Bratwurst in cream sauce from the Oeconomia

The culinary recipes from the Kuchenmaistrey are done, so I will be turning to miscellaneous sources for now. I think the next project I will tackle is a return to Anna Wecker. Here’s a bit of Renaissance indulgence:

To make bratwurst in sauce

(marginalia: to make bratwurst in sauce)

Cook the bratwurst in water. Afterward, take an egg and half of half a Nössel (measure) of thick cream, beat the egg into it, add a little vinegar, season it in saffron, cut the bratwurst into it in thin slices and let it boil up in the pan. This becomes a nice thick sauce (Soth).

(p. 275)

Animal protein, fat, salt, acid – what is there not to like? This recipe encapsulates the northern Renaissance’s idea of modest luxury, the way many people aspired to eat, but few could on a regular basis. The Nössel or Nösel was a liquid measure that regionally varied around half a litre, so we are talking about roughly half a cup of cream – an individual portion. This is the kind of supper a wealthy man might call for at short notice on a cold, miserable winter day.

Johann Coler’s Oeconomia ruralis et domestica was a popular book on the topic of managing a wealthy household. It is based largely on previous writings by Coler and first appeared between 1596 and 1601. Repeatedly reprinted for decades, it became one of the most influential early works of Hausväterliteratur. I am working from a 1645 edition.

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