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Monday, September 3, 2012


Palacio del Marqués de la Conquista, 
Trujillo, Spain*
Photo from: 
butcher shop or slaughter house. In Madrid, it is thought that the oldest was in the Plaza del Arrabal, which today is part of the Plaza Mayor. There was a market there every Thursday. On January 26, 1469, Henry IV ordered this moved to the Plaza de Sant Ginés, where it stayed until 1502 when Isabel I moved it again. During the Middle Ages, the slaughter houses were rectangular with three naves and open fronts with numerous arches. Laws controlled hygiene, weights and measures and prices. [Sanz. 1967:14]



Filo dough for 1 pie[2]
1 eggplant
1 lb mutton from breast and ribs
1 onion 
Layering the Pie Plate
Photo by: Lord-Williams
1 zucchini squash[3]
1 tsp caraway
1 tsp Chinese cinnamon
3/8 c cilantro
1 tsp coriander seed 
salt to taste


Make filo dough. Line a pie plate with half of it and prick it with a fork a few times for the air to escape.

Slice an eggplant in half. Rub it with salt and turn the halves face down on paper towels to excrete the bitterness.

Cut the meat from the breast and ribs of a ram and cut them into small pieces, three fingers in length. Slice an onion in rounds. Peel the gourd and cut into rounds. Make a seasoning  by mixing together caraway, freshly ground Chinese cinnamon, chopped cilantro and crushed coriander seed. Peel the eggplants and slice them into rounds.

And God so Wishes!
Photo by: Lord-Williams

Place a layer of meat in the pie pan. Sprinkle it with seasoning and then place a by a layer eggplant, then sprinkle with seasoning and place a layer of gourd over that and then place a layer of onion, finishing with a layer of the fattiest meat on top. Add salt to taste

Cover with the other half of the dough. Seal the sides and prick with a fork. Cover the top of the pie with aluminum foil and bake 1hr 25 min. Remove the foil and continue baking 15 minutes until the gourds are thoroughly cooked and the pastry is golden brown if God so wishes. 

*The Butchers' Shop and Slaughter House
were located on the left side of the building
during the Middle Ages. The building was rebuilt for Francisca Pizarro, daughter of the Conquistador and wife of Hernando's Francisco's older brother. Their heirs acquired the title of Marques de la Conquista.

[1] Perry calls this a Baqliyya, a layered dish.
[2] The recipe does not call for dough but it makes and attractive presentation.
[3] Zucchini is used for its shape. Zucchini is an American vegetable but the gourd called for in the recipe is not known today.


  1. Hello! here I am again. Your pie looks very good even if I have had some trouble in identifying "gourd" as "zucchini". The name of this vegetable can vary in Spanish speaking countries, and what in Spain is "calabacín" in Chile is "zapallito", just to put an example.
    There is always a "calle de las carnicerías" in every old Spanish town. It is interesting as you point that hygiene, weight and prices were severelly controlled (as happened with fish).From Roman period, inscriptions with all the regulations were fixed in visible places of the markets. Control was important not only for the customers, but for the royal treasure, as one of the main taxes, alcabalas, were precisely over articles as wine, oil and meat.
    In Madrid, another place associated with the "carnicerías" or rather slaughtering is the Rastro, nowadays the flea market. "Rastro" or trace should make reference to the trace of blood left by the slaughtered animals. In Rome, mount Testaccio is said to be formed of piles of carcasses, because it was the place of the butcheries. It is also considered until now the natal place of typical modern Roman dishes as coratelle, animelle, trippe, in short, entrails retained apt only for the lower classes.

  2. Welcome back! You were sorely missed with your titilating comments to challenge us all!
    On the zucchini, I sometimes throw my hands up as American gourds and squashes dominate the market, it is very difficult to know today which gourds are European go back to before the invasion of American gourds. Sometimes it is necessary to tell our guests that we too are stumped and the recipe calls for some kind of gourd. . .
    At least in this blog one is informed. I saw a "Spanish medieval" blog the other day with recipes. The first one I looked at called for ketchup.
    That blog has over 1,000 followers. I have what 17? - Looks like only a 17th part of 1,000 prefer the truth to "midieval" ketchup!
    The Roman controls for weights and measures laid profound imprints on cities. St. Stephen's cathedral in Viena as well as various areas in the plaza of Trujillo, Spain have markings on the walls for this facet of weighing and taxing.
    Concerning the Vegetable Dish recipe in this blog, some recipes have to be tried two and three times before I get it right. Not only did this one come out right on the first try but my next door neighbors, who are gourmet cooks, whisked it out of my hands. After lunch, they returned the pie plate after licking up all the crumbs! It was that good!
    There are recipes I consider the best of the week. This is one!

  3. I can't believe the ketchup story! Surely if you had kept looking you should have step on Coca-cola for marinades, french fries as a side dish and chocolate ice cream for dessert!
    I sincerely and publicly want to congratulate you for your efforts! You truly deserve the Oscar for culinary reconstruction: trying a recipe two or three times must be some times discouraging, but the results are here, even if the ketchup-band cannot apreciate. Be sure we do. Thak you!

  4. The "ketchup story" is that there exists a blog titled "Medieval Spanish Food" or something like that and a recipe in that blog lists ketchup as an ingredient. I was put out in that I do my level best to use only medieval ingredients and authentic recipes in this blog.