Beacon's Gate Boar Hunt 2000

Second Course

Roast Pork

There was no recipe for this. We cooked it pretty much as had been done at some other Boar Hunt feasts.

I purchased the pork from a butcher who is in the SCA. He boned two pork legs and skinned them, retying the skin on over the meat. Together they weighed around 40 lbs.

I purchased already peeled garlic which we smashed with knives and cleavers, then pushed under the skin against the meat.

The pork was put in the oven around 10 AM at 350° F. I used a thermometer in the oven to verify the temperature, as i had been warned that the oven cooked cold, so i know the pork cooked at the desired temperature. Around 5 PM we used a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature. The meat wasn't hot enough deep inside, so i increased the oven temperature a bit. The pork wasn't done until after 6 PM, when it was removed, the ties around the skin cut, the skin removed, and the pork sliced and served.

The pork was moist and tender and tasted wonderfully of garlic.

There wasn't a scrap leftover.

My thanks to Hilary of Serendip who oversaw the preparation and cooking of the pork and helped in many other ways, and without whose experience the feast would not have been as successful.

Back to Top Menu

Three Spanish Sauces

1. Sauce of Juice of Apples
2. Horseradish-Honey Sauce
3. Garlic Sauce with Walnuts and Almonds

Apple Juice Sauce
Spanish, Diego Granado, Libro del Arte de Cozina, 1599

Translated from the original by Lady Brighid ni Chiarain

Para Hacer Salsa de Zumo de Manzanas
To make sauce of the juice of apples

Take the apples, and without peeling them, grate them and extract the juice from them, as we said of the quinces; adding a little vinegar, and white wine, and take the clearest part, and for each pound of juice, put eight ounces of sugar, and cook it like the juice of the quinces, with the same spices.

Recipe as redacted by Lady Brighid ne Chiarain

Makes 2 cups
1 quart sweet apple cider (non-alcoholic)
1 lb. sugar
1/2 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup white wine
1 ounce cinnamon sticks
1 whole nutmeg, cut in half
8 whole cloves

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and simmer over medium-low heat about 45 minutes, until the volume is reduced by half and a candy thermometer reads 220° F. (105 C.). Strain through cheesecloth. Pour into a clean glass jar. Refrigerate.

Recipe adapted by Anahita

Makes about 20 cups/5 quarts
enough frozen unsweetened apple juice concentrate to make 2.5 gallons of reconstituted juice
10 lb. sugar
1-1/4 quarts white wine vinegar
2-1/2 cups white wine
1/2 lb cinnamon sticks
10 whole nutmegs
80 whole cloves

As fresh pressed cider was very expensive, i used frozen unsweetened apple juice concentrate. As an experiment, i did not fully reconstitute it, but only used half as much water as called for on the can.

I placed one can of concentrate, half the water called for and about 1/6 of each of the other ingredients into a stainless steel saucepan with a copper bottom. I brought the liquid just to a boil, then reduced the heat so that the liquid was bubbling but not boiling. Every 15 minutes i stirred it. As the liquid began to thicken to a syrupy consistency, i stirred it more frequently. During the last 15 minutes or so i stayed by the stove and stirred often, until the liquid was reduced by half. Once cooled it had the consistency of honey and was the color of rich red amber.

Each evening for several evenings i processed a pot or two, pouring the liquid into a glass jar and putting it in the fridge. When i was done i had 1 gallon of sauce.

Horseradish-Honey Sauce
Spanish, de Nola, Libro de Guisados, 1529

Translated from the original by Lady Brighid ni Chiarain

Perejil - Parsley
You must take the parsley and remove the roots, and strip off the leaves very well and clean it, and grind those leaves a great deal in a mortar, and after it is well-ground, toast a crustless piece of bread, and soak it in white vinegar, and grind it with the parsley, and after it is well-ground cast a little pepper into the mortar, and mix it well with the parsley and the bread, and then cast in honey, which should be melted, in the mortar, stirring constantly in one direction until the honey incorporates itself with the sauce in the mortar, and if the sauce should be very thick, clarify it with a little watered vinegar, so that it should not be very sour, and having done that take two smooth pebbles from the sea or river, and cast them in the fire, and when they shall be quite ruddy and red, cast them with some tongs in the mortar in such a manner that they are extinguished there, and when all this is done taste it for flavor, and make it in such a manner that it tastes a little of pepper, and a little sweet-sour, and of parsley, and if any of these things is lacking, temper [the dish] with it.

Salsa de Rabano Vexisco y de Gallocresta
Sauce of horseradish and of clary sage

In the same manner as the parsley, you can also make sauce from the root of the horseradish and the same from the leaves of clary sage.

