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History Cookbook: Boiled Peas and Ham

This recipe is in categories Saxons & Vikings, Main courses
About this recipe
Healthiness : (122 votes)
Difficulty:  2 out of 5 difficulty
Preparation Time: Not including shelling the peas, 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 1/2 hours
Number of servings: 4-6 servings
Serving suggestions: Serve with crusty bread

This is a dish cooked wrapped in cloth in a large pot.The creamy peas offset the saltiness of the ham very well. Much food of this period is relatively simple to prepare but the unusual combination of linseeds and horse radish makes the peas quite delicious.

The Vikings kept and breed cattle, sheep, goasts, poulty and pigs. Pigs were one source of meat that could be kept slaughtered all year round.

It is thought that crops such as peas and beans were cultivated (although some researchers believe peas were not introduced until Norman times, others believe that the Normans only introduced new varieties). 

Horseradish has been cultivated since ancient times and was known to the Greeks and Romans. As traders, the Vikings and Saxons may have been aware of it and used it in their meals. Both root and leaves were used as a medicine during the Middle Ages and the root was used as a condiment with meats in Germany, Scandinavia, and Britain.

  • 150g fresh peas ( or frozen)
  • 500g (approximately) ham joint, boned
  • 1/2 tsp horseradish sauce
  • 1 dessertspoon linseeds
  • a knob of butter
  • 2 clean cloths, tea towels will do 
  • 2 pieces of string
  • Weighing scales
  • Large pan
  • Dish
  • Two clean cloths
  • String
  • Fork
  • Sharp knife
  • Spoon
Making and cooking it
Always wash your hands before preparing food Always wash your hands before preparing food.

  1. Put a large pan of water on the hob to boil. It needs to be big enough to fit the peas and ham in together
  2. Shell the peas if they are in pods
  3. Put the peas in a dish and add the butter, linseeds and horse radish
  4. Tip the pea mixture into a clean cloth. Gather the cloth up around the peas and tie with string. Make sure there are no gaps so the peas can't fall out
  5. Put the ham in the centre of the second cloth and tie this into a bag too
  6. Put both bags into the boiling water and cook for about 1 1/2 hours
  7. Remove the cloth parcels from the boiling water, use tongs to do this. Put the parcels into dishes to drain and then unwrap them
  8. Lift the ham out with 2 forks onto a chopping board. Slice the ham
  9. Arrange the ham onto either individual plate or into the centre of a serving plate
  10. Spoon the peas around the meat
  11. Serve hot
Boiled Peas and Ham - print view  Boiled Peas and Ham - print view

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Name: Dominic 10th January 2019
This i s ok iguess tho it not as goodas mcdonalds tho bruh
Name: Lyron 1st September 2011
very tasty :P
Name: Elaine 10th August 2010
I am a fan of jamoniberico de bellota. Bellota means acorn in Spanish, it gives you an idea of the super healthy diet that these free range pigs get … and how they can produce such an amazing product. If you never had it, iberico ham is well known for its sweet and delicious taste. In this case it turns a good recipe into an amazing deli… just try!
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