Elizabethan Era Cookbook

By Fazeela Amiri





Main Courses-















Breads, cakes, pastries-







Elizabethan Food

Table of Contents

Stewed Lamb with Carrots                            Pg#1

Lemon Salad                                                  Pg#2

Grand Salad                                                 Pg#3



Poached Salmon                                            Pg#4

Roast Gravy with Apple Gravy                     Pg#5

Stewed Beef                                                  Pg#6

Roasted Chicken with Veal and Pistachio       Pg#7   



Lumbardy Tarts                                             Pg#8

Spinach Tortellini                                          Pg#9

Strawberry Tart                                           Pg#10



A Sauce for Veal                                           Pg#11

Rabbit in Wine Sauce                                   Pg#12



Banbury Cakes                                              Pg#13

Aniseed Cakes                                               Pg#14

Jumbles                                                        Pg#15

Norfolk Fool                                                  Pg#16



Buttered Beer                                                Pg#17

Eprocas                                                          Pg#18

Type of Food

Page Number

Cooked Lamb with Carrots

Stewed Lamb with Carrots is a traditional Elizabethan recipe for a simple stew with fresh herbs and lamb.  Mutton, the meat of sheep, was an abundant ingredient back in the Elizabethan Era.  It is served with thick, fresh slices of bread.


Take a breast or neck of a mutton and put it in a pot with water.  Let them seeth then put in a handful of stripped thyme  and savory with a little bit of salt and pepper.  Let it rest till your mutton and roots are tender then serve.


Our Version


4 lamb shoulder chops         1 or 2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon salt                     2-3 cups water

½ teaspoon pepper              Sprigs of fresh thyme

2-3 tablespoons flour           Sprigs of fresh savory  

3 or 4 carrots, peeled and sliced


Trim the meat and cut into ½ inch cubes removing fat.  Dredge pieces of lamb with flour, salt, and pepper.  Pour the olive oil in a saucepan and brown the lamb over medium heat, and the flour without burning it.  Stir it with the water.  Tie sprigs of thyme and savory together and put it in the pot with the lamb.  Cook it for 45 minutes over slow heat.  Add the carrots and cook for another 30 minutes.  Top with water, and the stew will be ready when carrots and meat are both tender.  


Lemon salad is a traditional Elizabethan recipe for a simple side of lemon slices with zest and sugar.  It is a great addition to eat with fried foods and meats.


Cut the lemon peel into slices.  Then slice the lemon very thin and lay them in a dish.  Scrape sugar over them and serve them so.


Our Veraion


2-3 lemons                       1 tablespoon sugar


Wash lemons. Cut long, thin strips of lemon peels. Cut tops and bottoms off the lemons then cut away the white pith.  Slice the lemon crossways and remove any pips.  Arrange slices in the centre of the serving plate.  Scrape a good amount of sugar on them just before serving.


Lemon Salad

Grand Salad is a traditional Elizabethan recipe for a spectacular salad incorporating greens and fruit.  Although it can be easily recreated with different ingredients, the original recipe includes samphire and broom buds which was used to make yellow fabric dye.  The full recipe is presented here along with a dressing, enjoy.


Our Version


1 cooked chicken or 4 breasts       2 teaspoons fresh tarragon leaves

1 green onion                                   1 head lettuce

¼ cup capers                                    1 cup parsley

1 cup olives                                      ½ cup sliced almonds

2 large potatoes                               ½ cup pickled mushrooms

1 cup green peas                              3 ripe figs

2 lemons 

2 oranges



¼ cup good-quality wine vinegar     ½ cup good-quality olive oil


Mix the chicken with the chopped onion and tarragon and the shredded lettuce.  Place the chicken mixture in a mound in the centre of a large platter.  Arrange other ingredients in separate rows, radiating outward from the centre of plate to within 1 inch of the platter.  Cut the remaining oranges and lemons and arrange them around the edge of the platter.

Mix the vinegar and oil and sprinkle the dressing over the salad before serving.