Recipe by Anahita
based on redaction by Lady Brighid ni Chiarain

Makes over 1 quart of sauce
1 lb. fresh horseradish root, finely grated
4 slices Italian bread, toasted lightly
3/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 cups honey
1 cup water
2 tsp black pepper

1. Wash and peel the horseradish root. Chop very coarsely.
2. Toast bread - can be done on grill - or if there's a toaster, use it.
3. Grate horseradish finely. I'm not sure if we used the blender or the Cuisinart. Whichever, you will probably want to grind it twice to get it fine.
4. Soak the toasted bread in the vinegar.
5. Place horseradish in the container of a blender or food processor.
6. Add the toasted bread, crumbling as necessary.
7. Blend a moment until just barely mixed, not pasty.
8. Add the remaining ingredients, adjusting as necessary for taste - and Watch Out! as the horseradish is STRONG!
9. Add just enough water to make a smooth sauce that is not too thin
10. Just before serving, heat the sauce on low heat until warm. Do not boil.
WARNING: Don't lean over the blender, the bowl, or the pan without acknowledging that there will be rising horseradish fumes.

I think some folks thought they were having some sort of transcendent experience when they ate this. It was quite strong but quite good and excellent company for the pork. This would also be good with any red meat.

Garlic Sauce with Walnuts and Almonds
Spanish, Diego Granado, Libro del Arte de Cozina, 1599

Translated from the original by Lady Brighid ni Chiarain

Para Hazer Ajada con Nuezes Tiernas y Almendras
To make garlic sauce with tender walnuts and almonds

Take six ounces of tender peeled walnuts, and four [ounces] of fresh sweet almonds, and six cloves of boiled garlic, or one and a half raw, and grind them in the morter, with four ounces of a crustless piece of bread soaked in broth of mutton, or of fish which is not very salty, and once they are ground put in a quarter [ounce] of ground ginger. If the sauce is well ground, it is not necessary to strain it, but just thin it with one of the abovementioned broths, and if the walnuts were dried, let them be soaked in cold water, until they soften again, and can be cleaned. With the abovementioned sauce, you can grind a little bit of turnip, or of crisp-leaved cabbage well-cooked in good meat broth, if it is a day for it.

Recipe by Anahita

Makes about 1-1/2 gal.
2-1/2 lb walnuts
1-3/4 lb almonds, blanched
28 oz white bread, crusts removed
7-14 cups vegetable broth, as needed
1-3/4 ounce ground ginger
40 cloves garlic
salt to taste

1. Soak the nuts in cold water overnight, or at least several hours.
2. Drain, and grind finely in a food processor.
3. Soak bread in broth.
4. Add the bread soaked in broth, ginger and garlic to the walnuts.
5. Blend until smooth.
6. Taste and salt as necessary
7. If necessary, add more broth and/or water to adjust the consistency of the sauce.

1. Lady Brighid, who shared this recipe with me, had made this sauce according to the recipe and felt it was too bland. I suggested that perhaps the original meant "head" rather than "clove", but she is certain that her translation from the Spanish is correct. I have no reason to doubt her, and suspect the possibility of a scribal error in the original. So I increased the amount of garlic because it wouldn't have been much of a garlic sauce with 10 ounces of nuts and 1-1/2 cloves garlic.
2. I suspect that perhaps this was supposed to have more of an alioli or aioli-like consistency. Our sauce was not quite so smooth.
3. This would have a different flavor and consistancy when made with boiled or roasted garlic, and worth the experiment.

Recipe translations copyright 2000 by Lady Brighid ni Chiarain,
all the rest by Anahita bint 'abd al-Karim al-hakim al-Fassi.

Back to Top Menu

English, Forme of Cury, late 14th century


1. To make frumente
Take clene whete & braye yt wel in a morter tyl the holes gon of; sethe it til it breste in water. Nym it vp & lat it cole. Tak good broth & swete mylk of kyn or of almand & tempere it therwith. Nym 3elkys of eyren rawe & saffroun & cast therto; salt it; let it nau3t boyle after the eyren ben cast therinne. Messe it forth with venesoun or with fat motoun fresch.

Recipe by Anahita

20 cups medium grade cracked wheat
10 quarts Vegetable Broth
1-1/2 gallon Cow's Milk
80 threads Saffron
40 Egg Yolks, beaten
3 TB Salt

  1. Cook cracked wheat in covered pan in boiling water until they burst, between 10 and 15 minutes. Actually we cooked the wheat in small batches in a rice cooker at a ration of 1 part wheat to two parts water. As each batch is finished, put in a really large pot.
  2. While wheat is cooking, soak saffron threads in small amount of warm broth at least 30 minutes. Then strain out saffron and save the broth.
  3. Beat egg yolks until well beaten.
  4. Beat eggs into saffron broth.
  5. Add remaining broth and milk to cooked cracked wheat in pot. Place on medium fire. Stir well. Do not let boil, but get to stage where small bubbles are forming at the edge of the pan.
  6. Turn the heat down.
  7. Add some of hot broth to eggs, beating continuously while adding. Do this several times to bring the temperature of the eggs up to that of the broth.
  8. Then pour egg yolks into pot stirring constantly.
  9. Cook on low fire stirring constantly until thick. Salt to taste. Do not let eggs curdle. They should be creamy, not stringy. When thick, remove from fire and let stand a few minutes.

