Food & Drink

An Anglo-Saxon seasonal Feast

An Anglo-Saxon seasonal FeastIn Saxon times autumn and early winter were the time when surplus cattle were slaughtered for their meat at the end of their first or second year, or as their productivity as breeding stock or their strength to pull ploughs declined. Surplus young sheep were also slaughtered during the autumn and additional meat sources coming from older breeders that would mainly have been kept for their wool. Older fowl were also killed as keeping them alive through the winter months was costly in grain with no reward of eggs.

So what might a seasonal feast have included? Here are a few known recipes from the era. Food wasn’t all pottage and mouldy bread in the 6th century, the Anglo-Saxons had wide trading networks, so the ingredients have quite a Mediterranean feel.

Stuffed chicken

3½ lb (1.6kg) chicken

4 hard-boiled eggs

2 medium onions

½ pt (275 ml) chicken stock

1 small bunch of parsley

1-3 tbs (30-45 ml) lard

salt & pepper

Prepare the chicken for stuffing and for spit or oven roasting. Separate the egg whites and yolks. Slice the onions thinly. Bring the stock to the boil, and blanch the onions and parsley for 2-3 minutes. Remove the parsley and cook the onions until soft. Drain, reserving the remaining stock. Cool.

Cut off the parsley stalks and chop the leaves with the egg yolks, lard and seasoning. Add the onion. Stuff the chicken with the mixture, then truss it. Roast the chicken in the usual way, with the reserved stock in the drip tray or roasting tin. Use it to baste the chicken and to make a thin or slightly thickened gravy with the pan juices and some extra stock. If wished, garnish with the egg whites, chopped, and a little extra parsley.

Roast Mutton

Ingredients 1 leg mutton (4-5 lbs) 

Generous slosh of cheap red wine 

3-6 cloves garlic, peeled 

4 juniper berries 

Several sprigs of rosemary 

Salt and pepper 

Gravy browning (check packet for amount) or 2 teaspoons (30 ml) cornflour 

Method You can ask your butcher to bone the mutton, which will make it easier to carve. This is also worth doing if you want to use the leg bone to make knife handles or whatever, because roasting would make the bone brittle. You can stuff the cavity with a mix of chopped prunes, hazelnuts, finely chopped onions and fresh herbs. Remember to allow for any stuffing when calculating the cooking time.

Cut slots in the meat with a sharp knife. Push the garlic, juniper berries and rosemary into these slots. How much of each you use depends on your taste; too much juniper will make it bitter, and not everybody is mad about garlic. Heat the oven to 150o C (300o F). Put the meat into a roasting dish. Sprinkle it with salt and pepper and then slosh wine over it. Put the lid on the roasting dish, or cover the joint with aluminium foil. 

Roast the meat for 40 minutes per lb (450 g): if necessary, add more wine during cooking to keep the dish from drying out. Remove the lid or foil for the last half hour of cooking. When it's cooked, put the meat onto a carving platter to rest while you make gravy with the cooking juices. 

To make the gravy, put the roasting dish on the hob and add some water (or cooking juices from vegetables). You should get nearly a pint of gravy. Thicken the gravy with gravy browning, or mix the cornflour with a little water until smooth, and stir this into the gravy. Keep stirring until the gravy has thickened. Strain it into a warmed jug, spoon the fat off the top of the gravy and serve

Curd flan

‘Take nessh chese, and pare it clene, and grind hit in a morter small, and drawe yolkes and white of egges thorgh a streynour, and cast there-to, and grind hem togidre; then cast thereto honey, butter and salt, and put together in a coffyn of faire paast, and lete bake ynowe, and then serue it forthe.’

‘nessh chese’ is fresh soft curd cheese

‘coffyn of faire paast’ is a light pastry case.

The Wellington Hotel Howden

The Wellington Hotel HowdenNeil and all the staff at the Wellington Hotel extend a warm welcome to all our guests.  The Wellington Hotel Serves Quality Old Mill Traditional Ales in a friendly, comfortable local environment. Located in the heart of Howden, East Yorkshire, the Wellington Hotel is popular with locals and visitors from throughout the UK. We have 10 high quality En Suite rooms available from as little as £34.95 per night and an upstairs function room, comfortably seating 50 guests which is ideal for business functions, meeting and family events such as Christenings, Wakes and Smaller Wedding Parties.

Food service time are as follows:-

  • Monday-Friday 11.30am-3.00pm & 5.00pm-8.30pm,
  • Saturday 11.30am-3.00pm & 5.00pm-9.00pm,
  • Sunday Carvery 12.00pm-3.00pm, evening menu available from 3.00pm-8.30pm.

