Shakespeare’s Kitchen: ‘Pears’ in Broth

April 20, 2018 Updated: April 20, 2018

Back in Shakespeare’s day, chefs enjoyed delighting guests with amusing culinary tricks. Here, meatballs are shaped like tiny pears. There is also an added surprise inside—each meatball is filled with a grape, which adds a great fresh taste and nice crunch. Add some ready-made canned stock and you have a simply delicious Elizabethan feast!

Serves 6

  • 8 ounces ground veal or pork
  • 1/4 cup dried breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup Grana Padano DOP cheese, grated
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 small green seedless grapes
  • 12 sage or parsley leaves, with stems
  • 1 1/2 quarts chicken stock, warm

Combine the veal, breadcrumbs, cheese, egg, thyme, parsley, and salt in a bowl. Divide the mixture into 12 equal portions. Wrap each portion of meat around a grape and form a pear shape.

Preheat the broiler. Place the pears upright on a well-greased pan, and broil 4 to 5 inches from the flame for 4 minutes, or until done.

Using a toothpick, gently embed a sage leaf into the top of each pear. Place 2 “pears” in each serving bowl and gently top with the warm stock. Serve.

Recipe reprinted with permission from “Shakespeare’s Kitchen: Renaissance Recipes for the Contemporary Cook” by Francine Segan. Published by Random House.