Food Quiz

Delicious 14th Century Medieval Pie with Pork and Spice


A pie on a plate with a slice taken out.

Are you a foodie who loves to experiment with new cuisines? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to travel back in time and taste an authentic medieval dish, Medieval Pie with Pork and Spice? Well, you don’t need a time machine for that. In this blog post, we will take you on a culinary journey to the medieval era and explore one of their most popular dishes – Pork and Spice Pie. We will share with you a detailed recipe that you can easily make at home and experience the flavors of the past.

We will also delve into the history of English Game Pies, which were prevalent during the Tudor and Stuart periods in England. Lastly, we will discuss modern variants of these pies and provide additional resources for those interested in learning more about medieval cooking. Get ready to transport your taste buds to a different time period!

What is Medieval Cooking?

Medieval Cooking is the cuisine and food preparation techniques used during the Middle Ages 14th and 15th century, shaped by social class, religion, and ingredient availability. It commonly used pork, beef, root vegetables, grains, and spices. The recipes of this era highlighted herbs and spices to add flavor.

Medieval Pie with Pork and Spice
Medieval Pie with Pork and Spice

Medieval Pie with Pork and Spice Recipe

In medieval times, culinary practices were heavily influenced by social class, religion, and available ingredients. One such mouth-watering recipe that still stands the test of time is Medieval Pie with Pork and Spice. This meat pie was highly regarded during medieval times owing to its perfect blend of spices such as ginger, saffron, nutmeg cloves, and cinnamon that elevate its taste manifold. Interestingly enough, this pie has an interesting history dating back to the Middle Ages when pies were an important part of festive feasts.

The preparation process for this Medieval Pie involves three distinct steps – making the crust from scratch using hot water crust pastry or pie dough; preparing the filling by seasoning ground pork with thyme along with currants soaked in vinegar; finally assembling the pie in a coffin or pie shell before baking it until golden brown.

It’s worth noting that there are several modern versions of this traditional delicacy while still maintaining its essence. Whether it’s adding bacon bits or peas to the filling or simply adapting it according to dietary restrictions- there are different ways to enjoy this savory delight today.

Step One: Making the Crust

For making the Medieval Pie with Pork and Spice crust, combine flour, butter, and water in a mixing bowl. To ensure a flaky crust, handle the dough gently without overworking it. After mixing all the ingredients together, let the dough rest in the refrigerator for about an hour before rolling it out on a floured surface. The pie shell should be carefully placed in a pie dish after being rolled out to perfection.

This recipe is inspired by medieval cookery techniques found in original texts such as Forme of Cury from England’s Middle Ages. The crust is made with hot water crust pastry and filled with ground pork mixed with ginger, saffron, nutmeg and more spices that were used back then. This was a savoury meat pie that was popular during Christmas feasts and other celebrations during medieval times.

Step Two: Preparing the Filling

To prepare the filling for the Meat Pie with Pork and Spice from medieval times, combine ground pork along with onions, garlic, and an assortment of sweet spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Mix all these ingredients together until they are well combined to create a lip-smackingly flavorful filling that perfectly complements the crust. It is important to ensure that you cook the pork mixture thoroughly before adding it to the pie shell or pastry. You can also add your favorite veggies or herbs for a personalized touch.

This medieval recipe for savory meat pie made its way into English cookery through “The Forme of Cury,” an early English text society cookbook originating in 1390 in England. In later years it became popular throughout England as a Christmas feast dish. With roots tracing back to medieval ancestors in Yorkshire and Leicestershire, this meat pie made waves across centuries!

Step Three: Assembling and Baking

To bake a savory Medieval Pie with Pork and Spice, start by making the pastry crust. Gently mix together flour, butter, and water until it forms a tender dough, then let it rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour before rolling it out on a floured surface. Once formed into a pie shell, fill it with ground pork mixed with onions, garlic, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, and other spices for flavor. Customize your filling with additional vegetables or herbs as desired.

