A Boke of Gode Cookery Presents

To make ryse of genoa

PERIOD: England, late 15th c. | SOURCE: MS Pepys 1047 | CLASS: Authentic

DESCRIPTION: Rice prepared in beef broth or almond milk.

Facsimile of receipt from the original manuscript:

Transcription of original receipt:

To make ryse of genoa

Take Ryse and seth them in fayre water and stepe them well And then take hem of and caste them in A fayre vessell and pyke them clene and set them on the fyre A yene And do ther to broth of freshe beef or of mary bonys and let hem seth well And do ther to grownd safferon & salt and if hit be fastyng day temper hit with Almound mylke & serue hit forth.

Modern translation:

To make rice of Genoa.

Take rice and bring it a boil in water and boil "them well" (until done, or cooked). And then take the rice off and place it in a fair vessell and pick them clean (remove the hulls, a necessary procedure for rice in medieval times) and set it on the fire again. And add to the rice fresh beef broth or marrow broth and let it boil well. And add ground saffron & salt, and if it is a fasting day temper it with almond milk & serve it.

Modern recipe:

  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 2-3 cups fresh beef broth OR: almond milk
  • few threads saffron
  • 1/4 tsp. salt, or to taste
Combine all ingredients and bring to a soft boil; reduce heat and cook until the liquid is absorbed, adding additional broth or almond milk if necessary & stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Fluff rice with a fork and serve.

The medieval cook had two options here: to prepare the rice for a non-fasting day with beef broth or to use almond milk for those frequent times when meat was prohibited. Vegetarians of today will undoubtedly appreciate this consideration, especially if real almond milk is used and not cow's milk flavored with almond.

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