Grand Salad


Poached Salmon with lemon butter sauce is a traditional Elizabethan recipe eaten cold and hot.  It is eaten hot with a piquant lemon sauce topping it.  It is eaten cold without the sauce, by letting it rest in the poaching liquid right till the serving time.  It tastes great when served with asparagus.


Cut the salmon into two or three pieces.  Boil the liquor with a handful of salt and put in salmon.  Boil it quick with white wine vinegar and leave it for 30 minutes.  Let it cool in an earthen pan for a day/night and put it in the liquor.  If you want it served hot, garnish it with ginger, mace, a clove, gooseberries, grapes, barberries, lemon, fried parsley, and spinach in a dish after boiling.


Our Version


4 salmon fillets or steaks                    2 cups water

1 cup white wine                                  1 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon white vinegar



3 tablespoons butter                           Juice of ½ lemon

½ cup poaching liquid                         ¼ teaspoon nutmeg

2 egg yolks



Lemon SlicesPasley


In a large saucepan, put salmon fillets in one layer.  Pour white wine and water to cover the salmon.  Add salt and vinegar then bring to a boil and add the salmon.  Cook until the flesh is cooked through but still moist and tender.  Remove fish and make the sauce.  In another saucepan, melt the butter and add the poaching liquid.  Beat the egg yolks with lemon juice and whisk it into mixture.  Add nutmeg, cook until slightly thickened.  Drizzle on fillets.  Garnish each fillet with lemon slices and parsley.  

Poached Salmon

Roast Goose with Apple Gravy


Roast Goose with apple gravy is a traditional Elizabethan recipe for rich goose meat served with apples as the tangy flavour.  They are served with a sauce.


Our Veraion 


1 goose, neck and giblets reserved        1 cup applesauce

1 tablespoon wine vinegar                      Salt 

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon                 1 apple

1 onion                                                     Pinch of dry mustard

3 cups water                                            Dried cranberries (optional)



Preheat the oven to 350F and wash the goose.  Dry it and put salt and the inside and outside of the cavity.  Now place the apple and 2 onion quarters in it.  Put the goose in the oven on a roasting pan for 25 minutes per pound.  Meanwhile, boil the goose neck and giblets in water with a couple peppercorns and the rest of the onion quarters for 40 minutes.  Poor off the excess fat when the goose is cooked.  Deglaze the roasting pan with goose stock and stir in the apple sauce, wine vinegar, cinnamon, mustard, and dried cranberries.


Stewed Beef is a traditional Elizabethan recipe for beef stewed with cabbage and a cheese sauce.


Break all the bones of the beef and season it with salt and pepper.  Beat 3-4 nutmegs and a quantity of mace.  Take a bunch of herbs and an onion or garlic and add it.  Put in half a pint of white-wine sugar, a pint of good claret, a handful of sugar, some butter,  cabbage, and a pound of cheese.  Put all these in a pot and let it stand in an oven with brown bread for 4-5 hours, but let the pot be covered close with paste.


Our Version


1.2-1.5 kg piece of boned rump                         600 ml red wine

1 teaspoon of ground nutmeg and mace          100g butter or beef suet

50g each of parsley, marjoram, pennyroyal,     100g sugar

Winter savoury and chicory                               150g cheese (preferably hard cheddar)

(add basil if one is missing)                              450g shredded cabbage

4-5 sage leaves                                                  350g flour

3 cloves of garlic                                                Water

1 large onion

300 ml white wine


Trim the beef and brown on all sides in a frying pan.  Layer half the cabbage on the bottom of a heavy casserole dish.  Add onion and garlic on the top.  Place meat on top of this, add the liquid ingredients along with butter.  The cheese, herbs, and spice cover the remaining cabbage.  Tip flour into a bowl and add water to form a dense but pliable dough.  Use dough to line rim of the casserole dish and place the lid firmly on top of the dough.  Preheat the oven

to 130C and place in oven for about 5 and ½ hours.  Increase the temperature to 160C half an hour before you want to serve the dish.  Shred the beef, place the sauce and cabbage in a dish and cover it with the beef.  Serve immediately and enjoy.


