A modest list of spices available to the medieval cook:
Cardamom, cinnamon, clove, cubeb (tailed pepper), galangal, ginger, grains of Paradise, mastic, nutmeg, mace, black pepper, long pepper, saffron, sugar, sumac, salt.
Source material: Spices in Medieval Europe by Maitre Chiquart translated by Jean-Marc Bulit
Pork Roast with spiced wine
4 lb. pork loin on the bone
1.5 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp pulverized caraway seeds
1 large clove of garlic crushed with salt
½ tsp pepper and 1 tsp of salt
¾ cup red wine
1 cup chicken stock
Preheat oven to 425, strip skin off pork joint and prick the fat all over. Mix spices, garlic and seasonings into wine and rub meat all over with wine mix. Enclose roast in foil and leave a space at the top. Pour remaining mixture over roast, close foil packet and cook at 425 for 7-10 minutes, then reduce temp to 350 and roast 30 minutes per lb. plus 30 minutes. Open foil for last 30 minutes to brown.
Let roast rest, make sause with spiced wine and meat drippings, stir in stock, simmer for a few minutes and add seasonings as needed. Strain and serve with meat.
Fried Fig Pastries
1 lb. dried figs soaked, drained, and minced (save liquid)
Add Powder Fort-this is a combo of 1/8 tsp. ground ginger & cloves, with pinch of black pepper (you can make this sweeter using Powder Douce, which is 1/8 ground coriander, pinch of cinnamon, and brown sugar to taste.
¼ tsp. saffron strands moistened with the fig water
¼ tsp. salt
1 egg with yolk and white separated plus one more egg white
6-7 sheets filo dough
Oil for frying
1 cup warmed honey (optional)
In a food processor combine the minced figs, spices, saffron, salt and egg yolk. Beat egg whites until liquid. Brush pastry sheets with whites. Cut sheets into strips. Put a dollop of fig mix on one end of sheet and roll strip like Swiss roll. Pinch ends to seal. Brush with egg white again. Fry rolls in deep or shallow oil. Serve with warmed honey dripped over top.
**Powder Douce could almost always contain black pepper, ginger, cloves or cumin and other strong spices.
Source Material: The Medieval Cookbook by Maggie Black