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Mead Recipes, but first, for those who don't know....

What Is Mead?
Mead is an alcoholic beverage made by fermenting honey with yeast. Mead is not a beer, wine, or spirit in the normal sense; it is its own class of alcohol, and many people believe it is the oldest of the alcoholic beverages. Mead has held a pivotal place in many cultures throughout its nearly 8,000 year history, and it is still enjoyed throughout the world.

The first meads were most likely made simply by taking honey and water and letting them ferment with the naturally occurring yeasts found in the honey. Evidence of early meads has been found in Egypt and on the island of Crete, and it was drunk in Greece throughout the Golden Age. In many early cultures, bee goddesses held central roles in the pantheon, and many have postulated that this was because of the intoxicating effects of mead harvested from local bee hives.

There are three main classes of mead, with many variations on each. Traditional meads are made using only honey, water, and yeast. Metheglin mead is made in the same way as traditional mead, but has various spices – such as cinnamon or vanilla – added. Melomel mead is similar, but has fruit added as well. Various types of melomel include mead with mulberries, known as morat; mead with pears, known as perry; mead with apple juice, known as cyser; and mead with grapes, known as pyment.

Mead retained its place of honor as a highly valued drink in many cultures until the introduction of wine. As wine became a mark of wealth and prestige, many lords began turning from the consumption of mead to wine. The peasantry continued to enjoy mead, as it could be easily made from ingredients they could get their hands on and didn’t require special storage. Over time, however, beer replaced mead in the lives of the commoners, and mead became a drink set aside for special occasions.

Many people trace the English word honeymoon to a practice of fathers to supply their daughters with enough mead to last a month as a dowry. Drinking this mead throughout the first month of marriage was meant to ensure that the firstborn child would be a male. Other holidays, such as the Yule festivals, also included drinking mead as part of the festivities.

Mead is still a regular part of the Ethiopian tradition, where it is known as tej. Ethiopian mead has the bark of a plant called gesho added to it, giving it a somewhat hoppy taste and making it similar to the beer-like mead known as braggot. Ethiopian mead varies in alcohol content and sweetness, with some being quite potent, and others, such as the variety known as berz, having a low alcohol content.


Mead Recipes from

Meade Recipe

1/2 gallon water
1 1/2 cups raw honey
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon allspice

Heat all Ingredients together over medium heat in a large pot. As the honey melts, an oily crust forms at the top. DO NOT REMOVE. When it is well blended, remove from the heat, stirring occasionally as it cools. This is the non-alcoholic version.

Soft Mead Recipe

1 quart water, preferably spring water
1 cup honey
1 sliced lemon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
Boil together all Ingredients in a non-metallic pot. While boiling, scrape off the rising 'scum' with a wooden spoon. When no more rises add the following:
pinch salt
juice of 1/2 lemon
Strain and cool. Drink in place of alcoholic mead or wine during the simple feast.

Copyright © 2008 All Rights Reserved

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1 pint water
1 oz lavender flowers (wt.)
8 oz sugar (wt.)
Juice of 4 lemons

Pour boiling water over the lavender flowers and allow to infuse for about 20 minutes. Then add sugar and lemon juice, and chill. Store in the 'fridge.To make up, mix about 1 part of the syrup to 4 parts water, serve with ice.
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2 Pints Strawberries, Rinsed & Hulled
15 Sweet Woodruff Springs
1 1/2 Quarts Mosel Wine
1/2 Cup Sugar
Violet Petals
Rose Petals

Warm 4 of the woodruff springs for 5 minutes in a preheated 200 degree F oven. Mash half the strawberries with sugar and add the oven warmed woodruff sprigs plus 8 raw sprigs. Pour wine over the mixture and stir well. Cover and refrigerate for 8 hours and strain. Pour liquid into punch bowl and add remaining half of the strawberries, extra woodruff and the violet and rose petals. Place a few whole blossoms of both flowers to float in the center as decoration.
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Wassail is a traditional holiday drink, which has been served for centuries around the time of Yule. It is enjoyed by many people, not just Pagans. It originated from the Norse, and you can actually buy drinking horns online (or make your own) if you want to enjoy Wassail the truly traditional sense. The word comes from the old Norse toast, "Ves Heill," meaning "be in good health." There are several variations of this recipe - here are a few of them.

