To Make a Cow, a Calf or a Stag Look Alive
Prepared for [event name] on [date]
by [name]

This entry is a re-creation of a recipe from The Neapolitan recipe collection (Italy, 15th c - T. Scully, trans.), entitled "To Make a Cow, a Calf or a Stag Look Alive". [insert a brief description of dish here, possibly including any or all of the following: characteristics of the final dish, when or how it might have been served, and why you selected it]

The Source Recipe
The original text of the recipe is as follows:

To Make a Cow, a Calf or a Stag Look Alive. First kill the cow or calf normally, then skin it beginning at the hooves -but keep the hooves and the horns attached to the hide; when skinned, stretch the hide; then get cumin, fennel, cloves, pepper and salt, all ground up to a powder, and sprinkle it over the inside of the hide; then cut away the shin-bone downward from the knee, and remove the tripe through the flank; if you wish, you can roast capons, pheasants or other creatures and put them into the cow's body. If you want to bake it in the oven, lay it on a grill; if you want to roast it over the fire, get a piece of wood —that is, a pole like a spit - insert it, lard it well and roast it slowly so as not to bum it. Then make iron bars large enough to hold it standing up; when it is cooked, set up the bar on a large plank and bind it [i.e., the animal] so that it stands on its feet; then dress it in its hide as if it were alive; if the meat has shrunk anywhere because of the cooking, replace it with bay- laurel, sage, rosemary and myrtle; draw the hide back [in place] and sew it so the iron cannot be seen, and give it a posture as if it were alive.

The same can be done with a deer, a sow and a chicken, and with any other animal you wish. Note that preparing this sort of animal requires a cook who is neither foolish nor simple-minded, but rather he must be quite clever. And note, my lord, that if your cook is not skillful he will never prepare anything good that is good, no matter how hard he tries.

Related Recipes
While interpreting this recipe, I also considered the following recipes that appear to be related:
[edit as appropriate - note that this section should be left out if no related recipes can be found]

[if desired and applicable, add notes here about significant commonalities or differences between the main recipe and any similar ones]

The original recipe calls for the following ingredients: [edit this list as appropriate]


[if desired and applicable, add notes here about the ingredients - if any substitutions were made, explain why - also note what quantities were used for each ingredient and, if possible, why]

[include a paragraph or two describing the steps taken in preparing the recipe - if applicable, describe any differences between the process in the original source and that used in the re-creation, along with the reason for the deviation]

[add any information about any necessary equipment - if applicable, note when the equipment differed from that used in the medieval period, and explain why the original wasn't used]


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Searchable index of "The Neapolitan recipe collection". Medieval Cookery.
  <>. Accessed on July 8, 2020, 7:18 pm.

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