To assemble your medieval meat pie masterpiece, spread your filling evenly over your prepared crust before covering it with another layer of rolled-out pastry dough. Seal in all that flavor by crimping the edges of your pie before baking to perfection at 375°F for about 45-50 minutes or until golden brown.

The Medieval Pie with Pork and Spice recipe has its roots in England’s Middle Ages but is still enjoyed today in modern interpretations across Yorkshire and Leicestershire. With notes of mace, saffron, raisins currants and roast meat pies from early English text society cookbooks like Forme of Cury (1390) to mince pies consumed at Christmas feasts throughout Tudor and Stuart periods, this recipe has seen its fair share of changes over the centuries. But no matter how you enjoy your medieval pie with pork and spice, one thing is for sure – it’s always a hearty delight!

History of English Game Pies

English game pies have a fascinating history that dates back to medieval times. During these times, meat pies were primarily made with venison or other wild game. However, after domesticated meat became available, pork pie became increasingly popular in England’s cookery. To make them flavorful and stable for longer durations, spices like cinnamon and nutmeg were added.

During the Tudor and Stuart periods, game pies continued to be popular with wealthy diners who often ate them at feasts and banquets hosted by nobility. They were also regarded as symbols of wealth and status during those times.

Game pies entered their golden age in England during the 18th century when small birds such as sparrows and blackbirds were used as ingredients. This trend, however, faded out over time due to ethical issues.

Today, modern versions of game and pork pies continue to be enjoyed as traditional English dishes in different ways. Vegetables like peas or sweet fruits like raisins or currants may be included in the filling to add flavor and moisture. The pie crust can also be made using hot water crust pastry or olive oil instead of the original recipe’s suet.

Tudor and Stuart Periods

In the Tudor and Stuart periods in England, game pies gained immense popularity. These savory pies were typically made with a combination of meats like pork, venison, and game birds. To add more flavor to these pies, spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, thyme, mace, ginger powder douce and saffron were added to enhance the taste even further. The pies would often be served at feasts and banquets hosted by nobility as they were considered a symbol of wealth and status during that time period.

These meat pies came in various forms ranging from coffins to pie shells with different fillings like minced meat or roast meat mixed with peas or broth. Pies could also contain fruits like raisins or currants depending on their recipe. Even live birds like blackbirds or sparrows would be placed in the pie before baking in earlier versions of the recipe!

Today’s version of Medieval Pie with Pork and Spice has changed quite a bit from its original version centuries ago. Modern variants have evolved over time with different ingredients being substituted for others to suit modern tastes better while still retaining its essence. Pork pie is an English classic that can be found at many family gatherings or holiday meals like Christmas. The pastry crusts are usually made using hot water crust pastry while ground pork is used for making the filling.

Golden Age of Game Pies in England

Game pies were a delicacy during the medieval ages in England, relished only by the elite. The pie fillings consisted of a range of meats like venison, pork, and game birds with spices like cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg added for flavor. Pastry crusts for these pies were intricate with elaborate designs that showed off a chef’s expertise. Pork was an essential ingredient in many variations of these meat pies.

The original recipe for Medieval Pie with Pork and Spice was documented in the ‘Forme of Cury,’ which is believed to be one of the earliest English cookery manuscripts. This medieval recipe included ground pork mixed with currants, raisins, saffron, mace, ginger powder douce (sweet spices), cloves, salt, and sugar. This mixture was then placed inside a coffin (a pie shell) made with flour and water paste.

Pork pies became famous during the Tudor and Stuart periods in England when they were served at banquets along with other delicacies such as roast lamb or bacon. It was considered a symbol of wealth and status if you could serve your diners a good quality pork pie. Today there are many modern versions of Medieval Pies available that use hot water crust pastry instead of pie dough.

Savory 14th Century Medieval Pie with Pork and Spices
Savory 14th Century Medieval Pie with Pork and Spices

Modern Variants of Medieval Pies

Medieval cooking has always fascinated food lovers around the world. One such dish that has stood the test of time is Medieval Pie with Pork and Spice. This savory dish was enjoyed during medieval times in England and continues to entice diners even today.

