Cooking with Alan Time!
Some folks asked for the recipes I used for the Pendragon Halloween Game. Here they are!
You’ll have to bear with me, I’ve never written recipes on this blog before.
These recipes are deliberately medieval-styled, but obviously benefit from modern advances. I used this site to do my best to use ingredients that were as authentic as possible. But I didn’t break my back, as I was more concerned about “feel” than accuracy.
The stew (except for potatoes & the Lea and Perrins) is fairly authentic to some historical recipes that have been studied/cataloged. Obviously Guinness wasn’t around in the same way, but one can safely assume some form of beer was. Now, I’m not a scholar, so that information might be outdated, but I did do some research (yay internet and some free books!) to figure out how close I was.
The Berry crumble is a take on a Scandinavian recipe, and is a pretty reasonable extrapolation of a possible dessert (but there’s no evidence they actually ate dessert in the way we consider it now.)
As for the cider, well, that’s just really good. And it has the benefit of being possible. There’s Saxon and other cultural chronicles that indicate cider was drank regularly! So….yeah.
Not accurate, but a lazy effort!
Alan’s Guinness Stew
I’m fairly certain almost every Guinness Stew is almost exactly this, but I figured I’d replicate it here anyways. There are a few differences (red wine vinegar brings out some of the more subtle flavors, and I prefer that.) I’ve seen folks use a small amount of tomato paste too.
- 3 lbs. beef, cut into cubes (roughly one inch squares)
- 2 cups of chopped white onions
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
- a few pinches of salt
- a pinch of black pepper
- 2 bottles of Guinness
- Beef Broth (roughly one cup.)
- 1 cup of chopped carrots
- 3 cups of potatoes (cut into one inch pieces) – This is roughly 1 lb. of potatoes.
- a generous amount of chopped parsley
- 3 tablespoons of Worcestershire Sauce (I prefer Lea & Perrins)
You’ll also need varying amounts of:
- Olive Oil
- a few tablespoons of Red Wine Vinegar
- Heat a few tablespoons of Olive Oil in a pan or Dutch Oven. Brown the beef.
- After beef is browned, toss it in a bowl with the flour.
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees (if you’re using a slow cooker in step 3.)
- Once beef is done, combine all the dry ingredients into a slow cooker or Dutch Oven. You’ll need a 6 quart slow cooker or Dutch Oven.
- Once all the dry ingredients are in, mix them around thoroughly.
- pour in one bottle of Guinness, a few table spoons of red wine vinegar (I use 3, but use it to taste), the Worcestershire Sauce, and top off with as much of the beef broth as can be used (you probably won’t need a full cup.)
- Cook in the oven for 5 to 6 hours, stirring every hour. If the meal is boiling, it’s too hot. If using a slow cooker, cook it on low for 6 to 7 hours, or high for 4.
The extra Guinness is for dinner time. Enjoy it alongside your stew!
Alan’s Berry Crumble
This one is really easy! Seriously. Really easy. Also really delicious.
- 6 chopped green apples.
- 1 jar of some berry jam (I prefer cloudberry jam, but it can be very hard to find. A tart jam is better than a sweet jam.
- a few tablespoons Brown sugar.
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
- 1 cup of chopped nuts you like.
- pinch of salt.
- tablespoon of vanilla extract.
- Heat your oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix everything into a big oven-safe pot (like a dutch oven!)
- Put it in the oven for about 40 minutes.
- Serve with Vanilla Ice cream!
Seriously. It’s that easy. If you want to put a crust and more of a crumble on top, you can make one easily with flour, butter, and sugar (with a pinch of salt.) Just mix it up and cook it on top!
Alan’s Mom’s Homemade Cider
I’ve stolen and tweaked my Mom’s recipe. She used to send me regular packets so I could make this easily while I was a bachelor (now I just make it.) Some of my favorite Christmas presents and memories are wrapped up in the smell of this cider.
- 8 cups apple cider or juice
- 1/2 cup of packed brown sugar
- dash of ground nutmeg
- 6 inches of stick cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon whole allspice
- 1 teaspoon whole cloves
- 1 tablespoon of vanilla (this is Alan’s tweak.)
- For garnish if desired: 8 thin orange wedges or slices and 8 whole cloves
- In a large saucepan combine apple cider or juice, vanilla, brown sugar and nutmeg.
- For spice bag: place stick cinnamon, allspice, and the 1 tsp. cloves in a piece of cheesecloth and tie (you can use dental floss); add to cider mixture.
- Bring to boiling. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10 minutes. Remove spice bag and discard.
- Serve cider in mugs with a clove-studded orange wedge in each. Should make about 8 servings.