Brazier – Chafing Dish

Chafing Dish – Brazier

Museum of London Surrey/Hampshire border redware chafing dish vertical loop handle.
1550-1700

Medieval Brazier Cooking

Chafer…

Figues alla Francesa (Libre del Coch, #102)

Les figues seques pendràs més melades que pugues haver, negres e blanques e leva•ls lo capoll. E aprés renta-les ab bon vin blanch que sia dolç. E quant sien netes, pren una panedera de terra e met-les dins menant-les un poch. E aprés posa aquella panadera sobre unes brases e tapa-les bé, de manera que se stufen allí. E quant seran estufades e se hauran beguda la vapor, mena-les un poch e met-hi salsa fina damunt, e torna-les a menar de manera que encorpora aquella salsa. E aprés menja ton potatge e veuràs gentil cosa, e mengen-se entrant de taula.

“Take dried figs, the sweetest you can find, black and white, and clean off the stalks. Wash them with good, sweet white wine. Take an earthen panadera and put them in, stirring a little. Put the panadera over a brazier and cover it well in such a manner that the figs soften. And when they are softened and have absorbed the vapor, stir a bit and add salsa fina on top, and stir so that it incorporates this salsa. And then eat it, and you will see a noble thing, and they are eaten next [first?] at the table.”

Recipe 92, also for a fig dish, calls for sugar, pepper, cinnamon, ginger, and “other good spices”. Nutmeg seems to be the most common spice in the cookbook other than cinnamon and ginger, so we put in a little nutmeg.

11 oz. (fifteen) dried black and white figs
1 cup sweet white wine
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. each ginger, nutmeg
1/8 tsp. black pepper
Stem figs and put in a pot with the wine.
Simmer 1/2 hour, by which time the wine is almost gone and the figs have swelled considerably.
Add spices and stir.
[We skipped the sugar because the dry figs were encrusted with a little sugar already.]
Nola, Roberto de, Libre del Coch Veronika Leimgruber, ed. Barcelona: Curial Edicions Catalanes. 1982

Rivetted Iron Cauldrons

From The Jelling Dragon “Our Cauldrons are entirely hand made by a master blacksmith. They are beaten from individual steel plates which are then riveted together. They have been sealed to make them waterproof. The handle is hand made from decorative twisted steel. They are authentic copies of original designs.” ~$120 US

Medieval Cookware

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Medieval cookware is an on-going but often neglected topic of interest for me. I’m utterly fascinated with the idea that the implements influence the food and cooking choices. My dream is to someday cook a meal using only period cookware and techniques.


Ideas I want to research:

  • I’ve seen references to cooking over a brazier. This would be like cooking in a tagine only possibly with an open pot over a brazier of coals.
  • Modernly when we conceive of spit roasting something we place the spit directly over the flame. I’ve seen indications that the spit would be placed next to the fire, sometimes with a drip pan below to catch all the nice meat drippings (much better then dripping them into the fire to cause flare up). This also argues spit cooking as an indirect cooking method.
  • Cooking that -was- done directly over the fire was handled in pots either with intregral feet or with a separate trivet.
  • Ovens were the property of bakers. They were used for breads and tarts. I really doubt that any meats were ever baked.

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