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To Make Four Dishes Of Meat Jelly


This is an excerpt from Le Menagier de Paris
(France, 1393 - Janet Hinson, trans.)
The original source can be found at David Friedman's website

TO MAKE FOUR DISHES OF MEAT JELLY, take a pig and four calf's feet and have two chicks plucked and two skinny young rabbits, and remove the grease, and they are to be split in two down the middle, except the pig which is to be cut in pieces: and then put in a pan three quarts of white wine or claret, a pint of vinegar, a half-pint of verjuice, make it boil and froth strongly: then add, in a small closed cloth bag, a quarter of an ounce of saffron to give an amber colour, and put meat on to boil and all together with a little salt; then take ten or twelve pieces of white ginger or five or six pieces of galingale, half an ounce of grains of Paradise, three or four pieces of mace leaf, two blancs worth of juniper: cubeb, nard, three blancs worth: bay leaves, six nutmegs; then crush them in a mortar and put in a bag and put in to boil with the meat until it is cooked, then take it out and set it to dry on a white cloth, then take for the best plate the feet, the snout and the ears: and the rest to the others. Then take a good net on two supports, and pour your whole potful through it, except for the spices which you take out, and strain it for soup, and do not stir it until it gets clearer. But if it does not strain well, heat it here and there to keep it hot so it will strain better, and strain it two or three times until it becomes clear, or through a cloth folded three times. Then take your dishes and arrange your meat in them, and have some cooked crayfish, of which you are to put on your meat the thighs and tails; your jelly is to be reheated, and pour enough of it on to the meat to cover, for there need be only a little meat, then put in the cellar overnight to cool, and in the morning stick in it cloves and bay leaves and cinnamon sticks, and sprinkle with red anise. Note that to make it in two hours, you must have quince seed (or flesh: trans.), philicon (possibly an astringent plant of the fern family) and cherry-tree gum, and crush all this together and put in a bag to boil with the meat.

Item, on fish days, you make the jelly as above, with loach, tench, bream, eels, crayfish and perch. And when the fish is cooked, put it to drain and dry on a fair white cloth, and skin and clean it well, and throw the skins in the broth.

Item, TO MAKE BLUE JELLY, take the aforesaid bouillon, either meat or fish, and put in a clean pan and set it to boil again on the fire, and take from a spice-box two ounces of turnsole and put it on to boil with it until it has a good colour, then take it out: and then take a pint of loach and cook it separately, and distribute the loach in your dishes, and strain the bouillon on as above, and let it cool.

Item, this makes it blue. And if you wish to make a coat of arms on the jelly, take gold or silver, whichever pleases you better, and with the white of an egg use a feather to trace it, and put gold on with tweezers.

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