"Withoute bake mete was nevere his house, of fissh and flessh, and that so plentevous" - Prologue to The Canterbury Tales
A-nother manere. Tak fayre porke y-broylid, & grynd it smal with yolkys of Eyroun; than take Pepir, Gyngere, & grynd it smal, & melle it with-al, & a lytel hony, & floryssche thin cofyns with-ynne & with-owte, & hele hem with thin ledys, & late hem bake, & serue forth.
- Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books
At first glance, bake mete would appear to be simply "baked meat," but remember that mete means food, dinner, something to eat, etc. This is in fact a "baked meal," resembling our modern pot pie but a completely different sort of meat pie. Such pies contained a variety of meats & fish, fruits, nuts, and enough other diverse ingredients to make it literally a meal within a meal. Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books has an entire section devoted to Bake Metis, from which this recipe comes. It is a simplified version, or a-nother manere of an earlier Bake Metis recipe from the same collection. Since that earlier recipe contained currants & dates, they were included in the modern version below. These pies were a common feature at the Franklin's table, where it "snewed" meat and drink.
Roast or boil the pork until completely cooked. Reserve the juices or broth. Discarding bone & fat, you need to end up with 1 1/2 lbs cooked meat. Grind the pork in a food grinder or processor, or cut into very small pieces. Mix well with all the other ingredients. The filling should be very moist - add the broth or juices as necessary. Place mixture in pie shell & add lid. Cut decorative steam holes in the top of the pastry, and bake at 375° F for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until a golden brown. Serves 8.
For more information on Medieval pies, please visit
Basic Meat Pie
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© James L. Matterer
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Book II. A Chaucerian Feast Part 1 | Part 2
Book I. A Chaucerian Cookery Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3