Beef y-Stywyd

Beef y-Stywyd with Rice
Beef y-Stywyd (Stewed Beef)
15th Century England

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.

[Two Fifteenth Century Cookery Books]


Take fair Beef of the ribs of the forequarters and smite in fair pieces and wash the beef into a fair pot; then take the water that the Beef was sodden(?) in, and strain it through a strainer, and set the same water and Beef in a pot, and let them boil together; then take Canel, Cloves, Mace, Grains of Paradise, Cubebs, and Minced Onions, Parsley, and Sage and cast them in, and let them boil together; and then take a loaf of Bread, and steep it with Broth and Vinegar, and then draw it through a strainer, and let it be still; and when it is near enough, cast the Liquor in there, but not too much, and then let boil once, and cast Saffron in there a quantity; then take Salt and Vinegar, and cast in there, and look that it be poignant (pungent ? ) enough, and serve forth.


2 lb. Beef
2 cups Water
1/2 tsp Canel (Cinnamon/Cassia)
1/2 tsp Cloves
1/4 tsp Mace
1/4 tsp Grains of Paradise (1/2 tsp Black Pepper, ¼ tsp Ginger)
1/2 tsp Cubebs (1/2 tsp Black Pepper)
1 Onion
1 tbsp Parsley
1/2 tsp Sage
½ cup Bread (Bread Crumbs)
1/2 cup Beef Broth
1/4 cup Vinegar
1/4 tsp Saffron (1/2 tsp Tumeric)
1/2 tsp Salt

Place Beef in a pot with enough water to cover it and set it to boil. When the Beef is mostly cooked, turn the heat down to a simmer, remove the Beef and strain off the scum that rises to the top. Add the Beef back into the pot and add diced Onion and all of the spices except for the Tumeric and Salt. Add Bread Crumbs, Beef Broth, and some Vinegar and turn up to a boil. Turn down heat and add Salt, Tumeric, and the remainder of the Vinegar.


I couldn’t find Grains of Paradise and Cubebs in Meat and Potato Country. I substituted Black Pepper and Ginger for Grains of Paradise and added more Black Pepper for Cubebs. When I was prepping the meat for its initial boil, it looked like there wasn't enough water. I doubled the amount of water to 4 cups and also the Bread Crumbs to 1 cup. The proportions for the resulting dish came out just about right.

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