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crayfish Stew

This is an excerpt from Le Viandier de Taillevent
(France, ca. 1380 - James Prescott, trans.)
The original source can be found at James Prescott's website

Crayfish stew. Take almonds, wash without blanching or peeling, and crush. Take some fine large crayfish, cook them in two parts of water and one part of wine, with a bit of vinegar if you wish, drain them, and let them cool. Remove the feet and tails from their shells and set them aside. Beat and crush the carcasses very well (like the almonds), steep everything in clear puree of peas, wine and verjuice, and strain together through cheesecloth. Take the crayfish feet and tails, fry them in a bit of butter, dry them like fried loach, and boil them in a pan or fine clean pot. Take ginger, a bit of cinnamon, a bit of grains_of_paradise, a bit less cloves than grains, and a bit of long pepper, steep in a bit of wine and verjuice, and add sugar generously. Boil everything together and salt lightly. If you wish to add fried fish do so. It should be thick enough to cover your meat.


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