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These "Medieval Meatballs" are a perfect buffet or party dish. The meat and sauce both have just enough spice to notice, but not so much as to be overpowering. They're also very easy to make. Note that the sauce reicpe makes way more than enough for double the number of pumpes.


1 pound ground beef
2 egg yolks
1/4 cup currants
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. mace
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. cubebs
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
pinch saffron
4 cups beef broth (approx.)
1/4 cup wine (approx.)

2 cups almond milk
1 Tbsp. rice flour
3 Tbsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. mace
1/8 tsp. cinnamon


Mix ground beef, egg yolkes, currants, sugar, and spices. Form into small balls, about an inch in diameter. Place in boiling broth along with wine and cook until done - about 15 minutes. Remove from broth and place in serving dish. In a separate pan mix almond milk, rice flour, sugar, and mace. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer over medium heat until thick. Pour just enough sauce over the pumpes to thoroughly coat them and serve.

Source [Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books, T. Austin (ed.)]: Pompys. Take Beef, Porke, or Vele, on of hem, & raw, alle to-choppe it atte the dressoure, than grynd hem in a morter as smal as thou may, than caste ther-to Raw olkys of Eyroun, wyn, an a lytil whyte sugre: caste also ther-to pouder Pepyr, & Macys, Clowes, Quybibys, pouder Canelle, Synamoun, & Salt, & a lytil Safroun; then take & make smale Pelettys round y-now, & loke that thou haue a fayre potte of Freysshe brothe of bef or of Capoun, & euer throw hem ther-on & lete hem sethe tyl that they ben y-now; then take & draw vppe a thryfty Mylke of Almaundys, with cold freysshe brothe of Bef, Vele, Moton, other Capoun, & a-lye it with floure of Rys & with Spycerye; & atte the dressoure ley thes pelettys .v. or .vj. in a dysshe, & then pore thin sewe aneward, & serue in, or ellys make a gode thryfty Syryppe & ley thin pelettys atte the dressoure ther-on, & that is gode seruyse.

Source [Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books, T. Austin (ed.)]: Pumpes. Take an sethe a gode gobet of Porke, & not to lene, as tendyr as thou may; than take hem vppe & choppe hem as smal as thou may; than take clowes & Maces, & choppe forth with-alle, & Also choppe forth with Roysonys of coraunce; than take hem & rolle hem as round as thou may, lyke to smale pelettys, a inches a-bowte, than ley hem on a dysshe be hem selue; than make a gode almaunde mylke, & a lye it with floure of Rys, & lat it boyle wyl, but loke that it be clene rennyng; & at the dressoure, ley .v. pompys in a dysshe, & pore thin potage ther-on. An if thou wolt, sette on euery pompe a flos campy flour, & a-boue straw on Sugre y-now, & Maces: & serue hem forth. And sum men make the pellettys of vele or Beeff, but porke ys beste & fayrest.

Published: February 2, 2004