MC Logo

Alows de Beef

Recipe by Daniel Myers

I made this recipe as part of an appetizer for my family's solstice dinner. In spite of seeming fancy these are fairly easy to make, and the flavor is wonderfully medieval. If you plan on these being a main course I would double or triple the recipe. If marrow is unavailable substitute suet or butter.

In "Cury in Inglisch," Hieatt & Butler noted that the recipe was meant to resemble "veal birds", with the word "alows" being from the Old French for a lark.


2 lbs. beef steaks
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
1/2 medium onion, slivered
4 hard-cooked egg yolks
2 Tbsp. bone marrow
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. salt
pinch saffron

ginger, cinnamon, hard-cooked egg yolks, and vinegar as a garnish


lice the steaks vertically across the grain to be about 1/4 inch thick. The final portions should be about the size of the palm of your hand. Mix Parsley, onions, egg yolks, marrow, ginger, saffron and salt together. Put two or three tablespoons of the mixture on the center of each steak, roll them up, and secure with a toothpick. Roast at 350°F until filling reaches 165°F - about 20 minutes. Sprinkle with spices, vinegar, and crumbled egg yolks.

Serves 8 (as an appetizer)

Source [Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books, T. Austin (ed.)]: xxx - Alows de Beef or de Motoun. Take fayre Bef of the quyschons, (Note: Cushions) and motoun of the bottes, and kytte in the maner of Stekys; than take raw Percely, and Oynonys smal y-scredde, and ȝolkys of Eyroun sothe hard, and Marow or swette, and hew alle thes to-geder smal; than caste ther-on poudere of Gyngere and Saffroun, and tolle hem to-gederys with thin hond, and lay hem on the Stekys al a-brode, and caste Salt ther-to; then rolle to-gederys, and putte hem on a round spete, and roste hem til they ben y-now; than lay hem in a dysshe, and pore ther-on Vynegre and a lityl verious, and pouder Pepir ther-on y-now, and Gyngere, and Canelle, and a fewe ȝolkys of hard Eyroun y-kremyd ther-on; and serue forth.

Source [A Noble Boke off Cookry (Holkham MSS 674), R. Napier (ed.)]: To mak a lowsid bef tak leney beef and cut it in thyn lesks and lay them abrod then tak the fat of moton or of beef erbes or onyons chopped small put ther to pouder of pepper and salt then tak the sewet and the erbes and lay upon the leskes and rolle them to gedur and put them on a broche and rost them welle and endor them or els ye may put them in a pot and put ther to good brothe and wyne then tak clowes maces onyons and erbes and chope them smale and put ther to pouder of pepper and saffron then salt it and alay it up with guinger and galingalle and stewe it up and serue it.

Source [Recipes from the Wagstaff Miscellany (Beinecke MS 163), D. Myers (transcr.)]: A losed beef. Take lyr of beef cut hit in lech lay hem a brode on a borde take the fatnes of motyn or of beef herbys & onions hewyn smal to gedyr & strew hit on the leches of beef with poudyr of pepyr & a lytyl salt & rol hit up ther yn put hem on a broch rost hem yf thu wilte thu may endore hem & make hem a service or els put hem in wyn and halfe so much of fresch broth & do hem in a pot to gedyr with hole clovys macys herbes & onions hewyn small with poudrys safron & salt aley hit up with sause gynger or galantyn stew hit to gedyr and serve hit forthe for a sewe.

Published: 2017-01-08