Wassail Recipe 1:

You will need:
6 cups apple cider
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 cup honey
3 tbsp lemon juice
2 1/2 cups pineapple juice

Heat cider and cinnamon stick in dutch oven. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and simmer 5 minutes longer. Serve. You can also add rum to this recipe (to taste).

Wassail Recipe 2:
Here is another variation on this recipe.

You will need:
2 1/4 cups white sugar
4 cups water
2 cinnamon sticks
1 slice fresh ginger root
4 cups orange juice
2 cups lemon juice
8 cups apple juice
8 whole allspice berries
1 tbsp whole cloves

Combine sugar and water in a large pot (dutch oven). Boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add cinnamon, allspice, ginger and cloves. Cover and let stand for 1 hour. Strain liquid into a large pot. Just before serving, add apple, orange, and lemon juice and bring to boil. Remove from heat and serve. You may add rum to this recipe as well.

Wassail Recipe 3: Alcohol Free
Here is yet another (non-alcoholic) variation on this recipe.
You will need:
2 cups cranberry juice
2/3 cup white sugar
7 cups water
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tbsp whole allspice
1 tbsp whole cloves
2 (20 ounce) cans pineapple juice
6 oz. frozen concentrated fruit punch
1 (6 ounce) can frozen orange juice concentrate

In a large pot over medium heat, combine water, sugar, and cranberry juice. Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Place the cinnamon, allspice and cloves into a cheesecloth bag and close tightly. Add to the liquid and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove the spices. Just before serving, add the remaining ingredients (juices). Serve steaming hot.

-Author(s) Unknown.
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Especially when Winter has moved in, this is a warming and comforting drink. It makes a good amount - perfect for a family after spending a day out in the snow.

You will need:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp. whole allspice berries
3 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp. whole cloves (about 7-10)
1/4 tsp. salt
dash of nutmeg (preferably fresh grated)
2 quarts apple cider (2.2 L)

Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a boil; cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain to remove the spices and serve. Those of age may wish to add a shot of spiced or dark rum to their cider.

It is also possible to make mulled cider in a large crock pot. Here is a variation suitable for long slow simmering.

You will need:
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp allspice
1 1/2 tsp. cloves
2 sticks cinnamon
1 orange, sliced (with peel)

Combine all ingredients in crock pot. Cover and cook on low for 2-8 hours, until desired flavor is reached. Serve with ladle.

To make the spices easier to remove before serving, tie them into a piece of cheesecloth and remove the cheesecloth pouch before serving. It's easier than having to strain 2L of cider!
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Apple Beer
Pour 4 gallons of boiling water over 4 pounds of grated Apples in a pan and stir each day for 2 weeks. Then strain and add 2 pounds of sugar, 2 ounces of root Ginger and a level teaspoonful each of Cinnamon sticks and whole Cloves. Pour into a cask and bung tightly at once. In 6 weeks it will be ready to bottle.

Honey Beer
Boil an ounce of ground Ginger with a ? a gallon of water for an ? hour, then put it into a pan with pound of white sugar, 2 ounces of lime juice, 4 ounces of clear-run honey, the juice of 3 lemons and another ? gallon of cold water. When the mixture is just luke-warm, add a large teaspoonful of yeast spread on a piece of toast. Leave for 12 hours and strain through muslin. After giving it and hour or 2 to settle, carefully bottle.
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16 corn tortillas, softened (can use flour tortillas)
2 pounds ground beef
2 10 oz. cans  tomatoes
1 package taco seasoning mix
1 can cream of celery soup
1 pint sour cream
1 package shredded cheese

Brown ground beef and drain. Mix in taco seasoning and 1 can tomatoes. To be able to roll the tortillas, they must be warm. Roll into tortillas. Mix remaining can of tomatoes, soup, and sour cream. Pour over filled and rolled tortillas. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 350° F for 20 minutes.
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1 small onion, chopped
1/2 lb. ground beef (or turkey or veal)
1 15 oz. can of tomato sauce
2 cups uncooked macaroni
1 can cheddar cheese soup


