June 6, 2014 by phicks2012
Medieval Recipes #9: Poivre jaunet
PERIOD: France, 14th century | SOURCE: Le Viandier de Taillevent | CLASS: Authentic
DESCRIPTION: A yellow pepper sauce for meats
164. Poivre jaunet: Yellow Pepper Sauce. Grind ginger, long pepper, saffron — and some people add in cloves with (var.: a little) verjuice — and toast; infuse this in vinegar (var.: verjuice), and boil it when you are about to serve your meat.
– Scully, Terence, ed. Le Viandier de Taillevent. An Edition of all Extant Manuscripts. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press, 1988.
2 cups red wine vinegar
1 Tbs. ginger (see note)
1 Tbs. pepper (see note)
1 Tbs. ground saffron OR 1 Tbs. yellow food coloring
½ tsp. cloves (see note)
1-2 cups toasted bread crumbs (unseasoned) – the amount depends on the thickness of the sauce
Bring the vinegar to a boil; reduce the heat slightly, and with a wire whisk, beat in the spices and food coloring. With the whisk slowly begin to beat in the bread crumbs until you reach the thickness of sauce that you desire. Continue beating until you have a smooth consistency and the mixture has again returned to the boil. Remove from heat and serve hot as an accompaniment to roasts.
This very tart sauce may startle a few people, but many love its sharp and unique taste. Feel free to adjust the spices to your personal taste – some may enjoy using less pepper and more ginger, etc. The sauce can be as thin as a gravy or as thick as a dip. It goes wonderfully with Pourcelet farci.
This recipe called for ingredients that were easily available (I did use the food coloring rather than saffron), and it was simple to produce. It also had a nice flavor when used, as I used it, served over chicken. Yes, it was a bit tart, but I tend to prefer that to bland, and it imparted flavor to breast meat which, to me, tends otherwise to lack much taste and to be dry in texture. I suspect it also would be nice served over pork, and since I have some left I plan to try that in the next few days.