Fartes of Portingale

Portuguese Style Lamb Meatballs

This is sixteenth century dish of lamb meatballs done in a Portuguese style, according to Elizabethan concepts of what is Portuguese style. Fartes are typically a light and delicate pastry according to Lorna J. Sass in To The Queen’s Taste, a collection of Elizabethan recipes. I found it strange to have this term applied to a meatball. Oddly enough though, one of the first comments I got on these lamb meatballs was how surprisingly light and delicate they were.

The original recipe is taken from The Good Huswives Handmaid, originally published in 1588.

Original Recipe:

How to make Fartes of Portingale. Take a peece of a leg of mutton. Mince it smal and season it with cloves, mace, pepper, and salt, and Dates minced with currants: then roll it into round rolles, and so into little balles, and so boyle them in a little beef broth and so serve them foorth.

My Translation:

How to make mincemeat of Portugal. Take a piece of a leg of mutton. Mince it small and season it with cloves, mace, pepper, and salt, and Dates minced with currants: then roll it into round rolls, and so into little balls,
and so boil them in a little beef broth and so serve them forth.

My Interpretation:

1 lb ground lamb
½ tsp ground mace
2 Tbsp currants
½ tsp salt
6 dates, minced½ tsp ground pepper
2 cups beef broth½ tsp ground cloves

Combine lamb, currants, dates and spices, mixing well. Take meat mixture and form into ½ inch size balls. Place balls of meat into boiling beef broth, for about 10 to 15 minutes, stirring as needed until meat is fully
cooked, then serve.

Notes:

Fartes is in reference to "farcemeat" or a "force meat" a stuffing made of meat.

References:

Sass, Lorna J. To the Queen's Taste: Elizabethan Feasts and Recipes Adapted for Modern Cooking. [New York]: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1976. Print.

"The Good Huswifes Handmaide for the Kitchin, London 1594." The Good Huswifes Handmaide for the Kitchin, London 1594. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Sept. 2012. <http://www.uni-giessen.de/gloning/tx/1594-ghh.htm>

The Good Huswifes Handmaide for the Kitchin ... Imprinted at London: By Richard Iones., 1594. Print.