Lombardy Sops

Trans. by Brighid ni Chairain
LOMBARDY SOPS (SOPAS A LA LOMBARDA)

Make broth from good meat which should be quite fat; and cast much saffron into it, that it should be quite yellow and very deep in color; and the broth should be well-salted; and then take slices of bread, removing the crust, and toast them and scrape off the burnt part, and scald these sops with the said broth; and when they are scalded, place them in an iron casserole, making a layer of sops and another layer of buttery cheese of Parma, or of Aragon, or of Navarra; and so fill all the casserole; when it is full, set it on the fire to cook over good coals or in the oven, and cook it little by little; and as it cooks, cast in that broth, from time to time, fatty and yellow, by spoonfuls inside the casserole, sprinkling it over the sops; and when it is more than half cooked, cover the casserole or frying pan with an iron lid which should be laden with coals on top; and cook it in this way for an hour, looking and ascertaining occasionally that it should not dry up too much, and that it should be well supplied with said broth, which should be the fattest; and when you put it on the table, do it in such a manner that they go dry. And having done this, prepare dishes or if you wish to make plates of them, let it be as you wish.

  1. Add the saffron to the broth and allow to steep for maximum color.
  2. Dip slices of bread in the broth and lay out in a deep pan.
  3. Sprinkle cheese over the bread.
  4. Add another layer of broth-dipped bread, then cheese, and repeat.
  5. Bake for about an hour at 325 deg. F, adding broth in small quantities as needed.
  6. Dish up, making sure that any extra broth is not conveyed to the dishes.