Carolingia Shakespeare Event
April 9, 2011

Feast Menu


The event was called A Saturday with Shakespeare, and the major part of the event was a production of Measure For Measure. I was asked to do a feast for the evening after the play. I wanted to do the theme of "going down the street to the local tavern for dinner after the play", so the meal was to be simple iconic English tavern food. I did three courses, plus dessert. We have a number of attendees with food issues, and even though I wasn't trying to on purpose, I managed to put together a menu that was still primarily edible to people who were dairy free, gluten free, semi-kosher, onion-sensitive, and vegetarian. As long as someone only hit one of those groups, they could still eat quite well.

The final number served for the feast was 72 people. I am including the recipes in both the original and scaled up proportions.

First Course
Lentil Stew
Bread & Butter
A Variety of Cheeses
Grapes

Second Course:
Roasted Chicken
Makerouns
Peas

Third Course:
Beef Brisket
Roasted Parsnips
Funges

Dessert:
Shortbread cookies
Cheese tart



The shortbread cookies were made by someone else. The cheese tart is the same one I made for Duello.



Lentil Stew
This is not a period recipe, but uses (mostly) period ingredients, and I wanted something hearty and vegetarian to start off the first course. The original recipe is from here.

Ingredients:
For 8:

2 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 leek, sliced
1 carrot, diced
1 parsnip, scrubbed and diced
1/2 large turnip, peeled and diced
1 stalk celery, sliced
1 cup dry lentils, rinsed
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
3 cups vegetable stock
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup red wine
1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
For 72:

½ cup vegetable oil
8 leek, sliced
8 carrot, diced
8 parsnip, scrubbed and diced
4 large turnips, peeled and diced
8 stalk celery, sliced
8 cup dry lentils, rinsed
8 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
6 qts vegetable stock
16 bay leaves
4 cup red wine
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Directions:
1. Soak the dried lentils overnight.
2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and mix in the carrot, parsnip, celery, turnip, and leek. Stir over a medium heat.
3. Place lentils, tomatoes, stock, bay leaves, and wine in the saucepan. Stir and bring the mixture to a boil. Cover and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked.
4. Remove the bay leaves from the stew. Stir in the cilantro and serve.



Roasted Chicken
I had found a period recipe for roasted chicken, but it involved brushing the chickens with egg yolks at the end to "endore" them. This step proved difficult in the context of preparing 12 of them, so I went with a basic herb roasted chicken from my own repetoire.

Ingredients:
For 6-8:

1 whole chicken
2 tablespoons butter
rosemary
thyme
tarragon
For 72:

12 whole chickens
3 sticks butter
rosemary
thyme
tarragon

Directions:
1. Wash chickens inside and out, and pat dry.
2. Place butter and herb in chicken cavity. Place chickens breast down in a roaster, and cover tightly with a lid or foil. Roast at 325 degrees for about 25 minutes per pound, or until juice runs clear. Turn over and roast uncovered for another 25-30 minutes until skin is browned. Cut into eight pieces each (2 legs, 2 thighs, quarter the breast) and serve.



Makerouns
This is a period recipe from Forme of Cury, a 14th C. English cookbook, that I found on Gode Cookery (the redaction is theirs).

Original Recipe
95. Makerouns. Take and make a thynne foyle of dowh, and kerue it on pieces, and cast hym on boiling water & seeþ it wele. Take chese and grate it, and butter imelte, cast bynethen and abouven as losyns; and serue forth.

Ingredients:
For 8:

1 pound dried egg noodles (if using fresh, use 3-4 lbs)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
pinch of salt
1 stick of butter
2 cups grated cheese (I used cheddar)
For 72:

8 pounds dried egg noodles
8 tablespoons vegetable oil
pinch of salt
2 pounds of butter
16 cups grated cheddar cheese

Directions:
1. Boil noodles with oil & salt until al dente (tender-crisp). Drain well.
2. In a serving bowl or platter place some melted butter and cheese. Lay noodles on top and add more butter and cheese.
3. Serve as is or continue adding layers of butter, cheese, and noodles. Use extra cheese as necessary.
4. Serve immediately, or place in a hot oven for several minutes and then serve.

Notes: For making large quantities, I boiled the noodles in batches no larger than 2 pounds. I reheated them at the end in a low temperature oven (about 250 degrees) to melt the cheese, which worked out well.



