A Boke of Gode Cookery Presents

Leche Lumbard

PERIOD: England, 14th century | SOURCE: Forme of Cury | CLASS: Authentic

DESCRIPTION: Meat Loaf "Pea Pod" with Raisin Almond Milk Sauce


Take rawe pork and pulle of the skyn, and pyke out the synewes, and bray the pork in a morter with ayron rawe. Do therto sugur, salt, raysouns coraunce, dates mynced, and powdour of peper, powdour gylofre; & do it in a bladder, and lat it seeth til it be ynowhgh. And whan it is ynowh, kerf it; leshe it in liknesse of a peskodde; and take grete raysouns and grynde hem in a morter. Drawe hem vp with rede wyne. Do therto mylke of almaundes. Colour it with saundres & safroun, and do therto powdour of peper & of gilofre and boile it. And whan it is iboiled, tale powdour canel and gynger and temper it vp with wyne, and do alle thise thynges togyder, and loke that it be rennyng; and lat it not seeth after that it is cast togyder, & serue it forth.

- Hieatt, Constance B. and Sharon Butler. Curye on Inglish: English Culinary Manuscripts of the Fourteenth-Century (Including the Forme of Cury). New York: for The Early English Text Society by the Oxford University Press, 1985.


  • 2 pounds ground pork
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ C each currants and pitted dates cut in two or three
  • 1 T sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Pinch crushed rosemary
  • 3/4 C red wine
  • ½ C raisins
  • ¼ C red wine
  • 1 ½ C almond milk
  • ¼ tsp each black pepper, cinnamon and powdered ginger
  • 1/8 tsp saffron
  • Pinch rosemary
1. Preheat oven to 350°

2. In a bowl, thoroughly mix together ground pork, eggs, sugar, spices and salt.

3. Divide the mixture into thirds, and put two thirds in a shallow roasting pan, and mold it into a long, narrow shape, pointed at the ends and with a wide groove running down the middle, like a canoe. Take the remaining third of the ground pork mixture and mold it into meatballs about the size of golf balls, and put them in the groove so that the general impression is that of giant peas in a pod.

4. Cover the meat loaf with aluminum foil, put it in the oven and bake for forty-five minutes, or until the meat is cooked through.

5. In a mortar and pestle, or in a heavy bowl, using a strong, blunt instrument, mash the raisins to paste.

6. In a bowl, combine raisin paste and one quarter cup of wine, blending thoroughly.

7. In a saucepan, over medium heat, combine almond milk, raisin and wine mixture, and pepper, rosemary and saffron. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring constantly for ten minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cinnamon and ginger. Let it cool and thicken.

8. Stir in remaining wine and blend thoroughly. If sauce is too thick, stir in more wine.

9. Remove meat loaf from oven and allow to cool for a while. Then remove aluminum foil and, with a knife, trim the edges of the loaf to give it a smooth outline. With a spoon, scoop out the spaces around the "peas" that have filled with congealed pork juices.

10. Place the meat loaf on a serving platter, and serve the sauce in a bowl along side.

Serves six to eight. Yields two and a half cups of sauce.

Notes on the Recipe:

I suspect that forming this dish as a giant pea pod was meant as a bit of culinary playfulness. I bake the ground pork as a loaf rather than boil it in a bladder. The sauce is truly excellent, and can go on more than just this meat loaf. I leave out the sandalwood and the gillyflower.

Leche Lumbard is featured in A Dinner of Lombardy

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Leche Lumbard © 2000 Rudd Rayfield | This page © 2000 James L. Matterer

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