Roman Stuffed Bread - a 2000 year old recipe

Roman Stuffed Bread – a 2000 year old recipe

Roman Stuffed Bread – a 2000 year old recipe

Quite a few years ago now, we had a UK jaunt that included a trip to Stonehenge.Whilst there, we wandered around the gift shop, and I procured a rather interesting cook book. ‘Tasting the Past’ is a book by Jacqui Wood, published in 2009 by The History Press. A meandering journey through British food, offering up true historic recipes through the ages from the Celts, Romans, Anglo Saxons, Normans, the Medieval Period, Elizabethans, the Civil War, Georgians, Victorians, the Second World War and the Post War Years. It is a superb culinary journey, with some amazing discoveries. Did you know, for example, that the Romans used coriander and mint in their cooking? I have chosen one recipe to share. Here is Roman Stuffed Bread – a 2000 year old recipe.

Roman Stuffed Bread - a 2000 year old recipe
I like this one a lot as it is a very unique recipe indeed. I tested this on a few friends in Singapore and it got the thumbs up.

So this is Roman food, and therefore potentially a recipe from 2,000 years ago. But what ever did the Romans do for us? Maybe this is a good starter for 10. Well actually, it’s not a starter at all. Roman Stuffed Bread – a 2000 year old recipe, is a heavy main course, and I also made an onion gravy to serve with this.

I made enough here for 2 stuffed loaves. This fed about 9 people. I’ll do a Phased approach to the recipe for you.

Phase I – the loaves:

  • 2 big un-sliced crusty loaves. I used Swiss crusty bread loaves;
  • 1 cup of white wine vinegar;
  • 1 cup of water;
  • 2 bags of grated cheese – go for a sharp cheese like a mature cheddar;
  • A good pinch of sea salt and cracked black pepper.
  1. Take each loaf, and set then down on a chopping block;
  2. Slice the top off carefully. Not too much, just literally take off a few cm’s of the top;
  3. Scoop all the doughy bread from out of the loaves. You are literally creating a hollow loaf, just leaving the crusty bit;
  4. Do not create any holes. The loaf crust is literally your ‘bowl’ for cooking in and serving in;
  5. Place the doughy bread in a bowl, pour on the vinegar and water, sprinkle the salt and pepper, give it a wee mix with your hands and set this aside;
  6. Place the hollowed loaves on top of some baking paper, on a baking tray;
  7. Fill the bottom of each loaf with some grated cheese – about 5cm’s deep;
  8. Drizzle all over with olive oil, as these will eventually be being baked in the oven.

Phase II – the filling:

  • 2 finely chopped shallots;
  • 2 teaspoons of finely chopped garlic;
  • 5 sliced Spring onions;
  • 1 roughly chopped bunch of coriander;
  • 1 bunch of mint – pick the leaves off the stalks and roughly chop;
  • 600g of finely sliced and cubed beef steak – I used corned beef steak;
  • 1 cup of frozen green peas;
  • 2 tablespoons of honey;
  • A good pinch of sea salt and cracked black pepper.
  1. Bring out the wok and fry off the beef, garlic and shallots with some olive oil. Fry that off until the meat is cooked and browned slightly;
  2. Add in the honey, mint, coriander, salt & pepper, peas, and the bread that you soaked in vinegar and water;
  3. Stir fry this through. It will turn to a stick gooey consistency. This is the stuffing for the loaves.

Phase III – Stuffing the loaves:

  1. Take the stuffing and push it in to every nook and cranny in the hollow loaves, on top of the cheese;
  2. Push it it tight. Squeeze it in to the corners, as when you come to cutting you want this to remain as a slice;
  3. Once you have done that you need to add more grated cheese on top;
  4. Fire up your oven to 200, and pop the loaves in and bake for about 15-20 minutes;
  5. As soon as the cheese starts to brown you are done.

That is your Roman Stuffed Bread – a 2000 year old recipe completed. I made a little onion gravy to go with this. Slice as if slicing a loaf normally. Layer up two slices per person and drizzle with some gravy. You get this sour, sweet, beefy, cheesy concoction. Well done the Romans, 2,000 years old and still bloody good – ENJOY!!!

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