Stewed Beef

Roast Chicken stuffed with veal and pistachios is a traditional Elizabethan recipe for either a turkey breast or roasted chicken with pistachios, artichoke bottoms, and pine nuts added to the stuffing for the veal.  Sweet chestnuts make a nice addition, but can be replaced by simply adding a couple more pistachios.


Take minced veal raw, and bacon or beef suet minced with it.  Season it with cloves and mace, a few corrans, salt, and boiled bottoms of artichokes.    Mingle with pine-apple seeds, pistachios, chestnuts, raw eggs, and fill your poultry.


Our Version


1 4-5pound roasted chicken                        Salt

2 rashers bacon


1 pound ground veal                                    2 tablespoons pine nuts

3 rashers chopped bacon                            ¼ cup pistachios

½ teaspoon ground cloves                          6 chestnuts, roasted, peeled, and quartered                                                                                                (optional)

½ teaspoon ground mace

¼ cup currants                                             1 egg

6 small cooked artichoke                           Salt

bottoms diced


Debone the chicken and remove thigh bones and cut off the wings, but leave the drumsticks for a more appealing presentation.  Preheat the oven to 400F.  Mix the ground veal with all the stuffing ingredients and distribute evenly among the bird.  Either pin it closed or sew it closed with kitchen string and a poultry needle.  Place the bird on a roasting pan and sprinkle salt on it’s skin.  Place rashers of bacon over the breast and roast for 15 minutes.  Then reduce heat to 325F and continue roasting for 1 hour.


Roasted Chicken with Veal and Pistachios

 Lombardy Tarts is a traditional Elizabethan recipe for a dessert with both greens and cheese.  It is created like an Elizabethan quiche.


Chop the beets small and and mingle them well with grated bread and cheese.  Melt a few corrans and sweet butter then stir your three ingredients in the butter.  Also add three yolks of eggs, cinnamon, ginger, and sugar.  Make the tart as large as you’d like and fill it with the mix, bake it and serve it in.


Our Version 


500g beet greens(kale,60g currants, spinach, savoy cabbage)

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons brown sugar                    ¼ teaspoon freshly-grated ginger

2 tablespoons fine breadcrumbs           3 egg yolks

170g grated cheese                                4 tablespoons molten butter


For the Pastry

225g flour                                   6 saffron threads ground into 1 tablespoon water

90g softened butter in a pestle and mortar

2 egg yolks


Prepare a pastry shell.  Preheat oven to 350F.  Combine the beet greens, bread crumbs, and cheese.  Add the currants, butter, egg yolks, cinnamon,ginger, and sugar.  Stir well.  Pour into pastry shell and back until the filling has set.

Lumbardy Tarts

Spinach tortellini is a traditional Elizabethan recipe for tortellini stuffed with spinach.  There are many other tortellinis stuffed with different combinations such as pork and parsnip, peas or beans, and minced capon, still spinach is the most popular.


Wash the tortelleti (pastries) and fry them in butter.  Chop some sweet herbs along with grated parmesan, cinnamon, cloves, saffron, pepper, currants, raw eggs, and grated bread and mix with tortelleti.  Boil pastries in broth, cream, milk or almond milk.  Serve with sugar, cinnamon, and grated cheese.


