So, I have feed the lamb jam to my five friends and they have given me feedback. Some of it is quite useful (it could use a bit more salt to balance the flavours), and some less helpful from a redaction standpoint (I think that this would go well with crackers. It needs crackers – though this will be helpful later when I am looking at what I will be serving around this dish. I will make sure to provide a carbohydrate, like hand cakes with this dish).
Now is the time to re-evaluate the dish. I go back to the original, look at my variables and assumptions. Are my assumptions grounded in reasonable beliefs? Do I need to run additional experiments? Do I need to undertake additional research?
With the Lamb Jam recipe, I need to do two main things:
The first: I need to acquire a sheep head, 2 legs and a set of hooves. Then I need to cook that down in a bucket of water. After that, I need to see what happens as the broth cools. Does it truly make aspic or am I way off given the animal protein I am using? This dish is a potted meat – see the last section of the original recipe – and thus would be served cooled. Only experimentation and time will tell.
The second: I need to work on the fumigation section of the recipe. I haven’t worried about this until now because I needed to have a recipe of a food to put into the jars and I won’t be potting the meat like that at this point. It will be interesting to see if the burning spices used to fumigate the pot changes the flavour of the potted meat.
Once I have run these experiments, I will revaluate the recipe again, rewriting and changing those things that need to be and then I will cook it again. Then I will feed it to friends. And the redaction will bounce back and forth between step 6 and 7 until it is as close to the original as I can make it at this time.
An exciting thing can happen as time moves forward. Sometimes we get additional translations of manuscripts, get new manuscripts, or find new period techniques. Then we can bring back the relevant redactions and bounce through steps 6 and 7 again. All in the name of academic redaction of period recipes.
I hope that you found this set of blogs interesting and inspirational. I would love to hear how your process differs from mine and I would love to have a look at your redactions. So, don’t be shy to contact me. I’m happy to lend an ear or an eye as needed.
Next time, I will be talking about Yuan Mongolia Feasting.
Until then, I wish you calm passage through the Khan’s lands.