Medieval kitchen:cooks making Venyson y Broth

I’ve made Cock-A-Leekie Soup and now I need something else to make celebrating Scotland’s greatest poet’s birth complete. It’s Venyson y Broth and this is the original receipt.

PERIOD: England, 15th century | SOURCE: Harleian MS. 279 | CLASS: Authentic

Take Rybbys of Venysoun, and wasshe hem clene in fayre water, an strayne the same water thorw a straynoure in-to a potte, an caste ther-to Venysoun, also Percely, Sawge, powder Pepyr, Clowys, Maces, Vynegre, and a lytyl Red wyne caste there-to; an thanne latte it boyle tyl it be y-now, & serue forth.

– Austin, Thomas. Two Fifteenth-Century Cookery-Books. Harleian MS. 279 & Harl. MS. 4016, with extracts from Ashmole MS. 1429, Laud MS. 553, & Douce MS 55. London: for The Early English Text Society by N. Trübner & Co., 1888.

Modern redaction:


  • 1 pound venison, beef or pork ribs
  • 2 pounds venison, beef or pork
  • 4 C water
  • 1/2 C dry red wine
  • 1 T wine vinegar
  • 2 T parsley, finely minced
  • 1/4 tsp sage
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cloves
  • 1/8 tsp mace
  • Salt to taste

1. Trim the fat from the ribs, and trim and cut the rest of the meat into bite-sized pieces.

1. In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add venison or other ribs, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for forty-five minutes. Remove ribs, allow to cool, and cut the meat into bite-sized pieces.

2. Return the rib meat to the pot, and add all other ingredients. Return to the boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for half an hour more, or until all the meat is cooked through. Serve in individual bowls.

MollyNote: I’m going to add some barley. I bet it’s going to be a wonderful beefie-barley stew.

Post Script: I made this recipe tonight and it is the MOST DELICIOUS soup I’ve had.  Instead of ribs,I cut up a chuck steak and added the pieces. The broth is tasty and rich and the flavor is tangy and beefy. Man alive, that Middle Ages bunch sure could cook!