Back to Top Menu

English, Forme of Curye, late 14th c.


78. Salat
Take persel, sawge, grene garlec, chibolles, oynouns, leek, borage, myntes, porrettes, fenel, and toun cressis, rew, rosemarye, purslarye; laue and waische hem clene. Pike hem. Pluk hem small wyth thyn honde, and myng hem wel with rawe oile; lay on vyneger and salt, and serue it forth.

Recipe by Anahita

5 cups torn lettuce (butterleaf, romaine, red tip)
5 cups watercress
5 cups parsley
5 cups spinach
5 sweet red onions, chopped
10 SMALL leeks, chopped
5 bunches scallions, chopped
a couple bunches of chives
a couple bunches of garlic greens
small amount of reserved fennel greens
bunch of fresh mint
small packet of fresh sage
small packet of fresh rosemary

5 cups olive oil
2 cups Balsamic vinegar
5 TB salt

2 packages edible flower blossoms, including borage, pinks, nasturtiums, etc.

  1. Wash greens, leeks, and scallions. Be especially careful with spinach and leeks - they are sandy. Drain then pat dry with paper towels. DO NOT WASH HERBS.
  2. Finely chop red onions. Place in a bowl of cool water. Let stand.
  3. Cut off and discard green part of leekes. Chop white part of leeks.
  4. Pick leaves off steams of watercress, spinach, parsley, herbs. Discard stems.
  5. Tear lettuce and spinach leaves into medium pieces.
  6. Drain chopped onion.
  7. Toss all greens with leeks, scallions, and DRAINED onion.
  8. Mix vinegar and salt in a bowl.
  9. Gradually pour oil over greens while tossing to cover evenly.
  10. Just before serving, gradually add vinegar while tossing.
  11. Divide salat evenly among serving platters and sprinkle each dish with fresh flower blossoms.

Back to Top Menu

Turnips in Butter and Mustard Sauce
French, François Pierre dit La Varenne, Le Cuisinier françois, 1651 (1653 English translation)


12. Turnips
Scrape them, blanch them, and seeth them with water, butter and salt. After they are enough, put them in a dish with very fresh butter; you may put in some mustard. Serve with nutmeg.

Recipe by Anahita

60 whole turnips
4 lb. butter
4 cups Dijon mustard
20 pinches nutmeg

  1. Peel turnips. Slice thickly.
  2. Parboil by dropping into boiling water for a few minutes. Drain.
  3. Then place turnips in fresh boiling water with some salt. Boil until quite tender. Drain well.
  4. Place turnip slices in baking dishes.
  5. Make a sauce by placing 4 lb. of butter and 4 cups of prepared Dijon mustard in a pan and heat just until butter is melted, stirring to blend.
  6. Pour mustard sauce over dished turnips, making sure all turnips have some sauce on them.
  7. Sprinkle each dish lightly with nutmeg.
  8. Bake 5-10 min. at 350° F.

1. My thanks to Anne-Marie Rousseau for sharing this recipe with me.
2. People who said they never eat turnips said they liked this dish, people who liked turnips said they loved this dish.

Back to Top Menu

Buttered Onions and Apples
English, Robert May, Accomplish't Cook, 1660


To Butter Onions
Take apples and onions, mince the onions and slice the apples, put them in a pot, but more apples than onions, and bake them with the household bread, close up the pot with paste or paper; when you use them, butter them with butter, sugar, and boild currans, serve them on sippets, and scrape on sugar and cinnamon.

Recipe by Anahita, adapted from recipe by Anne-Marie Rousseau

20 large granny smith apples, sliced
10 large onions, minced
2-1/2 sticks butter
2-1/2 cups turbinado sugar
2-1/2 cup currants
1 quart water
3 heaping TB cinnamon
3 heaping TB sugar

  1. Peel and chop onions.
  2. Slice apples, removing cores.
  3. Layer apples and onions in a baking dish.
  4. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes at 350° F. till brown and bubbly.
  5. Meanwhile, boil currants in the water for about five minutes, till plumped up.
  6. When the apples and onions are done baking, stir in the butter, turbinado sugar, and the drained currants.
  7. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
  8. Return to oven for a few minutes until bubbly.

1. These were slurp-ilicious, although i'd have preferred the onions cooked a tad more. If i do them again, perhaps boiling the onions a little first might be a good idea.
2. I did not include the sippets, but there was plenty of bread for those who liked to soak up the sauce.
3. My thanks to Anne-Marie Rousseau for sharing her recipe with me.

After the feast, i purchased my own copies of La Varenne's Le Cuisinier françois and of Robert May's The accomplisht cook.

Back to Top

Questions? Comments?

Return to Feast Menu

Back to Beverages

Back to Compost

Back to First Course

On to Dessert

Back to the Dining Niche

This page rebuilt 6 April 2004 & redecorated 18 June 2004