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A Roste - Beef Roast with Crisps Medieval

4 tb Or more butter or oil for searing meat
5 lb Beef roast tied with butcher's cord
1/2 c Flour
1 ts Cinnamon
1 ts Salt
1 ts Dried sweet basil; crushed
1/2 ts Dried rosemary; crushed
1/4 ts Thyme
1 c Dates; pits removed, cut in halves
1 c Dried figs; stems removed, cut in strips
1/2 c Dried apple rings; cut in halves
2 tb Brown sugar or honey
1 1/2 c Beef stock


Batter

1 c Flour
1 ea Egg
2/3 c Milk
1/4 ts Salt
1/2 ts (scant) baking powder
1/4 c Chopped fresh parsley; crushed


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In Dutch oven or cast-iron pot (either having tight covers) melt the butter. Dredge the roast with the mixture of flour, cinnamon, and salt, and thoroughly sear in the heated butter, browning all sides. Mix basil, rosemary, and thyme. Mix spices with combined dates, figs, and apples. Arrange spiced fruits around the meat. Sprinkle sugar or drizzle honey on fruits. Carefully pour on beef stock around the edges of the pot so as to avoid 'flooding' any food surfaces. Cover tightly. Bake at 350 degrees F for 3 hours, or until tender. Remove from oven to cool for 30 minutes. Increase oven heat to 450 degrees F. Prepare a very thick batter by vigorously stirring all batter ingredients except parsley. Add extra flour if necessary. Add chopped parsley to the batter. Pour batter over the roast allowing the excess to trickle down into the gravy. Return meat to hot oven (450 degrees F) for 5 to 10 minutes so that coating browns nicely. Cut the roast in its dough jacket. Serve the 'crisps' which formed in the juices, along with the gravy and fruit.



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