Side Dishes for the Goose Roast

Of course, a roast does not stand on its own. We had other things with the goose, and all from fifteenth-century sources. First of all, garlic honey sauce from Cgm 384:

23 Galantine (galray) for a goose

A garlic galantine for a goose: Take a young goose that is prepared well and nicely and roasted. Take with this garlic and white bread in equal quantities and pound that. Take vinegar and honey with it and pass it through before (czuich es vor durch). Spice it if you wish. But it is not common (nit gewonlich).

29 Galantine for Roast Goose (brauten gänß galray)

Take a young goose when it is well prepared and roast it very nicely. Take garlic and the same quantity of white bread and pound that in a mortar, and pour in wine and vinegar and pass it through a cloth. Then pour in honey and boil it up, and spice it well, then you have a good galantine (galray) with the goose.

There are two recipes for what is basically the same sauce, and it looks to be quite potent. The Process I opted for was to take two bulbs of garlic and two slices of white bread that were roughly the same volume (the same quantity by weight would have meant more bread). After soaking the bread in white wine vinegar, I processed both together with about half a cup of vinegar added, then brought it to a boil with about half a cup of honey. The resulting liquid was thick and opaque, but easily spoonable, and I decided not to dilute it any more. The sharpness of garlic and the sweetness of honey worked surprisingly well together, and the sauce definitely helped clear my sinuses. However, while I liked it, the seasoned goose we had did not really need any sauce.

Next, we made those mystery cheese fritters from the same source (yes, they were supposed to function as a side dish):

65 Fritters (bachen) in a sauce (or bowl? Jussel)

For fritters in a Jussel (sauce), take grated cheese and flour, break eggs into it, and season it well. Knead it together and roll it out on a board and make long, thin strips of it and fry them in fat. After that, cut them into a sauce (or bowl? Jussel).

I opted for a relatively mild Gouda to combine with eggs, flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg and managed to produce a moderately sticky dough from that. The recipe does not specify the method of shaping the fritters, but a comparable recipe suggests rolling out and cutting into strips, so that is what I did here. Fried in goose fat, they turned into cheese straws. They could have been served in a sauce, and we have recipes for milk and egg being used in it, but since there were already two sauces, we simply served them in a bowl.

Then, we had mashed peas with a honey-mustard sauce. This recipe is from the Inntalkochbuch, but it has parallels elsewhere:

<<51>> Regen würm von arbaiss

Earthworms from peas

Item: boiled in lye, remove their skins and boil them until they are done. Pass them through a sieve into a bowl (to look) like earthworms. Then take made mustard and honey and season it with saffron and spices, and pour that over the peas.

To save time, I bought pre-shelled yellow peas and simmered them for 90 minutes, then mashed them. I added a little salt, which was welcome, and then mixed a moderate mustard with honey and a bit of cinnamon to make the sauce. It was a winning combination, and I was surprised that we actually finished an entire pot – 500g of peas before soaking and cooking – between us.

And then there was compost. There are many varieties of this vegetable pickle, and I went with one from Cgm 384:

8 Sweet Compost

Sweet compost: wash young chard and scrape the roots, and boil it in salted water. Then place it on a board until it is drained. Take honey and wine in equal amounts and boil it in that, and (add) figs and both types or kinds (baidertail oder lay) raisins. Colour it and pour it on the chard, and strew anise and almonds on it. You may also add medlars and pears if you like.

This recipe is not very clear, but going by analogies and the nature of compost as a preserved pickly, I interpreted is as something that goes in a jar. I bought two bunches of chard and one small beet (chard is sold without the roots today as we cultivate different versions of beta for either, but in the Middle Ages, you ate both the leaves and the root). I boiled both and chopped them up, drained off as much liquid as I could and mixed them with dried figs and raisins. then I boiled a mixture of wine and honey, added a little saffron, and poured it on. The compost aged in my refrigerator for a week, but I kept a jar to see how it does by January or so. The immediate result was not bad, but also not as convincing as the rest. Sweet chard is not that appealing to me, or anyone else at the table.

Altogether, it was a very successful meal. We almost forgot that we had a dessert, but he was spotted, fetched, and duly devoured.

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