Autumn is a good time for harvesting food from the garden and it must have been the same for a fourteenth-century housewife. This year I’ve grown a lot beetroot and it’s time to dig them up before the slugs get used to eating them. Beetroot has featured in most of the recent pottage experiments because the crop has been good. Households in the fourteenth century must also have used more of what they had freely available.
Next to my rows of beetroot is a row of leeks. They’re still small, but I thinned them and added the ones I picked to the pot instead of onion.
The internet tells me that sage goes well with beetroot, so I picked some from the garden and threw that in as well. The other main ingredient of the pottage was barley.
I cut the beetroot into chunks and boiled it for half an hour on its own, then added the rest of the ingredients. The pottage simmered for another thirty minutes. The smell while it was doing this was wonderful.
Sadly, the problem with a dish made of things boiled with beetroot is that everything ends up red and it’s far from photogenic. I’m sorry about the photograph at the top of the post, but you should at least be able to see that it’s not a runny pottage.
The final result was tasty and filling. I enjoyed it and might make it again.