A hearty christmas menu

I love the holidays. Here’s christmas menu that I absolutely love. True roman cuisine.

pork or boar stew

4 1/2 pounds pork (wild boar be great if ya got it)
8 rough sliced carrots
1 head of cabbage
1 pound onions
4 tablespoons thyme
4 tablespoons parsley
4 bay leaves
20 crushed juniper berries
1 1/4 cup olive oil
3 1/2 cup mead or ale
4 tablespoons honey
1 pound pearl barley

Marinate the meat in the ale, juniper berries and herbs. Place in the fridge and allow to marinade over night. The following day drain the meat (but reserve the ale), add the oil to a casserole dish, add the vegetables and meat and fry until the meat has browned. Add the reserved ale, bring to a boil then add the honey and pearl barley. Boil vigourously until the volume has reduced by a third. Reduce the heat, half cover the casserole and allow to simmer gently for about 2.5 hours, the meat should be completely tender. Remove the meat, turn the heat to high and boil vigourously until the sauce thickens (can add a little roux if not thick enough). Return the meat to the pot, allow to re-heat for 10 minutes.

Ancient leavened bread

6 cups flour
1 1/2 cups warm water
1 cup sponge levain (I’ll add a levain recipe)
2 tsp honey
1/2 cup rendered fat
pinch of salt
2/3rd cup milk

Add flour to a large bowl, add the salt and mix thoroughly then shape a dip in the centre and fill this with the fat and the milk. Mix this in thoroughly (do not add the yeast at this stage as the fat will kill it). At 15 minutes add the yeast. Tip the dough onto a floured surface and knead firmly for at least five minutes (be vigourous in kneading as this aerates the dough and keeps the yeast alive). Place the dough back in its original mixing bowl, cover with a damp cloth and set aside in a warm place for at least two hours to rise. Tip the dough back onto the floured board, knead for a further five minutes then shape into 2 round shapes. Place the bread on a greased baking tray, cover with a damp cloth then set aside in a warm space for an hour to prove. Place the bread in an oven pre-heated to 400°f for about 40 minutes it should be golden brown. After shaping into loafs you could put like poppy or fennel seed, or something to that nature.

Levain-uses a ratio rather then a actually recipe, levain is 100% water, 50% fruit, 25% sugar, flour 10%, example, for 2 cups, you would use 2 cups water, 1 cup fruit (raisins) 1/2 cup sugar (I use honey), 3 tablespoons flour. The next steps are kinda difficult. Dice the fruit (dried raisins work great), cover with water, add sugar and flour, add it all into a jar. I use a pillow case and a rubber band. If you cover the jar with ring and lid, thats ok, daily open the jar to release the gas and swirl it around. What’s happening is gas producing bacteria (fermentation) are growing, making gas which does stink. While they are doing this, they are lowering the ph level. Once the ph level drops low enough it may seem like it stopped, it didn’t. The yeast is now multiplying. There will be lots of bubbles in the jar, thats ok. This will take a week, so every day open the jar swirl it around, talk to it, and then cap it. Once the week is out strain it. If mold grew thats ok. Now, that it’s strained press the fruit. These fruit you can now use in baking. You should have 2 cups of liquid yeast. Mix this with an equal amount of flour. This is a fresh yeast. 1 cup for 1 1/2 tsp yeast is a good substitute. Save your fruit….

Dessert I am thinking of dumplings…fruit dumplings.

4 1/2 cups flour
2 cups fruit

No eggs, no fancy spices….suppose you can add spices if you want. Cinnamon and some diced apples and RAISINS…. Take your fruit and stir in the flour. Add enough water to make a thick dough. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil. Drop by the spoonful into the water. It will be cooked in 10 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon. You can pair off with some cream and honey, or put ontop of ice cream.

venyson pie

3 pounds venison (shanks parboiled and in small peices)
2 9 inch pie crusts
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp ginger

Mix all ingredients, put into pie crusts, put into a oven preheated to 375 F, bake 35-40 minutes, the crust will be golden brown. Yes there is no other ingredients to this pie.

Eggnog (sucker for it)

12 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 cups brandy (will really put you in the ho ho holiday spirit)
1 cup rum
4 cups milk
4 cups half and half cream
1/2 cup icing sugar
fresh nutmeg

Separate the egg yolks from he whites. Beat the yolks slowly whilst adding the steadily adding sugar. Continue beating until the mixture is pale and golden. Add the holiday spirits brandy and rum and beat in the milk and half the cream. Set this mixture aside in the fridge. Beat the eggs till stiff, and add to eggnog before serving. Whip the remaining cream and icing sugar together until thick. Top each glass of eggnog with the whipped cream and sprinkle the top with fresh nutmeg using a microplane.

For a non-alcoholic version, omit the cream and substitute orange juice for the alcohol. Add a dash of vanilla to taste.

Either way you’ll get 16 servings….If your around an egg nog addict like me, I sugguest you multiple this recipe 5 times.

As for ice cream with the dumpling, I’m not sure about you but ice cream all year round, let’s break out the sorbet.

Apple and calvados sorbet, very traditional french dish, with my own flare.

2 tart apples, peeled cored and chopped fine.
6 cups water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 tsp apple pie spice
1/2 cup calvados (french apple brandy)

Combine the apple, water and sugar in a medium pan. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat then reduce to a low simmer and cook for 15 minutes, or until the apples are very soft. Take off the heat, turn into a dish and set aside to cool to room temperature. Once cold, add in the lemon juice, apple pie spice and calvados and stir to combine thoroughly. Place in a freezer-proof bowl and chill for about 90 minutes, or until very cold. Pour the mixture into a lidded container and place in the freezer until softly set. Remove from the freezer at this point and beat till smooth, but do not allow to melt. Return the container to the freezer and allow to refreeze. Beat again, and return to freezer, repeating the process until well set.

My apple pie spice

1 cup ground cinnamon
4 tbsp ground allspice
6 tsp fresh nutmeg
8 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cardamom

mix and use as needed.


One comment on “A hearty christmas menu

  1. […] A hearty christmas menu (livindolcevita.wordpress.com) […]

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