Welcome! Today we prepare a new medieval recipe, tripe stew with spices and fresh herbs, with a thick and aromatic broth.
We selected this recipe, called calcatum or calcadum, from Liber de Coquina, a cookbook written in Latin between the 13th and 14th century. Other versions of this plate survived in books written in the following period, for example, the source called Anonimo Toscano offers its variation of caldume. The Tuscan anonymous author suggests using beef, pork, or mutton tripe for this recipe.
Below, you will find a note about spices and aromatic herbs, the original Latin source, and the translation into English. Enjoy your medieval tripe!
1/2 kilo beef tripe
extra virgin olive oil
2 egg yolks
spices (nutmeg, cloves, long pepper)
fresh herbs (fennel, mint, sage, lesser calamint, marjoram)
Cut the tripe and the onion. Pour extra virgin olive oil in a pan and make a soffritto with the onion. Put in the tripe and let it cook for a few minutes, then add a little water and two pinches of coarse sea salt.
While the tripe is cooking, prepare the other ingredients. Grind in the mortar half a nutmeg, three spikes of long pepper, and three cloves with the herbs finely minced, then mix the egg yolks and crumbs of bread.
When the tripe is done, add the mixture and let it cook for a few minutes to thicken the broth without losing the aroma of the fresh herbs. Now, the tripe is ready to serve.
Note about the ingredients
The author doesn’t specify the kind of spices and herbs we have to use, he speaks just about herbas bonas, good herbs. We chose three of the most common spices, basing on the preferences of this author, but you can use others instead: cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, or others. About the herbs, you can use any fresh herb of the Old World, all used during the Middle Ages, for example, basil, pennyroyal, parsley, bay leaves, cilantro, oregano, rosemary, and others. We picked some from our aromatic garden, but we suggest following your taste.
The cooking time of the tripe depends on the type of tripe you are using. Ours needed three hours to be done.
The author recommends coloring the broth to taste. You can use, for example, saffron to make a yellow broth, or many herbs to make a green broth.
De calcato: item, de budellis uaccinis crudis potest fieri brodium si bene laues ea et frisse in oleo cum cipola minute incisa. Postea, pone ad bulliendum cum paruo de aqua. Postea, tere uitella ouorum coctorum, panem, species, herbas bonas. Fac brodium. Et dicitur calcadum. Colora ut uis.
About the calcatum. To make a broth from raw beef tripe, clean it well and fry in oil with an onion finely minced. Then boil it with a little water. Later, pound boiled egg yolks, bread, spices, and good herbs. Make a broth. This is called calcadum. Color it to taste.
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