Stuffed Beef Rolls or ‘To Make Alloes Of Beef’

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This is the simplest version of Alloes of Beef that I have found. Daniel Myers covers beef rolls with more ingredients, including boiled egg yolks, and a sour sauce, on his web page. Myers lists three additional sources for the reader to play with if they desire.

To make Alloes of beef. Take lene beef and cut hym in thyn pecys and lay hit on A borde then take sewet of motton or of beef and herbys and onyons hackyd small to gether then straw thy leshes of beef with powder of pepur and a lytell salt and strew on thy sewet and the herbys. And rolle them up ther yn put them on a broche and roste them and serue them up hote. Gentyll manly Cokere (MS Pepys 1047) (1500)

Ingredients
* 1/4 cup suet, broken into pieces
* 2 small onions or one large, minced small
* 2 heaping tablespoons dried sage
* 2 heaping tablespoons dried parsley
* 1 kilo (6) thin beef “inside and sandwich” steaks
* pepper to taste
* salt to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Mix suet, onions, sage, and parsley together. Set aside.
  3. Lay a piece of long thin beef out onto a large cutting board. Salt and pepper to taste. Cover the meat with a generous handful of the suet mixture along its length. Roll up a fat beef roll and then skewer to hold in place. Place it in a baking dish lined with parchment paper. Repeat for each steak. Optional: Dump any left over filling onto the nested beef rolls. 
  4. Bake beef rolls on 350 for 50 minutes, or  beef filling reaches 165°F, and onions are softened.
  5. Serve them up hot.

Modernly you could probably put the filling ingredients through a food processor and brush on more of a flavouring sauce than a stuffing. If you used beef sliced for fondu and the sauce you could have small appetizers on toothpicks instead of a main course.  

Beef and Onion Sauce

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Sometimes you find an amazing recipe while looking at books printed after 1700. It can happen. An onion sauce called “La genovese” is amazing but I couldn’t help but thinking a recipe that is primarily beef and onions, flavoured with wine has to have a medieval recipe equivalent.

I love it when traditional foods are really traditional!

I didn’t find an Italian recipe (yet!) but I did find this English one from A Book of Cookrye
(1591):

“To stue a hinflank of Beefe without fruit. Boyle your flank of Beef very tender, till the broth be almost consumed, then put the broth into a pipkin, and put to it Onions, Caret roots shred small, being tender sodden before, and pepper groce beaten, vergious, and halfe a dish of sweet butter, and so lay it upon.”

Ingredients:
* 3 lb beef roast
* 1 tbsp salt
* 3 lb onions, peeled and roughly chopped
* 2 cups of carrots, grated
* Pepper to taste
* 1/2 cup verjuice (or dry wine)
* 1/2 cup unsalted butter

Directions

  1. Place roast in a large pot, and cover with water and the salt. Bring pot to a boil on high, cover pot with lid, and then reduce heat to medium and simmer roast until it starts to split apart when you poke it (approximately 3 hours).
  2. After cooking beef for 2 hours, put onions, carrots, and pepper into a different large pot and cover them with water. Place onion-pot on medium-low heat and simmer until beef is starting to fall apart. Add water if onion-pot is  drying out.
  3.  After beef has cooked for 3 hours (and is starting to split when poked) add onion mixture, verjuice and butter to bigger beef pot. Simmer together to reduce liquid and until beef is able to be shredded with a fork (approximately 45 minutes-1 hour).
  4. Once beef is falling apart on its own,  shred all the beef with a fork and mix it into the rest of the sauce. Serve hot.

Beef & Sauces

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I’m teaching humour theory and cooking at SCA 50 Year Celebration so I’ve been digging out some references on the topic.

This is a notable example:

    Large cuts of boiled meat. Large cuts of boiled meat (beef, pork or mutton) are cooked in water and salt. The beef is eaten with Green Garlic  in summer and White Garlic  in winter. The pork and mutton are eaten (if fresh) with good Green Sauce made without wine, and (if salted) with Mustard.
… White Garlic. Crush garlic and bread, and steep in verjuice.
… Green Garlic. Crush garlic, bread and greens, and steep together.
… Mustard. Soak the mustard seed overnight in good vinegar, grind it in a mill, and then moisten it little by little with vinegar. If you have any spices left over from Hippocras or sauces, grind them with it. Le Viandier de Taillevent (1380)

Aside from appearance, age, type of meat, and other factors affecting humours the seasons were a strong influencer.

Even today modernly we are influenced by the seasons for our diet: ice cream in summer, hot chocolate in winter, but its not because we are aiming for a higher level of health.

Beef ‘sodden’ or simmered in water offends some meat lovers but since beef has dry and cold humours it is the most logical way to approach it.

Salt your roast and cover with water. Cover with water and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until roast hits 160 degrees, or simmer for 3 to 5 hours until beef is falling apart tender. Or rebel completely and roast it in an oven. Serve with appropriate sauce.

“… White Garlic. Crush garlic and bread, and steep in verjuice.”

Ingredients
* 1 bulb of garlic, peeled
* 1/2 cup of dry bread crumbs
* 1/4 cup grape verjuice

Directions
Take each clove of garlic, and a tablespoon of bread crumbs and crush in a mortar with a pestle. Once all cloves and all the bread is crushed together mix the verjuice in slowly.

… Green Garlic. Crush garlic, bread and greens, and steep together.

Ingredients
* 1 bulb of garlic
* 1/4 cup of dry bread crumbs
* 1 cup of mixed green herbs like mint, sage, parsley, thyme (chopped, no stems)
* 1/4 cup white wine

Directions
Combine first 3 ingredients a little at a time to combine in a mortar and pestle, adding a little wine to help when required. Once fully pulverized add rest of wine and stir well.


… Mustard. Soak the mustard seed overnight in good vinegar, grind it in a mill, and then moisten it little by little with vinegar. If you have any spices left over from Hippocras or sauces, grind them with it.

Ingredients
* 1 cup mustard seeds, freshly ground
* 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
Optional: 1 tbsp mix of cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, cloves, soaked over night in wine and then strained. Drink wine once sweetened.

Directions
Slowly stir vinegar into muster seed and spices until mustard is fully moistened and saucy.

Optional: Grind hippocras spices in mortar then add spices to mustard sauce. Add more vinegar if required.