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About Cooking The Whole ox

This is an excerpt from The Prince of Transylvania's Court Cookbook
(Hungary, 16th c.)
The original source can be found at

About cooking the whole ox. I must write about this, for some do not know. If you want to cook the whole ox, use four skewers. The skewers should be sharp; you also must be able to rotate it on the fire. Once the ox is skinned, don't let them hit its head, cut its throat instead like they do with the lamb. Tell the butcher not to remove its horns and nails, make few cuts so that he can take out its intestines, lung and liver, leave its kidney, but take out its bladder. Once they're in your hands, put the ox on the skewer, cover its nails and horns with a wet cloth so it doesn't get burnt. Should this cloth become dry on the fire, pour some water on it. Nail it to the skewer so the ox doesn't move around on the skewer, put nails especially in its spine. Put nails in its thighs, some in its back and nail its legs so that it looks like it's laying on the table Once it's on the skewer, add some salt on the outside and on the inside as well. Boil the ox's fat and boil a pot of salted water, pour the water on the ox until the fat's not ready. You most roast it for long, about three to four hours, for it has to be fried nicely. Once it's done and you start to serve it, make a table from boards and put the ox on top. Put white bread on the table, two barrels of wine and pots made of wood, and bring several faucets so that they can pour wine from the barrels even if one faucet breaks. Put knives to the sides of the ox. If you wish to decorate it, paint its nails and horns golden, and put the crest of your lord between its horns, this is good for weddings.


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