Tag Archives: Beef

Recipe: Meatballs in Almond Milk Sauce

Recipe:  Pompys (Meatballs in Almond Milk Sauce)

(article published January 2017, The Phoenix, Barony of Sacred Stone)

The Early English Text Society is a wonderful resource for the SCA and numerous other historical groups for their interest in preserving and, more importantly, disseminating texts usually available only to specialized scholars.  Two fifteen-century cookery-books is an example drawn from sources from 1430 to 1450.


Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books. Editor Thomas Austin.  Oxford University Press: London, England. 2000 (unaltered reprint). from p.34

Original Entry

(thorn letter symbol replaced by [th])

Take Beef, Porke, or Vele, on of hem, & raw, alle to-choppe it ate [th]e dressoure, [th]an grynd hem in a mortar as smal as [th]ou may, [th]an caste [th]er-to Raw yolkys of Eyroun, wyn, an a lytil white sugre: caste also [th]er-to pouder Pepyr, & Macys, Clowes, Quybibys, pouder Canelle, Synamoun, & Salt, & a lytil Safroun; [th]en take & make smale Pelettys round y-now, & loke [th]at [th]ou haue a fayre potte of Freysshe bro[th]e of bef or of Capoun, & euer [th]row hem [th]er-on & lete hem sethe tyl [th]at [th]ey ben y-now; [th]en take & draw vppe a [th]ryfty mylke of Almaundys, with cold freysshe bro[th]e of Bef, Vele, Moton, o[th]er Capoun, & a-lye it with floure of Rys & with Spycerye; & atte [th]e dressoure ley [th]es pelettys .v. or .vj. in a dysshe, & [th]en pore [th]in sewe aneward, & serue in, or ellys make a gode [th]ryfty Syryppe & ley [th]in pelettys atte [th]e dressoure [th]er-on, & [th]at is gode seruyse.


Take beef, pork or veal, or all of them, and raw, all to chop it at the serving, than grind them in a motor as small as thou may, then add thereto raw yolks of eggs, with a little white sugar: add also thereto ground pepper, mace, cloves, cubeb (a spice related to pepper), powdered canella (cinnamon cassia – common modern cinnamon), cinnamon (cinnamon zeylanicum – often called true cinnamon, and very hard to get ahold of), and salt and a little saffron; then take and make small pellets round suitable (y-now means done, suitable or enough) and look that you have a fair pot of fresh broth of beef or of  chicken and you throw them thereon and let them seethe/boil until that they done, then take and draw up a thrifty milk of almonds with cold fresh broth of beef, veal, mutton or chicken and ally it with rice flour and with spices and at the serving lay these pellets five or six in a dish and then pour thin sauce on it and serve in or else make a good thrifty syrup and lay pellets at the serving thereon and that is good service.

My Interpretation (serves 4)


1 lbs of Beef, Pork or Veal or mixture thereof (ground)

1 egg yolk

1 tsp of sugar, ground pepper, ground cinnamon

½ tsp of ground mace, ground cloves, salt (and fresh ground true cinnamon or one “Red Hot” candy)

¼ tsp saffron

3/4 can of broth (chicken or beef)

4 cups of water

Almond Milk Sauce: ¼ cup almond milk, ¼ can of broth, 2 Tablespoons thickener of choice (rice flour, corn starch, wheat flour), spices as wished (likely similar to the meatball – but use the lighter colored ones for best color effect: mace, salt, true cinnamon, sugar)


  1. Take a saucepan large enough to hold the water and broth and still be 1/3 empty. Start boiling the water and broth.
  2. Take the ground meat and add egg yolks, and spices. Make into small meatballs.
  3. Once broth is at roaring boil, add meatballs carefully. Turn heat down to slow boil.  Cook until done – between 15 and 20 minutes.
  4. In frying pan, as you would make gravy, put in the almond milk, broth, thickener and spices. Sauce can be thin and runny, thick like heavy gravy, or syrupy.  You decide.
  5. Serve the meatballs and sauce together or separately. If together, meatballs are lightly (thrifty) coated with sauce, not swimming.