Claret Wine

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Claret wine is referred to in a few different cookbooks. Claret could be a French wine, from a specific region, it could be an old wine flavoured with spices, or simply a clarified wine. That it is a dry wine seems to be the only consistent agreement.

It doesn’t take a long time to ferment juices into wine, 10-15 days, with an additional week to clear. You can even make this useful liquid with yeasts in the air, very convenient, although this means the flavour is random, since the type of yeast used dictates much of the flavour.

In medieval times, mixing 1 to 3 red wine to water, a  level of purification was achieved. By adding alcohol to water it changes the ph of the liquid, killing off microbes that can make someone sick.

A fresh wine of 15 days isn’t the smoothest of refreshment but can be useful for cooking. the addition of wine gives a sour tag, that can be enjoyable. I doubt it was used for food preserving.

For recipes calling for Claret I use the cheapest boxed, dry, red wine from Vineyards.

A Quarter Tart of Pippins.
(England, 1615)
Quarter them, and lay them  between two sheets of Paste: put in a piece of whole cinnamon, two or three bruised cloves, a little sliced ginger, orrengado, or only the yellow outside of the orange, a bit of sweet Butter about the bigness of an egg, good store of Sugar: sprinkle on a little rosewater. Then close your tart, and bake it: ice it before it goes to the board, serve it hot. This tart you may make of any puft-paste, or short paste that will not hold the raising. If you bake it in any of these kinds of pastes, then you must first boil your pippins in claret wine and sugar, or else your apples will be hard, when your crust will be burnt and dried away. Besides, the wine gives them a pleasant colour, and a good taste also. Though you boil your pippins tender, take heed you break not the quarters, but bake them whole. A NEVV BOOKE of Cookerie

Ingredients
* 8 pippins, or other soft baking apple, peeled and quartered
* 1 litre of dry red wine
* 1/4 cup raw cane sugar + 1/2 cup raw cane sugar
* pastry for top and bottom of pie
*1/4 tsp cloves, ground
* 1 tsp ginger, grated
* 1 tbsp orange zest
* 1/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature.
* 1/2 tsp rosewater
Icing
* 2 tbsp cane sugar

Directions
1. Place apple slices in a sauce pan with wine and 1/4 cup of sugar. Put pot on medium heat, and bring apples to boil. Remove from heat and drain.
2. Preheat oven to 350.
3. Gently place apples into pie shell. Cover apples with cinnamon, ginger, zest, butter, 1/2 cup sugar, and rose water, and then cover fruit with a pastry lid. Bake pie for 45 minutes, until crust is golden.
4. Cover lid of hot pie with 2 tbsp of cane sugar. Once sugar has melted a bit serve pie.

How To Make A Pudding in a Turnip Root.
(England, 1591)
Take your turnip root, and wash it fair in warm water, and scrape it faire and make it hollow as you do a carrot root, and make your stuffe of grated bread, and apples chop fine, then take currents, and hard eggs, and season it with sugar, cinnamon, and ginger, and yolks of hard eggs and so temper your stuff, and put it into the turnip, then take fair water, and set it on the fire, and let it boil or ever you put in your turnips, then put in a good piece of sweet butter, and claret wine, and a little vinegar, and rosemary, and whole mace, sugar, and currants, and dates quartered, and when they are boiled enough, then will they be tender, then serve it in. A Book of Cookrye

Ingredients
* 4 turnips, peeled
Stuffing
* 1 apple, peeled, shredded
* 1 tsp currants
* 4 egg yolks, hard boiled
* 1 tbsp raw cane sugar
* 1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground
* 1/2 tsp ginger, grated
* 1 cup bread crumbs, dry
Broth
* 1/4 cup unsalted butter
* 1 cup dry red wine
* 1 tbsp wine vinegar
* 1 branch rosemary
* 1 flake mace
* 1/4 cup raw cane sugar
* 1 tsp currants
* 4 dates, pits removed, quartered

Directions
1) Hollow out the turnips, via a narrow opening. Go slow so you don’t puncture the turnip.
2) Mix apples, 1 tsp currants, yolks, 1 tbsp cane sugar, cinnamon, and ginger. Slowly add bread crumbs by hand until a firm paste is formed.
3) Slowly pack the turnips with the apple stuffing mixture. Place turnips into a saucepan and cover with water and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer.
4) Add butter, wine, rosemary, mace, 1/4 cup of sugar, 1 tsp currants, and dates to turnip pot. Simmer until turnips are tender when poked with a fork, approximately 30 minutes.

