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Boiled Peas and Ham

This recipe is in categories Main courses, Saxons & Vikings, Starters,
About this recipe:
Difficulty: not rated

This is a dish cooked wrapped in cloth in a large pot. The pot is filled with water and set directly on the fire. All of the preparation takes place in the house but the cooking fire has been lit outside. In fine weather, much of Saxon life took place outside.

The Vikings kept and bred cattle, sheep, goats, poultry and pigs. Pigs were one source of meat that could be kept and 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.
For images of the cooking process see our Boiled Peas and Ham Picture Gallery.

With thanks to Steve and Jo Parish  of Past Alive for their help with this podcast.


Making and cooking it