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Venison Custarde

Recipe by Daniel Myers

This recipe is not a careful reproduction of a medieval recipe, but is more a hybrid of several period recipes. Venison was usually cooked in wine, presumably to tenderize the meat and to reduce the gamey flavor. If a medieval cook were going to make a meat pie such as the one in "A Proper Newe Booke of Cokerye", but had venison instead of beef, then he might pre-cook the venison in wine. Then he might choose to take that wine, mix it with eggs, and use it as a binder for the pie as was done in the recipe from "Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books".

I make no claims that this is a genuine medieval recipe, but I do think that medieval nobles wouldn't be at all surprised to be served such a pie ... and they'd find it to be very yummy.


1 lb. ground venison
2 strips bacon
1 cup water
1/2 cup wine
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
pinch saffron
1/4 tsp. salt
6 dates, pitted and chopped
6 prunes, chopped
1/4 tsp. ginger (powdered)
dash verjuice (or lemon juice)
4 eggs


Cut bacon into small pieces and place in saucepan with venison, water, and wine. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Meanwhile, mix the dates, prunes, ginger, and verjice (or lemon juice) together and allow to marinate. Remove the meat from the broth, place into an unbaked pie crust along with the fruit. Beat eggs together with cooking liquid and pour into pie. Cover with top crust and bake at 350°F until done - about an hour.

Custarde. Take Vele, and smyte hit in litull peces, and wass it clene; put hit into a faire potte with faire water, and lete hit boyle togidre; then take parcelly, Sauge, Isoppe, Sauerey, wass hem, hewe hem, And cast hem into fless whan hit boileth; then take powder of peper, canel, Clowes, Maces, Saffron, salt, and lete hem boyle togidre, and a goode dele of wyne wit all, And whan the fless is boyled, take it vppe fro the brot, And lete the broth kele. Whan hit is colde, streyne yolkes and white of egges thorgh a streynour, and put hem to the brot, so many that the broth be styff ynowe, And make faire cofyns, and couche iij. or iiij. peces of the fless in the Coffyns; then take Dates, prunes, and kutte hem; cast thereto powder of Gynger and a litull Vergeous, and put to the brot, and salt; then lete the coffyn and the fless bake a litull; And then put the brot in the coffyns, And lete hem bake till they be ynog.

.viij. Venysoen herten ende hynden ghesneden by sneden wel ghelaerdeert al rau siedet in vele wijns ende lettel waters laert daerin ghesneden soffraen ginge bare Caneele daer in ghenouch

2.8. Roast game. Deer and hind, cut in pieces (?), well larded while still raw. Cook it in a lot of wine and a little water, [with] chopped bacon [and] sufficient saffron, ginger and cinnamon.

Published: 2002-10-17