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Auðvarðr Hinn Rauði
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PostSubject: Old Norse food   Wed May 25, 2011 5:06 pm

Ek er svangr! Let's share some Old Norse food! Sveinn probably knows better than me, but I have two nice nice meals which are simple to cook.

Porridge - boil plain oats in water - not too much; add a little more if you find your porridge is drying out when cooking - serve and enjoy! It might take a while to appreciate the taste of plain oats by the way Wink

Boiled meat - the Norse only ever roasted meat when they didn't have a kettle, apparently. So, get boiling! Pork was a favourite I hear, so get yourself some pork (gammon works best nowadays) and boil it for 20 minutes per 500g. I imagine some light stabbing will let you know if it indeed cooked.

Perhaps these can both be enjoyed with Sveinn's Norse flat bread...take it away Sveinn.
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PostSubject: Re: Old Norse food   Wed May 25, 2011 11:16 pm

Porridge or 'grautr' was eaten regularly... especially in southern parts of Scandinavia where oats were easier to grow. And would have been made as you describe Auðvarðr... but on special occasions... they would have porridge with milk.
And even though it's not sourced, I would imagine that on VERY special occasions, they could sweeten it with honey.

But grautr was eaten in different ways... For example, a simple recipe is to fill a pot with oats and water... and plenty of salt... and then to put a fish into the mixture... and cook the fish in the porridge. Þórr ate this at some point in one of the sagas. Very Happy

Pork was a popular meat indeed. Chickens, cows, sheep and pigs were kept for slaughter, but occasionally, the Norse did eat hare, horse, whale, seal, and quite a lot of things if they were hungry enough!
But pork would only have been eaten regularly near the winter months. Pigs were slaughtered usually around November/December (Ýlir in the Old Icelandic calendar)

Chicken was a good meat since it did not have to be preserved as well as the other meats... since it would be eaten rather quickly. Chickens are rather small. Very Happy So it could be eaten all year round.

Beef was not a popular meat at all. Cows were used as the Norse currency, because of their value... which came from their milk. Meat was not as popular with the vikings as dairy products were... Cows were kept for their milk which could be used to make butter, cheese, skýr etc.
If a farmer hadn't had a good harvest and hadn't got enough food to feed the cows during the winter... he would have to work out how many cows he could afford to feed... and kill the rest. Eating the meat is almost an admittance of failure.

Which is where I got the idea for a New Old Norse phrase... eta kýr (to eat the cow) - which means "to admit failure, defeat"

Here's my recipe for a traditional viking chicken stew. You WILL need a ketill for this though.

Chicken breast
High quality dark ale (I used "Old Thumper")
Leek
Onion
Carrots
Parsnip
Turnip
Thyme
Salt

Cut up chicken into small pieces
Chop up the leek, onion, carrots, parsnip and turnip
Boil the chicken in water, when done, drain the water away... and add the vegetables.
Fill the ketill with the ale and cook both chicken and vegetables in the ale.
Add thyme and salt to flavour! And serve with viking flatbread.

Which is:
Barley flour
Water

Mix one and a half cups of barley flour, with half a cup of water... turn it into dough, knead the dough...
Roll the dough flat in little round discs. The flatter the better, and cook in the oven for 5 minutes on a high heat.
This can be eaten on its own, or with butter and Jarlsberg cheese.

I even made a viking dessert which is:
Oats
Walnuts (vikings sometimes had them imported)
Honey
Apple
Full-cream

Grind up the walnuts into small pieces, and cut up the apple into very small pieces... mix the oats, walnuts, and apple...
and add honey until the mixture is thick and won't fall apart... then cook in the oven and serve with cream. Very Happy

That'll do for now I think! XD

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PostSubject: Re: Old Norse food   Thu May 26, 2011 7:59 am

I should say, that if you are going for traditional grautr... oats and water...
It's pretty awful first time. I couldn't finish when I first tried it.
I think I'm going to ease myself into it.
I've been eating it every day for Dagmál with skimmed milk.
Today I've used skimmed milk with a bit of water... and I'll increase the water each day as I can take it.
Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Old Norse food   Thu May 26, 2011 6:39 pm

Seriously? I've just been straight into it. The only oats I could find when I ran out recently are scots porridge oats, so I've been boiling them up in water for a while. So nutritious, a great oaty flavour and creamy texture.

How about smoked stuff, Sveinn? I have heard that was a great way of preserving food. I do enjoy smoked mackerel, though I imagine Herring was also pretty popular. One day, I will try a bit of smoked fish in some salted porridge Wink

I imagine the chicken stew I made at the weekend was fairly traditional Norse actually, except for my addition of rosemary and stock cubes, rather than boiling up chicken bones and skin. I did, however, throw in whole chicken thighs, so the bones cooked with it. Vegetables included onion, leek, carrot (and a few other not-so traditional ones which were in the pack of casserole vegetables I bought). Definately no tomatoes though Wink

Oh yes, and LOTS of barley.
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PostSubject: Re: Old Norse food   Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:59 pm

Maybe I need better oats... or better water... mine always tasted so bland it was foul. XD
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PostSubject: Re: Old Norse food   Thu Jun 02, 2011 6:56 pm

After being practically forced to pig out at home, when I got back here on monday, I had salted porridge for dinner. Pretty nice. Not a fan of salt myself though. Try Scots porridge oats. I'm assuming we mean rolled oats here? I've seen numerous recipes for barley-based porridges and such
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PostSubject: Re: Old Norse food   Thu Jun 02, 2011 9:43 pm

They're Scottish Jumbo Oats... and já, they're rolled. Odinn
Maybe it's because they're so big. They're too big to make
REAL grautr out of probably... it never really turns into grautr.
It's usually just soggy oats in water. Smaller oats would probably
work out better. :P
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PostSubject: Re: Old Norse food   Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:44 pm

Yea, that sounds bad. You really need to get the starch out of the oats. It's so creamy and nice if they're good oats. I wouldn't recommend using a small amount of water either; no water and a big ball of starchy oats can be just as bad!
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