Tudor Christmas Cookalong

Looking for last minute holiday feast ideas? Historic Royal Palaces has some suggestions from the Tudors whose feasting prowess was legendary. They’ve posted two Tudor Christmas Cookalong videos hosted by food historian Robin Mitchener who is part of the crack team in the Hampton Court Palace kitchens that recreate period foods for the visitors to the palace.

The first video in the series is for a dish called Sauge made from leftover white meat, so maybe more of a post-Christmas dish unless you still have turkey in the freezer from Thanksgiving. It’s like a combination of chicken and egg salad, only without mayonnaise or oil. The yolks get mashed up in a monster marble mortar and pestle with spices, herbs and vinegar, though, so it does get somewhat creamed. Please note around the 2:40 mark how slickly Robin Mitchener deploys his blade.


Next is Cormarye, a marinated pork loin dish that looks legitimately delicious. In Tudor times the entire loin was roasted on a spit in one of the ginormous Hampton Court fireplaces, but the food historian has modified it to use readily available and easily pan-cooked loin steaks.


The whole YouTube channel is a treasury of cooking videos. This one from six years ago offers a Tudor-style alternative to the traditional Christmas mince pie. It’s called Ryschewys close and fryez (watch the video to learn how to pronounce it) and is a pasta parcel filled with fruits and nut paste and fried.


This one isn’t Christmas themed per se. It’s a savory cheese pie filled with all the rich dairy you’re not supposed to eat at Lent, hence the name Tartes owt of Lente. I’m sure it’s very tasty and looks relatively simple to prepare, but the key part of the video as far as I’m concerned is the unimpeded view of Robin whipping out his trusty scimitar from his hip holster. Watch out cowboys; we history nerds are coming for you.


Merry Christmahannakwanzika, all!

9 thoughts on “Tudor Christmas Cookalong

  1. Happy Christmas and thank you for your hard work over the year. If you put it up we’ll come and read it!

  2. “the traditional Christmas mince pie”: now I come to think of it, it’s time for a mince pie, and some Earl Grey in my jolly Christmas present mug.

    MX and a HNY to everybody, and especially to our hard-working host.

  3. Yes, first thing I noticed was that lovely scabbard! I can do a pretty good mince, but it’s not the same effect pulling the knife out of a block. I really want a scabbard now. I’m trying to gen the process that cooking twice a day for 600 people would necessitate, sans modern appliances fueled by electricity and gas. Came to the conclusion that it would be pretty much the same as us food nerds use now, just there’d be a whole lot of us working at the same time. It’s simpler and faster to use a knife or a pestle than it is a machine, as long as you’ve got the people. (Even one or two can serve a small crowd.) I wonder if somewhere there is a painting showing a Tudor kitchen in action. Imagine the flurry of motion!

  4. Io Saturnalia, Livius Drusus!

    As always thank you for the gift that is your blog.

    Happy Christmas and an excellent and prosperous New Year!

    Gratius multas ago tibi semper


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