The recipe for this delicious pie consists of three main components: the crust, filling and baking process. It all starts by preparing a hot water crust pastry made with flour mixed with hot water and olive oil that gives it moisture to bring out its flavor. Once done right add spices like ginger powder douce and saffron along with salt to taste.

Next up is preparing the filling; ground pork mixed with raisins and currants; adds a perfect balance of sweetness to the savory delight. Spices like cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon bring out the flavors and add a unique aroma to the dish. Once the filling is ready, it’s time to assemble everything and bake the pie. The pie is traditionally made in a coffin or a rectangular pie crust, with layers of filling stuffed inside.

Medieval Pie with Pork and Spice has evolved over time, from its original recipe in Middle Ages to modern versions that use different meats such as mutton or lamb instead of pork. Some recipes have even incorporated peas or blackbirds into the filling. This delicious dish has been enjoyed by people not only during Christmas but throughout medieval times at feasts and banquets.

References and Additional Resources

For those interested in exploring the world of medieval cookery further, there are numerous resources available online and in print. Historical cookbooks and manuscripts offer a wealth of information on traditional recipes and techniques used in medieval times. The Early English Text Society is an excellent resource for those interested in learning more about the history of English cookery, featuring volumes such as “The Forme of Cury,” which provides instructions for making savoury meat pies using spices like ginger, saffron, mace, and nutmeg. Meanwhile, online resources like blogs, forums, and social media groups can be great places to connect with other medieval cooking enthusiasts and share tips and recipe ideas.

For those looking for a more immersive experience, visiting historical sites or attending reenactment events can offer hands-on opportunities to learn about medieval cooking methods. Many sites feature demonstrations or workshops on everything from making pastry dough to roasting meats over an open fire. And for those who prefer to experiment with modern ingredients or techniques when recreating traditional recipes at home, there are plenty of resources available as well. From incorporating unique spice blends into your pie fillings to experimenting with different types of pastry crusts, there are many ways to put your own spin on medieval recipes.



Frequently Asked Questions

What ingredients are needed to make a pork and spice pie?

To make a pork and spice pie, gather ground pork, onion, garlic, mixed spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, black pepper), breadcrumbs, pastry dough, and an egg. Bake in a ceramic pie dish or cast-iron skillet and serve hot with your preferred sides for a tasty medieval-inspired dish.

What was the significance of pork in medieval cooking?

Pork was a popular meat in medieval cooking due to its low cost and widespread availability. It was often used in various dishes, but required heavy spicing to mask any undesirable tastes or smells. However, consumption of pork varied based on regional and religious beliefs.

What was the role of spices in medieval cooking?

Spices played a crucial role in medieval cooking by masking unpleasant flavors and providing medicinal benefits. Their limited availability and high cost made them a symbol of wealth. Popular spices included cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cloves, saffron, and pepper.

Can this recipe be adapted for modern cooking methods or ingredients?

Absolutely. This recipe is flexible and can be altered to suit modern cooking methods and ingredients. Experiment with store-bought pie crusts, adjust the spices to your liking, and customize the filling by adding veggies or swapping out proteins.


In conclusion, cooking is not just a means to an end but also a way to connect with the past, learn about history, and indulge in sensory delights. Medieval pies are a perfect example of this. They not only provide insight into the culinary practices of the past but also offer a unique taste experience that you won’t find anywhere else. So if you’re feeling adventurous and want to try something new, give our pork and spice pie recipe a go! And if you love it as much as we do, share it on social media with your friends and family. Who knows? Maybe they’ll be inspired to try their hand at medieval cooking too!

Penelope Rossi
Penelope Rossi

Hello! I'm Penny, a creative recipe developer and food stylist with a love for vegetarian and plant-based cuisine. When not gardening or hiking, you can find me in the kitchen, transforming classic dishes into healthier, veggie-packed versions. Let's embark on a delectable journey of colorful, plant-based delights together!