Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Many roasts, one spit.

Yesterday we considered some old advice on how to successfully roast a large piece of meat without the modern aids of thermometer and clock. Our seventeenth century instructor, Gervase Markham, gave the advice in his book A Way to Get Wealth. It was detailed advice, but for modern kitchen ‘fraidy-cats, the idea is daunting, and I suspect that few of us would be willing to risk an expensive chunk of protein and try it out

Markham had an even more scary project in the clock-less and thermometer-less kitchen with its huge open fireplace. How about simultaneously roasting a couple of large joints, a capon, and a lark, and having them all ready at once?

Here is how:

“If you will Roast a Chine of Beef, a loyn of Mutton, a Capon and a Lark, all at one instant, and at one fire, and have all of them ready together and none burnt, you shall first take your Chine of beef and parboyl it more than half through: Then first take your Capon, being large and fat, and spit it next the hand of the turner, with the legs from the fire, then spit the Chine of Beef then the Lark, and lastly the loyn of Mutton, and place the Lark so as it may be covered over with the beef and the fat part of the Loyn of Mutton, without any part disclosed; then baste your Capon and your loyn of Mutton with cold water and salt, the Chine of beef with boyling Lard, then when you see the beef is almost enough,which you shall hasten by scotching and opening of it, then with a clean cloth you shall wipe the Mutton
and Capon all over, and then baste it with sweet butter till all be enough rosted: then with your knife lay the Lark open, which by this time will be stewed between the beef and mutton, and basting it also with dredge altogether, draw them and serve them up.”

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