Beefy Stywyd

Beef Stew

From Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books1

Take fayre beef of the rybbys of the fore quarterys, an smyte in fayre pecys, an wasche the beef in-to a fayre potte; than take the water that the beef was sothin yn, an strayne it thorw a straynowr, an sethe the same water and beef in a potte, an let hem boyle to-gederys; than take canel, clowes, maces, graynys of parise, quibibes, and oynons y-mynced, perceli, an sawge, an caste ther-to, an let hem boyle to-gederys; an than take a lof of brede, an stepe it with brothe an venegre, an than draw it thorw a straynoure, and let it be stylle; an whan it is nere y-now, caste the lycour ther-to, but nowt to moche, an than let boyle onys, an cast safroun ther-to a quantyte; than take salt an venegre, and cast ther-to, an loke that it be poynaunt y-now, and serue forth.


1 1/2 lbs. beef
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. cloves
1/4 tsp. cubebs2
1/4 tsp. grains of paradise2
1/4 tsp. mace (ground)
1 medium onion, minced
1 Tbsp. parsley (2 Tbsp freshly minced or 1 Tbsp dried)
1/2 tsp. sage (ground)

3 slices bread (I used 1 cup of dried unflavored bread crumbs)
1/4 cup vinegar
pinch saffron
1/2 tsp. salt


Cut the beef into 1/2″ cubes. Place in large pot with enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes, skim off any scum that floats to the top, then strain, reserving the liquid. Put beef and stock back into the pot and add onions and spices. Return to a boil until the beef is tender.

3Meanwhile, tear up bread slices and place in a bowl (or bread crumbs) with the vinegar and enough both to moisten completely. When beef is cooked stain bread through a fine strainer into the pot, discarding bread solids (if using bread crumbs stir into pot. Add saffron, salt, and simmer until the soups thickens slightly.

Serve hot with fresh homemade French bread.

1Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books, T. Austin (ed.) ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1172302863

2Grind the two spices to get the best flavor.

3I used dried bread crumbs and white vinegar.

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