.

I didn't cook with re-enactment tools because my kitchen is a 21th century one and I can't use pottery.

My problem is that I cook pork instead of beef in my novel ... that's was my dilemma and the challenge is not really done. But I liked this meal and I liked cooked it so I wanted to share it.

Pottery : Parchemin et par Pots ; Les Ateliers du Léguer ; Glass : Le verre historique.