How To Bake Venison. 
(England, 1591)
When it is parboiled, season it with salt and pepper somewhat groce beaten, and a little ginger, and good store of sweet Butter, and when the venison is tender baked put to it half a dozen spoonfuls of claret wine and shake it well together. A Book of Cookrye

Ingredients
* 2 lbs wild deer roast
* 1 tbsp salt,
* 10 peppercorns, ground
* 1 tsp ginger, grated
* 1/2 cup unsalted butter
* 1/2 cup dry red wine

Directions
1) Cover roast with water in a saucepan and bring to boil. Remove from heat and drain.
2) Preheat oven to 350F.
3) Place roast into baking dish, cover with salt, spices and butter. Bake roast for 30 minutes or until meat reaches 145F for rare, or 160F medium.
4) Slice roast and toss with the red wine then serve.

Sauces for Venison

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A friend of mine posted a picture on facebook of a lawn-full of deer. I’m not promoting hunting deer within Ottawa city limits of course, that would be wrong, but if you do happen to have a windfall of fresh venison…

Many people say they dislike the taste of game meats. To get rid of the ‘gamey’ or ‘green’ taste of most wild meat you merely parboil the meat before roasting. The taste people object to is mostly found in the blood, and this gets rid of it.

2 lbs of of venison roast is parboiled by covering with water and then bring to a full boil. Remove from heat and drain. Cover the roast in butter or lard and roast in an oven on 350°F. It should be brought up to 125-140°F internal temperature, after about 40 minutes.

Then serve with one of these 3 sauces.

Pevrate Sause For veel Or venison

sause for veel or venison. Take bred and frie it in greese, and drawe hit up with the brothe and vynegur, and do thereto pouder of pepur, and of clowes, and let hit boyle, and serve hit forthe. Ancient Cookery [Arundel 334], 1425

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of bread crumbs
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 cups of broth (not the water from par boiling, it will make sauce taste gamey)
  • 2 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 0.5 tsp of black pepper
  • 1 tsp cloves, powdered

Directions

  1. Warm a sauce pan up to medium heat.
  2. Put all ingredients into pot and bring to boil. Stirring often.
  3. Reduce heat and let simmer until roast is done.

To Rooste veneson

To Rooste Veneson. Roosted Veneson must have vyneger, Suger and Cinomome and butter boyled upon a chafing dyshe with cooles, but the sauce maye not bee to tarte, and then laye the Veneson upon the sauce. A Proper newe Booke of Cokerye, mid-16th c.

Ingredients 

  • 2 cups of broth (not the liquid from the parboil)
  • 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp raw can sugar
  • 1 cinnamon sitck
  • 2 tbsp butter

Directions

  1. Warm a sauce pan up to medium heat.
  2. Put all ingredients into pot and bring to boil. Stirring often.
  3. Reduce heat and let simmer until roast is done.

To Roast venison

To roast Venison. First perboile it, and then make it tender cast it into cold water, then Lard it and roste it, and for sauce take broth, Vinagre, Pepper, Cloves and mace, with a little salt and boile these togither and serve it upon your Venison.  A Book of Cookrye, 1591

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of broth
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 0.5 tsp of pepper
  • 1 tsp cloves (whole or powdered)
  • 0.5 tsp mace (whole or powdered)
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)

Directions

  1. Warm a sauce pan up to medium heat.
  2. Put all ingredients into pot and bring to boil. Stirring often.
  3. Reduce heat and let simmer until roast is done.