What, Where, When:
- A piquant sauce served on simply roasted pork.
- Based on a recipe from central France, dated to approximately 1466.
Original Recipe and Translation
A cochons, poivre jaunet de gingibre, de girofle, et greyne, et du verjust, et du pain. – Le Recuil de Riom.
On suckling pigs, yellow pepper (sauce) of ginger, cloves and grains of paradise, and of verjuice and bread. (Translation by Jennifer Soucy)
Alternate Recipes for Poivre Jaunet
Boil together, with saffron, Grind ginger, long pepper, saffron – and some people add in cloves and toast, infuse this in vinegar and boil it when you are about to serve your meat. (T. Scully, The Viandier of Taillevent: An Edition of all Extant Manuscripts 296)
Get toast distempered with vinegar and wine, and strain it, along with spices – saffron, cloves, long pepper, ginger and grains of paradise. Boil everything together. (T. Scully, The Vivendier: A Fifteenth-Century French Cookery Manuscript 65).
This recipe is from Le Recuil de Riom, a source more fully discussed in the full translation.
- Yellow pepper sauce is an extremely common sauce, found in several contemporary recipes. Since Le Recuil omits the pepper from this recipe, I have included long pepper as referenced in the other sources – the flavor is more interesting than black peppercorns.
- An interesting note regarding roast meat: in the household of Edward II, only esquires and above were allowed to eat roasted meat (Woolgar, The Great Household in Late Medieval England 140).
- Fresh breadcrumbs are used because they dissolve more easily into an unstrained sauce, and unlike Taillevent, the author of Le Recuil did not specify toast.
- The sauce is served with simply roasted pork ribs, as a “cut off a suckling pig”.
Yellow Pepper Sauce for Roast Pig
2 tablespoons whole grains of paradise
1 tablespoon whole cloves
1 tablespoon ground ginger
½ tsp. crushed saffron
1 cup Verjuice
Fresh breadcrumbs to thicken
Vinegar to balance flavor
- Grind spices and breadcrumbs as finely as possible.
- Mix with verjuice and heat until thickened – do not boil, or the texture will turn to glue.
- Add salt and/or vinegar if necessary to balance flavor.
Sources are detailed here.