A Boke of Gode Cookery Presents

Vertsaus Broun

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

DESCRIPTION: Green Verjuice Sauce


Tak percely, a good quantite, & a litel peletre, & mynte, sauge, dytayne, grene garlyk; wasche hem, grynde smal, & bred therwyt. Tempere it wyt verius or wyt sorel & serue it forth.

- Austin, Thomas. Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books. Harleian MS. 279 & Harl. MS. 4016, with extracts from Ashmole MS. 1429, Laud MS. 553, & Douce MS 55. London: for The Early English Text Society by N. Trübner & Co., 1888.


  • 1 C parsley
  • 1 C mixed fresh, green herbs, including mint, sage, chives, and other green herbs
  • 3/4 C white bread crumbs
  • 1/2 C white grape juice
  • 1/4 C wine vinegar
  • Garlic to taste
  • 1/4 tsp hot mustard powder
  • Salt to taste
1. In a blender or food processor, combine herbs and bread crumbs, and grind them fine.

2. Add the mustard powder, salt, apple juice and vinegar, and blend thoroughly. Pour the sauce into a bowl and allow it to sit for about an hour. Stir well before serving.

Yields one cup of sauce. 

Serves six to eight.


Most medieval green sauces have vinegar and wine as their base; this one is unusual since it calls for verjuice or sorrel. This is called "brown" green sauce, although it is clearly green. Verjyussauce, vergesauce, or other variant spelling, is sometimes recommended in recipes, as in Harleian MS 4016, Gurnard rosted or boyled, but I have yet to find a sauce specifically called "verjuice sauce." This is as close as I can get. It is an excellent sauce for fish or fowl. I substitute hot mustard powder for pellitory, white grape juice and wine vinegar for verjuice, and chives and garlic cloves for green garlic. The medicinal herb dittany not being available, I substitute any other fresh, green herb. I add salt to taste.

Vertsaus Broun is featured in Servise on a Fisshe Day

Metric, Celsius, & Gas Mark Equivalencies

A Boke of Gode CookeryRecipes from A Newe Boke of Olde Cokery

Vertsaus Broun © 2002 Rudd Rayfield | This page © 2002 James L. Matterer

A Newe Boke of Olde Cokery

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