I have decided that my next blog project will be completing the translation of the Meister Hans recipe collection. I already posted some of the recipes on Facebook back before I started my blog, so some of you may remember them. Today, something simple to start with:
Recipe #65 fülle den magen also
Fill the stomach thus
Item take chopped pork, eggs, cut white bread, fat meat, pepper, caraway, saffron and salt and temper it all together. Full the stomach with it not too full and boil it green (raw?). When it is boiled, loosen the filling from the stomach. Cut it into four pieces and chop it with eggs (the pronoun here suggests it is the stomach, not the filling, that gets chopped)
There are a few issues with the interpretation, but basically the recipe calls for filling the stomach of a poig with a mixture of chopped pork, bread, eggs, fat, and spices which is then boiled into a solid mass. I did try this at one point and it was pleasant enough, though nothing special. Considering the amount of labour that went into making this in an age before mechanical meat grinders, I would have expected more.
One of the most extensive and interesting medieval recipe collections in German is a manuscript dated 1460 and ascribed to one Meister Hans, cook at the Wurttemberg court. It was often treated as a solitary, the work of a single cook, but there are too many parallels with contemporary manuscripts from Southern Germany to make this plausible. The recipes are an eclectic mix, many terse and simple, others detailed and sprinkled with anecdotes. The entire text was newly edited and extensively commented for Tupperware Deutschland by Trude Ehlert: Maister Hansen des von Wirtenberg Koch, Frankfurt (Main) 1996.