Minutal Ex Praecoquis
Pork and Apricot Fricasee
When I first started to do redactions, I adored doing Roman foods. Now don’t get me wrong, the Romans did many things very well, cooking being one of them. It is not my first cooking love but a wonderful stand by for those days when I need that little indulgence that Medieval ME just can’t and wont give me. And by that…I mean, pork!!! Yummy tasty piggy! Err…I’ll get to the recipe now.
1st translation: In a pot, put oil, garum, and wine; chopped dried Ascalionian onion, and dice cooked pork shoulder. When all these things are cooked, grind pepper, cumin, dried mint, and dill; moisten with honey, garum, passum, a bit of vinegar, and the cooking juice; mix. Add pitted apricots, bring to a boil, and ehat until cooked. Theicken with crumbled tracta, sprinklw with pepper, and serve.
2nd translation: Put in the saucepan oil, liquamen, wine, chop in dry shallot, add diced shoulder of pork cooked previously. When all this is cooked pound pepper, cumin, dried mint, and dill, moisten with honey, liquamen, passum, a little vinegar, and some cooking-liquor; mix well. Add the stoned apricots. Bring to the boil, and let it boil until done. Crumble pastry to bind sprinkle with pepper and serve.
(Apicius 170/Flower, pg. 115/Herkotz, pg. 67)
2 Tbs olive oil 2 tsp garum (fish sauce)
½ cup wine
3 shallots/1 onion or 4 Tbs dried onion
1 lb cubed pork ½ tsp pepper
1 tsp cumin 1 tsp dried mint
1 tsp dill 2 Tbs honey 2 Tbs vinegar
The original recipe called for pork shoulders. Now a quick note on Roman cooking. Roman cooks liked to substitute, like mad. Must have been the lead in the waterways. Actually it was probably the fact that if item a was not on hand then item b would have to do, so new and improved recipes were always being formed, written, eaten and extolled about. So here I am, with out pork shoulder but I do have some excellent boneless pork ribs. What is a cook to do! Well I cut those riblets up into bite sized chunks and boiled them to cook into tenderized tasty morsels!
In a pan I poured in a bit of fish sauce (substituting for the original liquamen), wine (I had a 7 year old bottle of home made mead on hand…though I have used home made rose hip wine as well), chopped onion, and the cooked pork.
I let the meat, onions and liquids simmer for a few minutes (roughly 5-10) then I added the spices with honey and a touch of vinegar. The vinegar is helpful in cutting the fish sauce’s salty fishy taste to a mellow slightly salty unique flavor. Trust me on this one. The fish sauce is a necessity and as long as it’s not over done in the dish the vinegar with a touch of honey mellows out the strong flavor to an excellence hard to find in today’s regular pork dishes! I also added another 1/2 of mead with the chopped apricots. I like the taste of mead and apricots with pork.
Now here is where I and the translation part ways. I did not want to add crumbled bread crumbs or pastry as I like the pork and apricot stew as a dry soup and not a breaded meat dish. The original translation can be done with bread or with out. I choose to go with out and I liked it!