Recipe Source: Anonymous. An Early Northern Cookery Book. Rudolf Grewe and Constance B. Hieatt, eds. Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Tempe, 2001 p. 33.
There's something going around. My friend Hugh calls it the Dreaded Lurgy, which I think he got from a BBC Radio show when he was a kid. It sounds about right, and it has hit me hard. I haven't been cooking this week. I've been lying here aching and lacking the energy to do more than go, "Ugh." Seriously, it's been icky, and to be honest I shouldn't have even been allowed around food. I think I'm starting to come around, although I still feel pretty lousy. I'm able to sit here and write up recipes instead of looking at pictures of abandoned buildings for starters. Anyway, since I haven't been cooking I'm able to work on my backlog, and that's a good thing. That's a good thing because some of these recipes have lingered for a very long time.
How long you ask? This one has lingered since May 6. I was looking at my menu for the big German feast. Everything on my intended menu was documentable to Germany except one sauce. My primary sauce was a shallot sauce to be served with the Roast Beef, but one of my favorite people has a strong allergy to raw onion. I knew he'd be there and I wanted to serve something he could eat as well. I'd initially intended to serve Horseradish Sauce for his benefit - he loves horseradish and horseradish is indeed tasty - but the horseradish sauce is either Italian or Spanish depending on your point of view. I wanted this to be purely German. At the last possible minute I went through and found an alternative sauce and this was it.
There are three whole ingredients to this sauce. The original did call for just the unripe grapes instead of their juice, but I'm afraid that those are in rather short supply at most of the markets in the greater Boston area. I used verjus, which is the juice of unripe grapes. It is not an uncommonly required medieval ingredient. You can spend an awful lot of money on the stuff from specialty markets, you can order it from Amazon.com (note the convenient little link down at the bottom of your screen!) or you can go to a "Mediterranean" market and spend not much money at all on a larger quantity. Your choice. Maybe you don't have a "Mediterranean" market near you. The original is described as being good for fresh meat, for one day, with "goose, fresh pork and beef." I haven't tried it with goose but I can see where the sourness would go very well with that particular fowl.
Verjus Sauce (serves 8; approx. cost per serving not available)
1/2 cup verjus
5 garlic cloves
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- Mini-prep miniature food processor
- Combine the ingredients in the food processor.
- Serve with meat.