Peas
This is also a period recipe from Gode Cookery, also from Forme of Cury. However, I found it somewhat bland and added some herbs, as well as substituting leeks for the onions, as we had attendees with onion-sensitivity (but could eat leeks).

Original Recipe:
71. Perry of pesoun. Take pesoun and seþ hem fast, and couere hem, til þei berst; þenne take hem vp and cole hem thurgh a cloth. Take oynouns and mynce hem, and seeþ hem in the same sewe, and oile þerwith; cast þerto sugar, salt and safroun, and seeþ hem wel þerafter, and serue hem forth.

Ingredients:
For 8-10:

2 lbs. frozen or fresh shelled peas
1 leek, sliced
2 tablespoons butter
salt & sugar to taste
rosemary
thyme
tarragon
For 72:

14 lbs. frozen or fresh shelled peas
6 leek, sliced
2 sticks butter
salt & sugar to taste
rosemary
thyme
tarragon

Directions:
Bring to a boil the leeks & peas. Reduce heat slightly and cook until the vegetables are tender. Drain. Add butter and other ingredients, and mix well.




Beef Brisket
Another recipe from Gode Cookery, dated a little later to 15th C. England. The original recipe called for using beef ribs, but I wanted to use brisket instead.

Original Recipe:
Stwed Beeff. Take faire Ribbes of ffresh beef, And (if thou wilt) roste hit til hit be nygh ynowe; theñ put hit in a faire possenet; caste þer-to parcely and oynons mynced, reysons of corauns, powder peper, canel, clowes, saundres, safferoñ, and salt; theñ caste there-to wyñ and a litull vynegre; sette a lyd oñ þe potte, and lete hit boile sokingly on a faire charcole til hit be ynogh; þeñ lay the fflessh, in disshes, and the sirippe there-vppoñ, And serve it forth.

Ingredients:
For 8:

3-4 pounds beef brisket
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 large leek, sliced
1 cups currants (or raisins)
1 teaspoon each pepper, cinnamon, & cloves
½ teaspoon salt
1 bottle red wine
3/4 cup red wine vinegar

For 72:

16 lbs. beef brisket
2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
8 leeks, sliced
8 cups currants (or raisins)
3 tablespoons each pepper, cinnamon, & cloves
3 tablespoons salt
red wine to cover
4 cups red wine vinegar


Directions:
Put all ingredients in a pressure cooker or crock pot and simmer for 4 hours (or all day for crock pot).



Roasted Parsnips
This is another modern recipe that uses period ingredients, from here. The horseradish went particularly well with the beef dish.

Ingredients:
For 8:

1½ pounds parsnips
4 teaspoons of canola oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup vegetable broth
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
4 teaspoons drained, bottled horseradish
½ tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
½ tablespoons minced chives
½ small garlic clove, minced

For 72:

12 pounds parsnips
½ cup canola oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
3 cup vegetable broth
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
½ cup drained, bottled horseradish
4 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
4 tablespoons minced chives
4 small garlic clove, minced

Directions:
1. Peel and cut parsnips into 2 1/2 inch batons.
2. Pre-heat oven to 400°F. In a large roasting pan, toss the parsnips with the olive oil, salt and pepper. (Use a roasting pan with sides no more than 2 inches high.) Add the broth, cover with aluminum foil and roast, stirring once or twice, until the parsnips are tender and the stock has evaporated or been absorbed, 20-45 minutes (depending on how tender the parsnips are to begin with). Check often to avoid their getting mushy - especially if they are to be reheated later.
3. Combine the softened butter with the horseradish, parsley, chives and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Toss the warm roasted parsnips with the horseradish-herb butter and serve.




Funges
Another Gode Cookery recipe, also from Forme of Cury. Again, I substituted leeks for onions, and vegetable broth for the meat stock, to keep it vegetarian. I also found I had to reduce the cumin by about half or it totally overwhelmed the flavor of the dish.

Original Recipe:
12. Funges. Take funges and pare hem clene, and dyce hem; take leke and shrede hym small, and do hym to seeþ in gode broth. Colour it with safroun, and do þerinne powdour fort.

Ingredients:
For 8:

1 pound sliced mushrooms
1 large leek, sliced
2 cups vegetable broth
¼ tsp. each ground cloves, cumin, and pepper
For 72:

8 pounds sliced mushrooms
8 large leek, sliced
4 quarts vegetable broth
2 tsp. each ground cloves, cumin, and pepper

Directions:
Place mushrooms, onions/leeks, and broth in pot; bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer and add spices. Cook until tender. Drain and serve.