Our Version



8 ounces spinach                                Pinch of saffron (optional)  

⅓ cup Parmesan cheese                    1 tablespoon currants (optional)

Pinch of cinnamon                              1 egg

Ground cloves, and pepper                  2-3 tablespoons bread crumbs


Pasta Dough

1-½ cups semolina flour for pasta     ¼ cup water (or 1 egg)

½ teaspoon salt                                  1 tablespoon olive oil

1 egg


Egg Wash

1 egg                                                    Water


Completely wilt the spinach in a large pan then drain well.  Chop finely, then add seasonings, egg, and breadcrumbs to soak up the moisture.  Knead for 10 minutes.  Meanwhile make dough in a bread maker.  Divide the dough into 2-3 portions and wrap in plastic wrap.  Let it dry then roll the dough out evenly, nearly paper thin.  With the rim of a drinking glass, cut circle out of the dough.  Beat the remaining egg with water and brush the egg wash halfway around the edge of each pasta circle.  Put a little bit of filling in each circle and fold that pasta pressing the edges together.  Make about 60 of them.  To cook it, boil 6-8 cups of chicken stock/salted water.  Cook the tortellini one layer at a time, for 10-12 minutes each layer.


Spinach Tortellini

Strawberry Tart is a traditional Elizabethan recipe for a tart filled with what is effectively a custard made with pureed strawberries.


Wash your strawberries and put them into your tart.  Season them with cinnamon, ginger, and sugar.  Put in a little red wine into them and serve them so.


Our Version


350g strawberries

4 egg yolks

300g breadcrumbs

100g sugar (add more if you like it sweet)

60g butter

22cm pie crust shell (either short crust or standard pie-crust recipe)


Preheat oven to 350F.  Roll out the pastry in a 9 inch pie plate, then bake the crust blind.  Prick all of the pastry with a fork, then bake for about 20 minutes and remove from the oven.  While the pastry is baking, make the filling.  Put strawberries in a saucepan along with sugar, cinnamon, ginger, and half of the wine.  Simmer for 10 minutes and bring to a boil.  Mix the cornstarch with remaining wine.  Pour the cornstarch mixture into strawberries and stir until thickened.  Remove from heat and fill the tart shell.


Strawberry Tart


A sauce for veal is a traditional Elizabethan recipe for a sweet, tasty side to a meal of veal.


To make a sauce for a joint of veal, take chopped sweet herbs with 2 or 3 egg yolk and boil them in vinegar and butter, with a few bread crumbs and a couple currants.  Season it with sugar, cinnamon, 2 crushed cloves, and pour it upon the veal.  


Our Version


1 cup spinach                            3 tablespoons currants

½ cup carrots                            1 teaspoon sugar

½ cup parsnips                          ¼ teaspoon cinnamon      

3 beaten egg yolks                     2 crushed cloves

½ cup vinegar                             1 sliced orange (for garnish)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter   1 sliced lemon (for garnish)

2 tablespoons bread crumbs


Combine spinach, carrots, parsnips, and vinegar in a saucepan on low heat.  Whisk a few spoonfuls on the vinegar mixture into egg yolks.  Pour yolks into saucepan.  Season with sugar, cinnamon, and cloves.  Pour over the veal and garnish with orange and lemon slices.


A Sauce for Veal

A rabbit in wine sauce is a traditional Elizabethan recipe for a thick wine sauce to make your rabbit stew even more delicious.


Cut off the legs, thighs, wings, head, and part of the chin off a rabbit into 4 pieces of 6.  Put it all in a dish with thine wine, water, pepper, sliced ginger, salt butter, a little time, more minced herbs, and 2-3 blades of mace.  Stew it for 2 hours and before you take it out dissolve the 6 new laid eggs with some grapes or wine vinegar.  Let the broth become thick, then top it with salt and serve hot.


Our Versiom


1 rabbit                                        6 peppercorns

Flour                                            1 inch peeled ginger root

Salt and pepper                           3 sprigs of thyme

Butter                                          3 sprigs of parsley

½ cup chopped shallots             2-3 pieces whole mace

¼ cup sherry                               3 egg yolks

3 cups white wine/stock           2 tablespoons cider vinegar


Wash the rabbit in water and some white vinegar.  Cut the rabbit into pieces and season with salt, pepper, and dredge in the flour.  Melt butter in a skillet and sauté the shallots.  After the shallots, sauté the rabbit pieces.   Add the sherry and cook for 2-3 minutes, then add wine/stock.  Tie peppercorns, ginger root, thyme, parsley, and mace in cheesecloth and add it to the pan.  Cover and simmer for about 1 hour.  Remove seasonings and add shallots, simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove rabbit pieces and thicken the sauce. Whisk in mixture of egg yolks, vinegar, and a little of the broth broth from the pan.  Serve rabbit covered with the sauce, with fresh bread and a green salad.


