Liver Roasted in Caul, from Meister Eberhard

Here is another interesting case of a travelling recipe with close parallels in both Cod Pal Germ 551 and the Königsberg MS.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia commons

<<R8>> Item ein essenn vonn einer lebernn eins kalbs.

Item a dish made from the liver of a calf.

Take the liver of a calf and chop it finely, and add fresh bacon and raisins. Place a net (necz i.e. caul) in front of you and slather it with egg yolk, then take the liver and fold the net over it and close (verspeil) it well. Place it on a griddle and let it roast, cover it half with egg yolks that are red, and afterwards (cover it) on the other side with green yolks and parsley, and do not oversalt it.

It is basically a Leberwurst, wrapped in caul rather than enclosed in gut casings and roasted. Basting it with a parti-coloured coat of egg yolk in red and green makes an interesting touch. We have plenty of evidence for similar coloured dishes, though, so it’s not unusual. What it does show is the long lines of development that take us from the caul-wrapped meatballs of Apicius to de Rontzier’s veal liver sausages and today’s Tuscan fegatelli. And, obviously, that both the Königsberg MS and Cod Pal Germ 551 are related to Meister Eberhard.

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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