Another roast peas recipe, from Meister Eberhard

There are many recipes for roast peas surviving from the medieval period, and this is the one Meister Eberhard gives us. It clearly parallels the one in Cod Pal Germ 551.

<<R4>> Item ein essenn von gebratenn arbeissenn.

Item a dish of roast peas

Take boiled peas and pass them through a cloth or through a sieve. Stir as much egg into it as there is peas and fry it in butter. Then place it on a spit and roast it well, baste (beslach) it with egg and greens (kraut) and serve it forth. Do not oversalt it.

I suspect the proportions are not quite exact – as much egg as there are peas would produce a liquid. However, it is possible that this is meant to produce a thin batter that firms up with frying and then has more egg added as a coating dripped on during roasting. This was sometimes known as ‘endoring’ and quite popular.

I have yet to make any fried peas recipe work satisfactorily and am beginning to suspect that is the reason there are so many. There really isn’s a good way. This is the Meister Hans recipe depending on flour to hold it together. It was underwhelming.

Meister Eberhard is a recipe collection that belongs into a south German context, most likely associated with the court of Bayern-Landshut during its ascendancy in the first half of the 15th century. We know nothing about the putative author other than that he claims he was part of the kitchen staff there. The text contains an eclectic mix of recipes and dietetic advice heavily cribbed from a variety of sources, including the (unattributed) writings of St Hildegardis Bingensis. The text is published in A. Feyl: Das Kochbuch Meister Eberhards. Diss. Freiburg i.B. 1963 and online on the website of Thomas Gloning.

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