Rabbit in Wine Sauce

Banbury cakes is a traditional Elizabethan recipe for a curran-filled pastry that can be easily made and serves as a sweet ending to the meal.


Take 4 pounds of currants and wash them.  Then dry them with a cloth.  Take 3 eggs and put away 1 yolk, and beat them.  Strain them and add cloves, mace, cinnamon, and nutmegs.  Take cream and milk and heat it up.  Then take flour and put in cold butter and sugar, then put in you eggs, barm, and meal and work them all  together an hour.  Then save some of it but break the rest into pieces and work in your currants.  Mould your cake in your favoured quantity.  Put the past with no currants, put it above and underneath it and bake accordingly.


Our Version 


⅓ cup butter                            ½ teaspoon grated nutmeg

⅓ cup brown sugar                  ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 egg                                         ¼ teaspoon ground cloves

1-½ cups currants                     ¼ teaspoon ground mace

½ cup candied orange peel      14 ounces puff pastry

¼ cup ground almonds             Milk and sugar, to finish


Preheat the oven to 400F.  Cream butter and brown sugar and beat in one by one the egg, the currants, orange peel, almonds, nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, and mace.  Roll the puff pastry thinly and cut out circles 5 inches in diameter.  After making 14-15 circles, place roughly 2 tablespoons of filling in each centre.  Brush the edges with a little milk and gather the edges together, patting them to seal.  Place them on a baking sheet and cut a small slit on the top each cake brushing it with milk and sprinkling with sugar.  Bake for 25-20 minutes or until the pastry is golden brown.

Banbury Cakes

Aniseed cakes is a traditional Elizabethan recipe for a dense, intense flavoured loaf.  Provided is the traditional version along with a lighter variation.


Take a quarter of pound of sugar well beaten and as much flour finely boulted.  Add aniseeds and mix together.  Beat 2 eggs, whites and all.  Beat all together a good while and put into a mould.  Wipe the bottom with butter and turn while baking.  Serve it as a whole or in slices.


Our Version


2 eggs, separated                                       1 cup flour

⅔ cup sugar                                               3 tablespoons ainseed, lightly crushed


Preheat the oven to 325F.  Beat egg yolks with sugar till it is a pale yellow colour.  For a lighter cake increase the number of eggs to 4.  Then beat egg whites until stiff.  Stir flour and aniseed into the egg yolk mixture.  Stir in the egg whites and spread the mixture into a 6 inch cake tin.  Bake at 325F for about 40 minutes.


Aniseed Cakes

Jumbles is a traditional Elizabethan recipe for another aniseed-flavoured sweet.  These are cookies and the provided recipe will make about 3 dozen of them.


Beat 20 eggs in a pot with yolk and white.  Then add a pound of sugar and add a quarter of a peck of flour.  Make a hard paste and mould it with aniseeds.  Tie long rows in knots and wet in rosewater.  Put them in a pan, then take out with a skimmer and dry with a cloth.  Lay them in a pan, and put in a temperature oven for 1 hour turning them often while baking.


Our Versiom


2 eggs                                1-½ cups flour

½ cup sugar                       Rosewater or liqueur (optional)

3 teaspoons aniseed


Preheat oven to 300F.  Beat eggs for 2 minutes, then beat in sugar, aniseed and flour.  Roll dough into long ropes about ½ inch thick each.  Cut into 3-4 inch lengths and tie each piece into a knot.  Drop knots into boiling water till they rise to the surface, then remove it and drain.  Arrange on a cookie sheet and brush with rosewater, then back in oven for about 50 minutes.  Serve with buttered beer as a dipping.