Cook macaroni according to package directions. Meanwhile brown meat and onion in a skillet. Pour off fat and stir in tomato sauce. Simmer for 10 minutes. Pour meat mixture and macaroni into a casserole dish and mix well. Pour cheese soup over the top and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.
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3 - 4 chicken breasts, boiled and cubed
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 small onion - chopped
2/3 C. chopped celery
2 C. cooked rice
1 C. Mayo
1 Box Nabisco Chicken in a Biscuit crackers


Sauté celery and onion in margarine. Combine all ingredients except crackers. Pour into 9 x 13 dish. Crush crackers, and top casserole with them. Bake @ 350 about 20 mins - or until crackers are slightly browned. Note: Do not add salt to this one. The crackers, and soup are plenty!
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2 cup cooked, diced ham
1 large bag frozen broccoli
1 lb shredded cheddar cheese
3 eggs
3 cups milk
4 cups Bisquick

Grease a 13 x 9 inch casserole. Cook broccoli until fork tender and drain. Layer the diced ham, the broccoli and then the Cheddar cheese. Sauce: Beat together eggs, milk and slowly add Bisquick until smooth (it will be slightly thick). Pour evenly over ham, broccoli and cheese. Bake 30 minutes at 350 degrees F. With side of spoon, break oven crust in center of casserole and continue cooking for 20 to 30 minutes or until center is set.
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4-5 potatoes
Half block of velveta cheese
Cubed ham pieces (Cut/Cubed Small)
1 onion diced
salt pepper
corn starch

First boil potatoes with peels on till soft but not mushy. Let cool and peel off the peel. Slice thin slices and place first layer of potatoes in large casserole dish. Now sprinkle ham on top of that layer. Keep repeating these steps till you have used all the potatoes. Now place about 2 cups milk in sauce pan and cut up velveta to melt. Make cheese sauce and use cornstarch to thicken to your liking. Add onions and then pour over potatoes and ham. Sprinkle top with salt and pepper and sprinkle some cheese on top to make a makeshift crust. Bake for 1 hr at 350. Be sure to watch it so top doesn't burn.
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4 cups sliced raw potatoes
1 lb. hamburger
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can cheddar cheese soup
1/2 cup milk
1 can (15 oz.) pizza sauce
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. sugar
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Spread potato slices in 13 x 9 greased pan. Brown hamburger in skillet with onion. Mix milk and soup; add cooked meat and pour over potatoes. Mix pizza sauce, oregano, and sugar over everything. Bake at 375 degrees 1 hour, remove from oven and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake 15 min. more.
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Serves - 12 To 14

1 Can Cream of Chicken soup
1 can cream of broccoli soup
1-1/2 c. milk
1 c. grated parmesan cheese, divided
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 T. parsley flakes
1/2 t. pepper
1/4 t. salt
1 package (16 oz.) wide egg noodles, cooked and drained
1 package (16oz) frozen broccoli, cauliflower and carrot blend, thawed
2 c. frozen corn, thawed

Combine soups, milk, 3/4 c. parmesan cheese, garlic, parsley, pepper and salt; mix well. Add noodles and vegetables; mix well. Pour into a greased 13x9x2 inch pan. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Cover and bake 350 degrees for 45-50 min. or until heated through.
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1 lb. hamburger
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 8 oz package wide egg noodles
1 can mushroom soup
1 8 oz. package cream cheese
3/4 c. milk
salt and pepper to taste

Brown meat, add onion and cook until tender. Stir in milk and cream cheese, stirring until blended. Add remaining ingredients and pour into a casserole and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
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1-1/2 tbsp. oil
1 lg. onion, sliced
1 lb. ground beef
1/4 cup rice, uncooked
2 to 3 celery stalks, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
3 potatoes, sliced
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 can (15 oz.) kidney beans, drained
1 can tomato soup
1 can (10 oz.) Coke

Spread oil in bottom of 9x13-inch casserole dish. Layer ingredients in order listed above. Pour Coca-Cola evenly over top of casserole. Cover with foil. Bake at 350°F for 1 hour.
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4 tablespoons A-1 sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
dash of salt
dash of red pepper
dash of black pepper
1 lb. egg noodles
1 lb. lump crab meat
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cornstarch

Cook egg noodles until tender. Take milk and heat; add flour and cornstarch. Thicken and then set aside. Mix crab meat and noodles to thickened milk. Mix in sauces and salt and pepper to taste. Bake in oven at 375 degrees F.
Cheese Sauce: (optional)


1 stick margarine or butter
1/2 lb. any mild cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Melt cheese and butter in double boiler. Season. Pour over casserole before baking.

