In the collection of the Institute of Papyrology at the University of Hiedelberg in Germany, there is a Greek papyrus (Heidelberg Papyrus inv. 1701 a.b.c – section Friedrich Bilabel, Opsartytika and relatives) from Egypt, dating to the 4th century CE. It contains a few recipes on it and is fragmentary, torn into a few pieces. On the largest piece there is one complete recipe for Cured Meat in Wine Reduction – Krea Tareikhera (Κρέα ταρείχηρά).
Greek papyrus (Heidelberg Papyrus inv. 1701 a.b.c) fragment with Krea Tareikhera recipe – Col. I-II (= col. VI-VII of the roll) – G_1701Ri-ii
This recipe is considered to be Roman, and not Greek, since it originated in the prime time of the Roman Empire in Egypt, which was at the time a Roman province.
The recipe reads as follows:
Greek text of the Krea Tareikhera recipe from Giarratano, Cesare, and Friedrich Vollmer, eds. Apicii librorum X qui dicuntur De re coquinaria quae extant. Leipzig, 1922. Appendix. p. 88.
Cured meat or slices of ham, similarly raw meat: first the cured meat is boiled a little just to take away its saltiness. Then put all these ingredients into a pan: four parts of wine, two parts of grape syrup, one part of wine vinegar, dry coriander, thyme, dill, fennel. Fry, after putting everything in together at the start, then boil. Half-way through the cooking some people add honey and ground cumin, others pepper, and after putting the sauce into a warmed pot they add little pieces of hot loin and bread.
English translation from Grant, Mark. Roman cookery: ancient recipes for modern kitchens. Interlink Publishing Group Incorporated, 1999. p. 117.
I made this particular recipe using cured roast beef and not ham.
- Grant, Mark. Roman cookery: ancient recipes for modern kitchens. Interlink Publishing Group Incorporated, 1999. p. 117-118.
- Giarratano, Cesare, and Friedrich Vollmer, eds. Apicii librorum X qui dicuntur De re coquinaria quae extant. Leipzig, 1922. Appendix. p. 88.
- Friedrich Bilabel, Opsartytika und Verwandtes. Mitteilungen aus der Heidelberger Papyrussammlung I = Sitzungsberichte der Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften, Phil.-hist. Klasse, Jahrg. 1919, 23. Abh., Heidelberg 1920.
Cured Meat in Wine Reduction - Krea Tareixera (Κρέα ταρείχηρά)
- 1 lb Cured Corned Beef
- 250 ml Red Wine
- 120 ml Sapa (Grape Syrup)
- 60 ml Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 tsp Fennel Dried, Ground
- 1 tsp Dill Dried, Ground
- 1 tsp Thyme Dried, Ground
- 2 tsp Coriander Ground
- 1 tsp Cumin Ground
- 1 tsp Black Pepper Coarse Ground
- 1 slice Bread Dark or White
- Slice the Cured Corned Beef into 3 thick slices, about 5-7 mm thick.
- Cut each slice in half so that they will fit into a medium sized pot.
- Chop up the slice of bread into bite size pieces.
- Bring a medium size pot of water to a boil, and boil the sliced cured corned beef in it for 5 minutes. This will reduce the saltiness of the cured meat. Taste the water after 5 minutes. It should taste salty.
- Remove the slices of cured corned beef from the water and chop them up into bite size pieces. Make sure not to chop up the meat before boiling, because that will remove too much salt and the meat will lose flavor.
- Put the red wine, Sapa, red wine vinegar, fennel, dill, thyme, and coriander into a deep frying pan. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce in the pan for 10 minutes while constantly stirring the mixture.
- Add the chopped meat into the pan. Fry the meat in the reduction for another 5 minutes while constantly stirring the mixture and the meat with a spatula.
- Add honey, cumin, and black pepper into the pan. Continue frying for another 5 minutes, while constantly stirring the contents of the pan.
- Add the chopped up bread to the pan. Fry the mixture for another 5 minutes.
- After the bread has been fully covered in the reduction sauce, the sauce will get fully absorbed in to the meat and bread and will be completely reduced.
- Remove from meat from the pan and serve.