Thursday, February 20, 2020

Recipe for 'Gourdes in Pottage' from Curye on Inglyshe

I decided to try this recipe for a Pumpkin pottage because it was so unusual. I have several vegetarians in my local SCA group, so I omitted the pork meat.

'Take young Gowdres; pare hem and kerue hem on pecys. Cast hem in gode broth, and do perto a gode pertye of oynouns mynced. Take pork soden; grynde it and ayle it perwith and wip yolkes of ayren. Do perto safround and salt, and messe it forthe with powdour douce.'
From: Curye on Inglyshe: English Culinary Manuscripts of the 14th Century {including The Forme of Curye}

Poudre duce recipe

take an (?) of white ginger, a (?) of hand picked cinnamon, half a quarter ounce each of grains and cloves and (?) rock sugar and grind to powder.
From: 'Libro di cucina' reproduced at

My recipe
1 butternut pumpkin, peeled and chopped
4 medium onions, diced
3 Cups of water with 3 boullion cubes
1/2 walnuts chopped
yolks of 3 small eggs, beaten
3 tsp ginger
2 tsp nutmeg
3 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cloves
2 tsp salt
7 tsp sugar

I peeled and cut the pumpkin. I cut it into large chunks and added the chunks into a boiling broth made of 3 cups of water and 3 bouillon cubes. Then I added the diced onion. I cooked the mixture until the pumpkin was nearly cooked. Then I added the chopped walnuts and cooked for another five minutes and turned off the heat.

While the pumpkin mix was cooking, I beat three egg yolks with the spices. To prevent the yolks from cooking and thickening due to the hot mixture, I added spoonfuls of the hot broth into the egg and spice mix and stirred through to gradually raise the temperature. Then I gradually added the yolk and spice mix to the main pot, stirring after adding each small amount. When it was all mixed in, I turned the heat back on to medium heat and cooked for another 5-10 minutes.

I used imitation saffron as the real thing was not available. It is inferior to the real thing as it adds colour but not taste or scent. I added chopped walnuts instead of meat to cater to vegetarians. Vegetarian boullion cubes were used instead of meat based cubes.

I found the taste interesting. I don't like walnuts at all, and the texture of pumpkin puts me off.  I could tolerate this dish, and I am glad I made it. I specifically wanted a filling vegetarian dish for the vegetarian members of my Barony, but I think that the addition of fine chicken or pork mix instead of walnuts would really improve this recipe. Adding chopped blanched almonds would add a nice texture too.

Some comments I received included:
'Nice flavour and texture. Good filling food. Excellent winter fare.'
'Smells nice and spicy, love the texture and crunchiness. Very nice hearty pottage.'
'Really enjoyed it. Nice mix of textures and the spice mix really added to it. Not usually a fan of pumpkin but it really works in this recipe.'

My family (who are unused to medieval food) also tried it and said it was unusual but tasty.

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