The Feast of St Martin
This week used to mark one of the most important dates in the year – as it was the time of the annual feast which was held to celebrate the completion of the planting of winter wheat, the storing of meat for the cold months ahead and first-time growers were to have tasted their new wine. The feast was called The Feast of St. Martin. To celebrate this time of gastronomic celebration, we wanted to share some ideas for a seasonal feast.
Henry 8th was the King of feasts and is said to have loaded his palace tables with Spit-Roasted Meats, Grilled Beaver Tails, Roasted Peacocks and Swan.
Well, we certainly aren’t suggesting that, but here are some ideas for a modern take on that autumn feast from times gone by.
Blawmanger was a meat recipe using rice and minced chicken. Ground almonds were sometimes added. The modern blancmange dessert seems to be a descendant of this savoury dish, although has travelled a long way from its origins.
Broiled Venison was a dish reserved for the rich. Essentially, the meat was scored or parboiled and then larded before being spit roasted. A basting sauce of red wine and ground ginger, was poured over the meat as it roasted on the spit adding extra flavour and richness.
Pork was often treated in the same way with a spiced wine basting made of red wine and spices such as garlic and ground coriander.