Friday 28 October 2016

Medieval Beef Pottage

Continuing with our trip to Ironbridge, and looking at traditional cooking from the 1700's, tonight sees us trying the age old working class staple of pottage. Pottage is basically a thick stew or soup where all the ingredients simply get boiled in the pot. There is no set recipe for pottage, you just bung what you have into the pot and hope it turns out great, which it usually does.


500g Stewing beef
2x Slices bread
3tbsp Pearl barley
1x Onion, diced
2x Carrots, peeled and sliced
1x Parsnip, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 Swede, peeled and cut into chunks
1x Leek, sliced
1/4 Red cabbage, diced
1tsp Thyme
1tbsp Parsley stalks, chopped
1tsp Mace
550ml Water


1. In a large pan or pot on the stove brown the meat on all sides.
2. Add the diced onion and keep stirring.
3. In goes the remaining veg, thyme, parsley stalks and mace.
4. Pour in the water and pearl barley and bring to the boil then reduce to a slow simmer.
5. Top with the bread then pop on a lid. Cook for at least 2 hours and stir occasionally after the bread has dissolved.

Tip: I know they wouldn't have had stock cubes back in the 1700's but I do suggest adding one for flavour.

Wednesday 26 October 2016

Lamb Rare Fricassee and Oatmeal Pudding

This half term sees us visiting Ironbridge Gorge to learn about the start of industrial revolution and how life was for people living in the 1700's. Continuing that theme back in my caravan kitchen tonight's meal would more likely have been eaten by the wealthy elite of that time as ingredients like lamb chops were too expensive for the working class. Thanks to Gode Cookery for the recipe that uses traditional verjuice (which I definitely haven't got in the van) so I used lemon juice instead, gooseberries and egg yolk. The tartness really cuts through the lamb fat, I liked it, but Mrs Larry wasn't as keen. I love using the caravan to find local or traditional recipes and later this trip we will try something more akin to the working class fayre of the 1700's.


Lamb Fricassee
Lamb chops
3x Egg yolks, beaten
Juice of 1 lemon
1tsp Capers, chopped
1tbsp Fresh parsley, chopped
Nutmeg, a pinch
Gooseberries (I used tinned as it is all that is available this time of year)

Oatmeal Pudding
100g Oatmeal
200ml Milk
100ml Double cream
1x Beef stock cube
50g Beef suet
2tsp Thyme
2tbsp Fresh parsley, chopped
1x Leek, finely chopped
Spinach, chopped, a big handful
1tsp Mace
1x Egg
1tbsp Flour
Salt and pepper
Animal fat for the tin


Oatmeal Pudding
1. Turn the oven on to gas mark 3 and put a knob of fat in a roasting tin and allow to get hot.
2. Mix all the ingredients together then pour into the hot tin and cook for about half an hour or until the middle is set.

Lamb Fricassee
1. While the pudding is cooking pan fry the chops on all sides until done to your liking. Set aside the meat and pour off the fat.
2. While the lamb is cooking beat together the egg yolks, lemon juice and nutmeg.
3. Pour the egg mixture into the meat juices, add the gooseberries, capers and parsley, stir briefly to warm through but do not cook the egg.
4. Plate up and pour the sauce over the lamb, serve with a slice of oatmeal pudding and a bit of veg.