Learn Latin Vocab - FERCULA





On this page you will find recipes for the main course dishes commonly served at our Roman Banquets.

Click on the links in the box below for the individual details of each recipe.




Links to the Recipes

Venison with Wild Berries and Cumin

Rabbit with Fennel and Sweet Wine

Wild Boar with Apple and Sage

Salmon Stuffed with Herbs

Ostrich with Plum Sauce

Striped Horse with Ale and Onions

Roast Quail with Rosemary

Ship of the Desert with Ginger, Dates & Nuts

Strange Jumping Beast from the Southern Parts

Lettuce and Onion Puree with Mint and Lovage

Leeks in White Wine with Marjoram 

Carrots with Cumin and Lemon












VENISON with wild berries in a Cumin Sauce



               Ingredients:         Venison (diced)
                                        Shallots or small onions
                                        Can of Blackcurrants in Syrup
                                        Chicken Stock
                                        Herbs: Thyme, Parsley
                                        Chives (or Wild Garlic leaves)
                                        Ground Cumin
                                        Olive Oil
                                        Salt & Pepper
                                        Red Wine or Port
                                        A few fresh berries (if available)

            If time available, marinade the diced venison overnight in the wine (port is recommended for a fuller flavour).

             Chop the shallots roughly and fry gently until soft. Remove from frying pan and keep warm in a casserole dish. Fry the diced meat, seasoned with salt, pepper and cumin until lightly browned; then turn out into the dish with the onions. Add the can of blackcurrants and a cup of chicken stock; spoon on quite a lot of honey (you can adjust this later); tear the herbs and wild garlic or chives and add. Pour on enough wine to cover the rest of the ingredients.

              Cook in a low oven for 2-3 hours. Then taste, adjust the flavourings (may need more honey and/or cumin, to taste) and if desired thicken the liquid with cornflour or ground arrow-root.

               Return to oven and turn up to a strong heat so food is properly cooked and hot before serving. For final 10 minutes add some fresh wild berries, and decorate with a few more when ready to serve.

               I would usually make this a couple of days in advance and reheat each day - this gives a deeper flavour. The cumin gives a mild curry-flavour - it was a spice used very often by Roman cooks, sometimes to disguise the taste of meat that was past its best!









Rabbit in sweet wine with Fennel



                 Ingredients:    Rabbit
                                     Shallots or small onions
                                     Fennel bulb
                                     Dried Fruit
                                     Chicken Stock
                                     Olive Oil
                                     Herbs: Parsley, Chives, Savory (or Thyme)
                                     Salt & Pepper
                                     Sweet White Wine (e.g. Muscadet)


          Chop about 3 small onions /shallots, and most of a bulb of fennel. Fry gently in a little olive oil until soft. Chop filleted rabbit into chunks (filleting your own rabbit gives a sense of achievement, but is rather time-consuming  - and messy!), and add to the frying dish. Season with salt and pepper. When rabbit has browned a little, turn the ingredients so far into a casserole dish.

          Tear some herbs (parsley, chives,  savory (or thyme)) and add to the pot; add a couple of handfuls of dried fruit (sultanas, orange peel etc), several table-spoons of honey and a cup of chicken stock. Add enough sweet white wine (eg muscadet) to cover the larger chunks.

         Put into a hot oven until the liquid begins to boil, then turn down the oven and slow-cook for a couple of hours. Test for flavour and add more seasoning or honey to taste. Thicken the liquid with arrow-root or cornflour and boil up again for 15 mins before serving.

       The sweet honey and hint of fennel, along with the 'expanded' dry fruit, go very well with the rabbit.









WILD BOAR MEAT with Apples and Sage



                Ingredients:   Wild Boar  (I always use sausages - specialist butchers often stock these)
                                    Salt & Pepper
                                    Olive Oil
                                    Apple Sauce and/or Apple & Cider Jelly

            In a suitable casserole dish, fry the sausages in olive oil until browned. Chop them into pieces. Season with pepper & a little salt.

            Add sliced apple and plenty of torn-up sage leaves: continue to fry together until apple is softened and coloured but not disintegrating!

                Before serving, stir in a small jar of apple sauce and/or some apple & cider jelly; reheat and serve hot, decorated with a little more torn sage.

                The sauce at the end adds a little extra sweetness and finishes the dish nicely.










WHOLE SALMON stuffed with Herbs and Lemon for the BBQ.



                 Ingredients:    Whole Salmon (ready cleaned)
                                      Olive Oil
                                      Herbs: Lemon Thyme, Chives, Parsley, Lemon Balm

         Liberally stuff the prepared salmon with handfuls of the herbs.

         Drizzle (into the inside) some olive oil, and squeeze in plenty of lemon-juice. Add the remains of the squeezed lemon pieces too.

         Roll the whole fish in grease-proof paper (when cooked, this will peel away taking the skin with it - the Romans would have used vine- or fig-leaves, with the same result) and then also wrap it in tin foil.

         Allow the lemon and herbs to infuse for a couple of hours (the lemon-juice will begin to "cook" the fish); BBQ (both sides) over hot coals, or actually in the embers themselves.







