Roman cooking tutorial

30 Jul

Minutal ex praecoquis (pork and apricot casserole)

Learn how to make an authentic Roman pork and apricot casserole (or minutal ex praecoquis to give it its proper name!), with food historians Pario Gallico. Vegan and veggie options also catered for.

Ingredients

for 4 people (or 2 big eaters)

Don’t be frightened by the length of this list! It’s not as complex as it might seem, you probably have half of these in your kitchen already, and you can make do with less herbs/ingredients:

You can choose fresh OR dried apricots instead of both.

Dill and mint are less important than coriander. If you dislike coriander, use mint.

  • 800g pork* shoulder, diced
  • 4-5 shallots, chopped
  • 3 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 4 or more tbsp ‘garum’  (Fish sauce/Thai fish sauce/Nam Pla, or salt/vinegar for veggie/vegan alternative)
  • 200ml white wine (as sweet as possible, try to avoid dry, fresh, crisp wine)
  • 2-3 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp wine vinegar (white ideally,but red works. Can be replaced by cider vinegar)
  • ½ tsp black pepper, crushed, plus some for serving
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • 8 or more sprigs of fresh dill (or 1tsp dry)
  • 6 fresh apricots, pitted
  • 150g dried apricots (adjust sweetness to taste by using more or less dried apricots)

* (Replace with diced lamb or chicken, vegan/vegetarian chicken – shredded or pieces- or grilled tofu or slices of halloumi. For vegetables only, use cubed turnips, onions, marrow…)

Optional:

  • ’Tracta’ - 2 ’Ryvita-style’ crackers OR 2 tbsp wheat flour, ideally wholemeal/brown
  • Salt

Side dish

(You can choose your favourite option, this recipe uses bulgur wheat)

200g bulgur wheat (pre-cooked, cracked wheat. Very close to wheat groats, but cooks quicker) and 800ml water /broth

OR pearl barley (more accurate)

OR couscous (very quick and easy)

Equipment

1 saucepan + lid

1 larger pan + lid

Sieve, chopping board, knives,spoons…