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Cold Sage

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I've taken several liberties with this recipe, including adding broth for extra liquid, breadcrumbs to thicken it, and substituting cinnamon for the cassia buds. Still, the resulting sauce is excellent and I feel that it is a reasonable example of what a period cook might have made.


1 bunch parsley
1 bunch sage
1 1/4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. grains of paradise
1/4 tsp. cloves
2 slices bread, ground
1 egg, hard boiled


Take the leaves from the parsley and sage (discard the stems) and grind finely with a little of the broth. Add the rest of the broth and remaining ingredients and mix well. Serve cold.

Source [Le Viandier de Taillevent, J. Prescott (trans.)]: Cold Sage [Sauce]. Take your chicken, cook it in water, and put it to cool. Crush ginger, cassia flowers, grains of paradise and cloves, without sieving. Crush bread, parsley and sage, with a bit of saffron in the greens (if you wish it to be bright green), and strain through cheesecloth. Some sieve into it hard cooked egg yolks steeped in vinegar. Cut your chicken into halves, quarters or limbs, and put them on plates with the sauce on top. If there were hard cooked eggs, cut them into bits with a knife and not with the hand.

Source [Le Ménagier de Paris, J. Hinson (trans.)]: TO MAKE A SAGE-BASED SAUCE, take your poultry and quarter it, and put it on to cook in water with salt, then let it cool: then grind up ginger, cinnamon sticks, grains, cloves, and grind well without sieving; then grind up bread moistened with the chicken liquid, plenty of parsley, some sage and a little saffron among the greens to make it greener, and sieve it, (and some sieve with this hard-cooked egg yolks) and soak in good vinegar: and when it is soaked, add it to your poultry, and at the same time put on this poultry hard-cooked eggs cut in quarters and throw your sauce over all.

Source [Le Ménagier de Paris, J. Hinson (trans.)]: ANOTHER WAY, take the chicken and pluck it, then put it on to boil with salt until it is cooked, then take it out, quarter it and let it cool: Then put on to cook in water some hard-boiled eggs, and add bread soaked in wine and verjuice or vinegar, as much of one as of the other; then take parsley and sage, then grind up ginger, grains, and sieve it, and sieve the egg-yolks, and put quartered hard-boiled eggs on the chicken, and then add your sauce over it.

Source [Forme of Cury, S. Pegge (ed.)]: Pygges In Sawse Sawge. XXIX. Take Pigges yskaldid and quarter hem and seeþ hem in water and salt, take hem and lat hem kele. take persel sawge. and grynde it with brede and zolkes of ayrenn harde ysode. temper it up with vyneger sum what thyk. and, lay the Pygges in a vessell. and the sewe onoward and serue it forth.

Source [Liber cure cocorum, T. Gloning (ed.)]: Pigges in sawce. Take pigges and scalde hom in water clene, Sethe hom in water and salt bydene. Take hom up and lete hom kele. Take persoley and sage, and grynde hit wele With þe brothe of pigges with owtene rewarde, And 3olkes of eggus þat soþun ar harde, Temper alle with venegur sumdele stondande. Lay pigges in a vessayle, with bothe hande, Held þy sawce a-bofe tolde forþy, And serve hit alle forthe, Syr, wyturly.

Source [Libro di cucina / Libro per cuoco, L. Smithson (trans.)]: LXXXII - Sauce good for meat of mutton or of kid. The best sauce that you can make if this meat is boiled or roasted. Take the fat meat well cooked and well beaten and mash in a mortar with enough leaves of parsley and mint and sage and rosemary and other good herbs that you may have and mix with this meat and put cinnamon and cloves and pepper and temper this sauce with the most fine vinegar that you have.

Source [Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books, T. Austin (ed.)]: Sauge. Take Gyngere, Galyngale, Clowys, & grynde in a morter; than take an handfulle of Sawge, & do ther-to, grynd wyl to-gederys; take Eyroun, & sethe hem harde, nym the olkys, grynde hem with the Sawge & with the spycis, & temper it vppe with Venegre or eysel, or with Alegere; take the whyte of the Eyroun, & sethe hem, & mynce hem smal, & caste ther-to; when it is y-temperyd, take Brawn of hennys or Fyssches, & ley on dysschys, & caste thin mete a-boue.

Published: October 20, 2004

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