All dishes are freshly prepared by their head chef Karen Makey and her team with fresh produce sourced locally wherever possible. We also have a daily specials and sweets menu available on request.

31 Bridgegate, Howden, East Yorkshire. DN14 7JG

Tel. 01430 430258

The Victoria Hotel York

The Victoria Hotel YorkThe Victoria Hotel York, is situated on Heslington Road, just outside the City Walls and within easy walking distance of all the attractions York has to offer. They offer Single, Double and Twin En-Suite accommodation for visitors from outside the area at very reasonable prices and have great food available daily from Tuesday to Sunday. They serve a range of Cask Ales from 'The Old Mill Brewery' including Traditional Bitter, Traditional Mild, Blonde Bombshell, Bullion, Yorkshire Elixer & Porter and regular seasonal ales. The Victoria Hotel is a CAMRA accredited pub and was voted the CAMRA York City Pub of the Season 2010.

At this time of year if you are in York Christmas shopping The Victoria Hotel is the ideal location to have a break from the crowds, a bite to eat and a relaxed pint.

Mark & Tracie Fox extend a warm welcome to all.

Food service times are as follows:-

  • Tuesday to Thursday 12pm-4pm & 5pm-8pm
  • Saturday and Sunday 12pm-5pm

Student menu available 

Opening times are:-

  • Monday - 1pm-11pm
  • Tuesday - Friday 12pm-11pm
  • Saturday - 12pm-12am
  • Sunday - 12pm-10.30pm

Tel. 01904 622295

Fax. 01904 677860

Wharfedale Fine Cheeses

Wharfedale Fine Cheeses was established in 2012. We have a passion for tasting and sharing handmade cheese that has been lovingly made in God's own country, Yorkshire. We also like to bring you artisan cheese from the rest of the UK as well as further afield across Europe. With access to over 1000 cheeses we feel confident that there is something for everyone.

Wharfedale Fine Cheeses

Wharfedale Fine Chesses attend a number of markets and farmers markets in the West Yorkshire region as follows:-

  • Every Friday - Bingley Market 09:30 - 14:30
  • 1st and 3rd Saturday - Shipley Market 09:00 - 16:00
  • 2nd Saturday - Saltaire Produce Market 10:00 – 15:00
  • 4th Saturday - Baildon Farmers Market 09:00 – 13:00
  • 1st Sunday - Skipton Farmers Market 09:00 – 14:00
  • 2nd Sunday - Wetherby Farmers Market 09:00 – 13.00
  • 3rd Sunday – Guiseley Farmers Market 10:00 – 14:00
  • Last Sunday – Chapel Allerton - Leeds 09:30 – 13:30

Wharfedale Fine CheesesWe also arrange cheese tasting events for small to medium sized parties, either in your own home or in a village hall, institute, public house etc. Below are the details for “Soft, Runny &  a little bit Smelly” A cheese club event hosted at The Menstone public house in Menston, Leeds:-

"Following the success of May’s Cheese Club event, it is with pleasure that Wharfedale Fine Cheeses announce the second Cheese Club event at The Menstone this year. Again we shall be holding this event at The Menstone, why, because it’s a great little room, the people that came last time were fantastic, oh and of course, there is a bar!!!! So, after having a Taste of Shepherds Purse, what can we expect from this one, how about, Soft, Runny and a little bit Smelly! As before there will be 10 cheeses for you to try, take a little bit at first, if you like it you can always get some more. 

What will there be, things like Brie De Meaux, Epoisses, St Marcellin, Golden Cenarth, Stinking Bishop to name but a few. "

Candied Sweet Potatoes Recipe

Candied Sweet Potatoes RecipeThere are many versions of candied sweet potatoes, this recipe brushes them with a combination of butter, brown sugar and cinnamon, pops them in the oven to roast until tender. 


4lbs Sweet Potatoes

2 Tbsp Butter

1 cup Brown Sugar, packed

1 tsp Salt

1Tbsp Cinnamon

½ cup Water

Pre-heat oven to 400-degrees


1. Peel and slice potatoes 1-inch thick

2. Rinse potatoes and dry with a tea towel

3. Grease a shallow baking dish; put potatoes in dish

4. Place pan in pre-heated 400-degree oven for 30 minutes

5. In the meantime, in a saucepan melt butter and stir in brown sugar, salt and cinnamon and water

6. Stir mixture until it become a light syrup; remove from heat

7. Pour syrup over the potatoes and roast until tender

There are lots of other Afro-Caribbean recipes in the Afro-Caribbean Food Yorkshire Facebook Group



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