Something between a soup and a stew, Pottage was a staple of the working classes from medieval times. It was cooked, perpetually, over an open fire in a large pot or cauldron and was constantly added to with whatever foodstuffs were in season or to hand. Typically the broth or basis of the pottage would have been water, though perhaps flavoured with boiled bones. To this would be added oats which added bulk and fibre, and vegetables such as kale, onions, dried peas.
In poorer households, meat would have been a luxury, but could be stretched further by including into the pottage pot. This might include chicken and rabbit and also bacon scraps. Having studied a number of medieval pottage recipes, this is my take on what may have bubbled away over the fire at Holden Gate!
- 4 pints water
- A selection of bones (chicken, beef, lamb or rabbit)
- 4 handfuls of oatmeal
- 2 onions
- 1 cabbage
- 3 handfuls dried peas
Bring water to the boil with the bones. Add the vegetables and cook until soft. Add the oatmeal and continue to boil until the pottage thickens. Enjoy!