Norfolk fool is a traditional Elizabethan recipe for a creamy dessert.  It is similar to cinnamon spiced unbaked bread pudding.


Warm a pint of sweet, thick cream and boil with sugar, cinnamon, and a nutmeg cut in quarters.  Beat 4 yolks with cream and take the nutmeg out.  Stir till it’s thick.  Cut into thin shives, pour half of the cream into the dish, and lay bread over it.  Cover the bread with the rest of the cream and let it cool.  Prick with cinnamon, sliced dates and scrape with sugar.  Trim the sides of the dish with sugar and so serve it.


Our Versiom


6 slices challah or white bread, trimmed of crust


2-¼ cups 10% cream               1 whole nutmeg

½ cup sugar                            4 egg yolks

2 cinnamon sticks



1 tablespoon sugar               5 dates (optional)

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon


For the custard, in a saucepan warm 2 cups of cream with sugar, cinnamon sticks, and nutmeg for 10 minutes.  Whisk remaining cream with the egg yolks.  Remove nutmeg quarters and cinnamon sticks from the cream.  Put the pan on low heat.  Pour some custard at the bottom of a dish and arrange some bread slices on top.  Continue alternating and end with a layer of custard.  Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on top.  Slice dates and arrange them on the custard.  Cool until served and serve with fresh fruit.

Norfolk Fool

Buttered beer is a traditional Elizabethan recipe for a drinking on a winter day.  It can be a tasty alternative for eggnog or mulled wine.


Strain 5 yolks with 3 pints of beer together.  Add ½ pound of sugar, beaten nutmegs, beaten cloves, beaten ginger and brew them together.  Set it to fire and when it is ready to boil, put a dish of sweet butter into it and brew them together out of one pot into another.


Our Version


½ cup sugar                                          2 egg yolks

½ teaspoon grated nutmeg                  1 pint ale or dark beer

½ teaspoon ground cloves                   2 tablespoons melted butter

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

Mix sugar, spices, and egg yolks in a small bowl.  Warm the beer over a saucepan filled with water on low heat.  Whisk in sugar mixture then butter.  Make sure not to overheat.

Buttered Beer

Eprocas, also known as Hippocras, is a traditional Elizabethan recipe for the drink at a special occasion.  It resembles liquor and is both sweet and spicy.


In a gallon of wine, put 4 ounces of ginger, 1 and ½ ounce of nutmegs, one quarter of the cloves, and sugar and let it stand together for at least 12 hours.  Put it in a clean bag for the purpose, so the wine comes with good leisure from the spices.


Our Version


1 25-ounce bottle dry white wine                    2 nutmegs

1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled                    5 cloves

and sliced                                                        1-½ cups sugar

Combine all the above ingredients in a large glass jar.  Keep in the covered jar for 2-3 days, then strain through a paper coffee filter to clarify.


Othello: Act 2, Scene 3

"Good wine is a familiar creature, if it be well used".

Romeo and Juliet: Act 4, Scene 2 

"Tis a nil cook that cannot lick his own fingers".

Romeo and Juliet: Act 4, Scene 4

"They call for dates and quiches in the pastry".

"A pinch of this and a dash of that".

Twelfth Night: Act 1, Scene 3 

"I am a great eater of beef and I beleive that does harm to my wit".

"You ain't got any skills without the outfit, the white apron, the chef hat, the baking mittens, and the spatula".

Alchin, Linda. "Old Elizabethan Recipes." Elizabethan Era. Web. 27 May 2016.
Matetrer, James. "17th Century English Recipes." Gode Cookery. 1997-2009. Web. 27 May 2016.
Morton, Mark, and Andrew Coppolino. Cooking with Shakespeare. Missouri: Greenwood Press, 2008. Print.
Zyvatkauskas, Betty, and Sonia Zyvatkauskas. Eating Shakespeare: Recipes and More from the Bard's Kitchen.
Toronto: Prentice Hall Canada, 2000. Print.