Using ground turkey meat, this variation of the traditional English favorite is a complete meal filled with meat, potatoes, and vegetables.

2 pounds ground turkey
1 large sweet onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced or chopped
1 teaspoon (each) dried thyme, dried sage, cumin
1/3 cup all purpose flour
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, drained
8 to 10 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon butter
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
grated cheddar cheese

Container: 9" X 13" baking pan or 2 small baking dishes, greased
Servings: 8
Serving Size: 1 piece
Serving Description: 4 x 3 inch square
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour

   * Preheat oven to 375º F.
   * In a large sauce pan, cook cubed potatoes in boiling salt water until soft. Drain water and mash. Beat in milk, butter, and egg. Set aside.
   * In a large skillet, over medium high heat, cook ground turkey, onion, garlic, thyme and sage. Stir occasionally until meat is no longer pink.
   * Stir in flour and cook 1 additional minute. Stir in chicken broth and bring to a full boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
   * Stir in mixed vegetables and Worcestershire sauce.
   * Remove from heat. Place in prepared pan. Spread mashed potatoes over top of meat mixture.
   * Garnish with grated cheese and sprinkle top of pie with paprika if desired.
   * Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until cheese has melted and potatoes are light golden in color.

A twist an a classic. This makes a lot; it fills a 13" x 9" pan to the rim! Prep time includes the browning meat/boiling potatoes (to be done simultaneously).
by *Parsley*

10 servings click to change U.S./Metric measurement system or number of servings
time to make 1¼ hours 35 min prep

First Layer
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 small green bell pepper, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 (15 1/2 ounce) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups frozen corn, thawed
8 ounces tomato sauce
1-2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
salt, if needed to taste

Middle Layer
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Top Layer
8 medium yukon gold potatoes, scrubbed' peeled, and cut into chunks
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup milk
1 cup low-fat sour cream
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, DIVIDED (or cheddar-jack)
1 tablespoon diced green chilies
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
1 teaspoon chives
1/4 teaspoon pepper

  1. In a skillet over med-high heat, crumble and brown beef with onion, green peppers and garlic, until no longer pink. Drain.
  2. In the same empty skillet, add tomatoes, kidney beans, corn, tomato sauce and spices; stir well.
  3. Return the hot drained beef mixture to the skillet and mix well. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Pour into the bottom of a 13" x 9" (or larger) baking pan. Sprinkle with the 1/2 cup cheese; set aside.
  4. While beef is browning, etc -- in a large pot, boil potato chunks in salted water until tender; drain.
  5. Return to hot pot and mash with butter, milk, and sour cream.
  6. Add 1 cup ONLY of the cheese, green chilies, and the salt, pepper and chives. Mash to desired consistency.
  7. Evenly spread potatoes over cheese layer in the pan.
  8. Evenly sprinkle potatoes with remaining 1/2 cup cheese.
  9. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.

Note: This version of vegetarian Shepherd's Pie is very satisfying, thanks to the meaty portabella mushrooms used for the filling. It saves a tons of fats and calories over the regular version. You can either make smaller individual pies (like what's pictured here) or use a large baking dish to make one big one.

1 recipe garlic mashed potatoes (or any other flavor mashed potatoes you'd like, or even plain mashed potatoes for the purists)
1 onion (I like to use sweet onion, such as Vidalia, but you can use regular)
2 portabella mushrooms, sliced
2/3 cups green peas (fresh or frozen preferred)
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
3 T butter
1 1/2 cups red wine
1 tsp. basil
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 T balsamic vinegar

Serves 6

Pre-heat oven to 425°F.