OSTRICH  with Plum Sauce



                 Ingredients:  Ostrich Steaks
                                    Red Plums
                                    Chicken Stock
                                    Herbs: Chives, Parsley
                                    Salt & Pepper
                                    Olive Oil
                                    Splash of Red Wine Vinegar
                                    Red Wine

           Cut ostrich steaks (the Romans really did eat ostrich!) into fairly small chunks (to make them easier to barbeque) and season with pepper and a little celery-seed.

           Stone plums and chop roughly; place in a saucepan. Add a little stock and olive oil (too much makes it rather too greasy); tear herbs and add to pan, sprinkle on a spoonful of celery-seeds and a pinch of salt. Add a couple of large spoonfuls of honey. Splash in a lid-full of vinegar,  and pour in a decent glug of red wine (enough liquid to reduce ingredients without going too thick or burning).

           Bring to the boil and leave to simmer over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for about half-an-hour. Allow to cool (it should thicken naturally as it does so.)

           Paint some of this sauce onto the meat before barbequing, and serve the rest as a 'relish'. Ostrich burgers, anyone?









Striped horse  stewed in Ale with Onions



                  Ingredients:  Zebra steaks
                                     Stout or strong Brown Ale
                                     Rosemary (or herb of your choice!)
                                     Salt & Pepper

    This is obviously not an actual Roman recipe - but I'm sure they would've tried it!

    The zebra meat can be tough, so cut into chunks and marinade overnight in the Stout.

     Slice the onions (not too finely) and fry until coloured; add the zebra meat and brown together in the same pan with a little fresh rosemary leaves (or a herb of your choice! I would love to hear of anything that works well!) Season with salt and pepper.

     Combine once again with the stout, and cook quite slowly in the oven for an hour or so. Taste and adjust seasoning, and thicken with cornflour or arrow-root if desired.








ROAST QUAIL with Rosemary



               Ingredients:   Quail (boneless if possible)
                                   Rosemary sprigs
                                   Olive Oil
                                   Salt & Pepper

           Drizzle the quail with oil, and then plainly roast (bake) them with the sprigs of rosemary and plenty of salt & pepper. Drain excess liquid from the baking dish periodically.

           Keep warm, and cut in half to serve.






SHIP of the desert with ginger, dates and nuts.



                    Ingredients:  Camel steaks
                                       Ginger (crystallised works better than fresh!)
                                       Ground almonds
                                       Salt & Pepper
                                       Powdered Ginger
                                       Ginger Wine
                                       Hazelnuts (for garnish)

                 Another recipe in the 'Roman style'! All the ingredients were actually available, and ginger was a prized spice - I'm not sure whether or not they ever attempted to crystallise it…!

                  Chop the camel steaks into pieces and marinade in the ginger wine, along with the crystallised & powdered ginger and the dates, in a casserole dish.

                     Add seasoning. Bring to the boil, then turn down oven and cook slowly for an hour or so.  Taste and add as much honey as desired. Thicken the sauce with the ground almonds (cook them into the liquid).

                     Serve garnished with parsley (or coriander) and some chopped hazelnuts.









MEAT of strange jumping beast from the Southern Parts


                   Ingredients:  Kangaroo Steaks
                                      Olive oil
                                      Ground and fresh Coriander


                 Yes, I'm sure they'd have tried this one too!

                 Slice the kangaroo quite thinly and marinade with the rest of the ingredients.

                  Cook on the Barbie!









 Lettuce & Onion Puree with Mint and Lovage Sauce



                Ingredients:  Romaine Lettuce
                                   Finely chopped onion
                                   Olive Oil
                                   Chicken Stock
                                   Cider (or white wine) Vinegar
                                   Ground Lovage Root (or celery seed)
                                   Roughly chopped sprigs of Garden Mint

        Tear the lettuce roughly, and steam with the chopped onion until both are soft. Two hints: use some bicarbonate of soda to retain the lettuce's green colour; and… it's a lot quicker to do this in a microwave…!

         Chop the vegetables finely (no need to actually 'puree'!)

         For the sauce: combine about 4 tablespoons of oil and chicken stock with 2 of the vinegar. Add a teaspoon of ground pepper, and two (or more) of ground lovage root. Only use celery seed if you have been unable to beg, steal or borrow the lovage root as this is the key flavour for this exceptional sauce. Tear in plenty of mint.

           Heat in a saucepan until simmering and allow to reduce a little: add a little more fresh mint and pour over the chopped-up lettuce and onion.

           This one really is Ancient Rome on a plate.








LEEKS in White Wine Sauce with Marjoram



                  Ingredients:   Leeks
                                      Olive Oil
                                      Dry White Wine
                                      Chicken Stock
                                      Fresh Marjoram

               Chop the leeks into circles and boil until tender. Drain and dress with the sauce.

               To make the sauce:  In a saucepan, combine about half a cup of stock and another half-cup of wine with a dessert-spoonful of oil. Season with a little pepper; tear leaves of fresh marjoram into the sauce and simmer over heat until reduced by half.

           Tear a little more fresh marjoram over the leeks when serving.








CARrots with Cumin and Lemon



             Ingredients:   Carrots
                                 Ground Cumin
                                 Fresh Lemon Juice

                Chop the carrots into thin finger-batons and cook until just tender. Drain; sprinkle with ground cumin (enough to give a proper flavour). Stir together over a very low heat (a small amount of oil may be added if desired) until the cumin is properly mixed in.

                Squeeze plenty of fresh lemon juice over the carrots before serving.  






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