Redaction and discussion
Stuff the mice with minced pork, mouse meat from all parts of the mouse ground with pepper, pine kernels, laser, and garum. Sew the mouse up and put on a tile on the stove. Or roast in a portable oven. Translated by Patrick Faas from Apicius.
Faas, Patrick. Around the Roman Table: Food and Feasting in Ancient Rome. Shaun Whiteside, trans (from Dutch). University of Chicago Press, 2003.
- Dormice are a protected species nowadays. In Roman times, dormice were housed in specially designed giant clay vases with ledges along the walls for the rodents to run. Modern substitutions include both chicken and pork, I chose to use chicken to offer different flavor from the stuffing.
- Pine kernels, or pine nuts, have had flavor problems over the last few years so I elected to omit them.
- Laser is a spice that was eaten to extinction sometime in late antiquity. Its flavor was compared to both asafoetida and garlic.
- Garum is a fermented fish-based sauce. Modern recreations have been compared to soy sauce.
Here is a redaction for “stuffed” “dormouse”
3 Chicken breasts
1 c cooked pork
3-5 cloves of garlic
½ tsp asafoetida
3-4 Tbls soy sauce
Take 1 cup of leftover pork (shoulder, butt, loin) and mince with 3-5 cloves of garlic. Add ½ tsp asafoetida, 3-4 tablespoons of soy sauce, and black pepper to taste.
Take 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts and slice them the long way to get two thin and wide pieces of chicken. Place small portions of the pork mixture into the center of the chicken pieces and roll them up like a tortilla around the pork. Place them seam-side down in an oiled baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes at 350 F.