Carmelize onions in a large skillet. Lower heat and add garlic and stir for about a minute. Add butter and mushrooms and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add wine and 1 1/2 cups water (or you can use beef, chicken or vegetable stock). Stir in tomato paste and simmer for about 15 minutes. Stir in basil and balsamic vinegar. Remove from heat.

Using your fingers, press mashed potatoes into the bottom and up the sides of an 8x12 inch baking dish (or into 6 smaller individual baking dishes). Spoon mushroom mixture into baking dish(es). Carefully cover the tops with additional mashed potatoes. Bake for 15 minutes or until tops are beginning to brown. Serve with a hearty red wine (one of the few vegetarian dishes that will hold up to it).

This is an American variation of traditional shepherd's pie that is sure to please any meat and potatoes fan. The ground beef has a natural rich mushroom gravy and the potatoes are loaded with cheese.

   * 1 pound ground chuck beef
   * 8 ounces mushrooms, chopped
   * 1/2 cup chopped onion
   * 2 large cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
   * 1 teaspoon kosher salt
   * Freshly ground pepper to taste
   * 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
   * 1 Tablespoon flour
   * 1/2 cup beef broth
   * 1/2 cup heavy cream
   * 1/2 cup frozen peas, unthawed
   * 2 cups shredded hash brown potatoes (frozen or deli-packed), packed
   * 1/8 cup chopped chives (or finely sliced green onions with tops)
   * 2 cups finely-shredded cheddar cheese or cheese blend, divided use
   * 1 teaspoon kosher salt
   * 1/4 cup mayonnaise
   * Sweet Hungarian paprika

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Place ground beef, mushrooms, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large heavy skillet.

Saute, breaking up ground beef, until the juices have almost evaporated.

Stir in Worcestershire, then flour. Cook 1 minute, stirring often. Add beef broth, stirring to combine, then heavy cream. Simmer until gravy thickens. Pour into glass baking dish. Let cool slightly, then sprinkle green peas evenly on top of beef.

In a mixing bowl, combine hash brown potatoes, chives, 1 cup of the cheddar cheese, salt, and mayonnaise. Spread evenly on top of beef layer. Spread remaining cup of cheddar cheese on top and sprinkle lightly with paprika.

Bake about 45 minutes until cheese has melted and is slightly browned. Let rest 15 minutes before serving.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

-Recipe From: Peggy Trowbridge Filippone,

Shepherd's Pie is an English dish, traditionally made with lamb or mutton. Americans typically make Shepherd's Pie with beef. The English (and Australians and New Zealanders) call the beef dish a "cottage pie". Naming conventions aside, Shepherd's Pie is essentially a casserole, lined with cooked meat and vegetables, topped with mashed potatoes, and baked.

Here is a basic recipe for a simple ground beef Shepherd's Pie. The original recipe comes from my friend Frances Hochschild and her mother (thanks Frannie!). We dressed it up a bit with some veggies and Worcestershire sauce.

1 1/2 lbs ground round beef
1 onion chopped
1-2 cups vegetables - chopped carrots, corn, peas
1 1/2 - 2 lbs potatoes (3 big ones)
8 tablespoons butter (1 stick)
1/2 cup beef broth
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt, pepper, other seasonings of choice

1 Peel and quarter potatoes, boil in salted water until tender (about 20 minutes).

2 While the potatoes are cooking, melt 4 Tablespoons butter (1/2 a stick) in large frying pan.

3 Sauté onions in butter until tender over medium heat (10 mins). If you are adding vegetables, add them according to cooking time. Put any carrots in with the onions. Add corn or peas either at the end of the cooking of the onions, or after the meat has initially cooked.

4 Add ground beef and sauté until no longer pink. Add salt and pepper. Add worcesterchire sauce. Add half a cup of beef broth and cook, uncovered, over low heat for 10 minutes, adding more beef broth as necessary to keep moist.

5 Mash potatoes in bowl with remainder of butter, season to taste.

6 Place beef and onions in baking dish. Distribute mashed potatoes on top. Rough up with a fork so that there are peaks that will brown nicely. You can use the fork to make some designs in the potatoes as well.

7 Cook in 400 degree oven until bubbling and brown (about 30 minutes). Broil for last few minutes if necessary to brown.
Serves four.

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