Blood pancakes

Ingredients:

  • 100g rye flour
  • 2 tablespoons Viking blood (although dried pigs blood works well too)
  • 2 eggs
  • 300ml beer (or other liquid)
  • Pinch of salt
  • Butter

Method:

Whisk together the flour, blood, eggs, beer and salt until smooth.

Melt some butter in a pan and add a ladle full of batter to the pan.

Cook for a minute or 2 on each side, until cooked through.

Serve with berries & honey or bacon

 

Bacon

With a lack of refrigeration, salting would have been a preferred method of preservation and storage for the Vikings and Saxons. Though with salt being expensive, brining would have been more commonly used.

Bacon seems to have been produced in large quantities, at least by the Saxons. This recipe, while being a modern variation, makes use of ingredients that where available at the time and is based loosely on an old Yorkshire bacon cure.

Ingredients:

For the cure;

    300g salt
    A few bay leaves
    2 teaspoons juniper berries (crushed)

2 teaspoons black pepper (freshly cracked)

For the bacon:

1kg Pork belly

    1 tablespoon honey
    • Vinegar

Method:

The quantities given here are approximates, don’t worry too much about them being exact.

Mix together the cure ingredients.

Rub the pork belly with honey.

Add 1 handful of the cure to a food safe container, large enough to fit the pork belly.

Add the pork belly and rub the cure into the meat. Place in the fridge or somewhere cool for 24 hours.

Drain off any liquid that forms in the container and sprinkle another handful of cure over the pork. Repeat this process for 5 days.

After 5 days, rinse the pork with clean, cold water and pat dry. It should be feeling quite firm at this stage.

Rub the pork with a little vinegar and either hang somewhere cool or put it back in the fridge. Wait for a minimum of 5 days before eating.

Pan fried turnips

Ingredients:

  • Butter
  • 5 small turnips
  • 2 teaspoons of mustard seeds
  • 2 teaspoons of thyme
  • 2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs

Method:

Heat some butter in a pan.

Cut the turnips into 1cm squares and add to the pan. Fry for 5 to 10 minutes until browning.

Stir in the mustard and thyme and fry for a few minutes.

Stir in the breadcrumbs and cook until golden in colour.

Gammon cooked in mead

Ingredients:

  • Gammon
  • Teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • Teaspoon of black pepper
  • Bottle of mead (or 2)
  • Method:

    Place the gammon in a pan with the mustard and pepper.

    Cover with mead and bring to the boil and simmer for an hour and a half. Top up the liquid with More mead or water, if necessary, to keep the gammon fully covered.

    Pour away the liquid (or use it as a base for making gravy) and let the gammon rest for 10 minutes before serving.

    Elderflower fritters

    Ingredients:

    • 200g/1 cup flour
    • A pinch of salt
    • 4 tablespoons of olive oil
    • 150ml warm water
    • 1 egg white
    • Butter
    • 2 heads of elderflower (stalks removed)
    • Honey (to serve)
  • Method:

    Mix together the flour and salt.

    Stir in the oil and slowly add the water, whisking until it looks like think cream.

    Whisk the egg white until light and bubbly, and fold into the batter, with the elderflower.

    Heat some butter in a pan and, once hot, add the batter in large tablespoons, leaving space between each one. Once the underside is golden, flip and cook the other side.

    Serve while still warm, drizzled with a little honey.

    Sweetened & infused cream

    Similar to a posset these may have been drunk, rather than eaten. Though I have included some modern options for in the Kitchen as well.

    Ingredients:

    • 1 cup double cream
    • 1 tablespoon honey
    • 2 egg yolks
    • A sprig of rosemary, sprig of savoury & a few thyme flowers

    OR

    • 1 cup double cream
    • 1 tablespoon honey
    • 2 egg yolks
    • A head of elderflower and a tablespoon of meadowsweet

    Method:

    Mix the egg yolks into the cream. Gently heat the cream for a few minutes.

    Stir in the honey, until dissolved.

    Add the herbs or flowers and leave to steep for 30 minutes.

    Strain through a sieve or cloth and pour into small bowls.

    In a modern context these are great chilled for a couple of hours, or alternatively to make your very own ice cream, freeze for several hours, until set firm.

    Rosemary flower omelette

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    Ingredients:

    • ½ a small onion (finely chopped)
    • 2 eggs
    • Butter
    • A handful of fresh rosemary flowers
    • A small bunch of fresh garlic leaves (roughly chopped)
    • Salt & Pepper

    Method:

    Melt some butter in a frying pan and add the onion. Fry for 5-10 minutes until caramelising. Remove from the pan and leave to one side.

    Whisk the eggs until they’re combined.

    Melt some butter in a frying pan and add the eggs, making sure to spread them around the pan.

    Cook the eggs until they start to set. Add the onions, rosemary flowers and garlic, evenly, to the top of the omelette

    Fold gently in half and slide onto a plate to serve. Season well.

    Taken from my book ‘Eat like a Viking!’ Available now on Amazon

    Mussels

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    Ingredients:

    Mussels

    1/2 a pint of mead

    250ml Cream

    4 Spring onions (finely chopped)

    Method:

    Discard any open mussels that don’t close when you tap them.

    Mix together the mead and the cream. Stir in the onions.

    Bring this to a boil and add the Mussels. Cover and leave to cook for 2 minutes.

    Remove the cover and shake or stir. When all the mussels have opened they are ready.

    Taken from my book ‘Eat like a Viking!’ Available now on Amazon

    Rosemary & Bay beer

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    Before hops were common in beer brewing, herbs such as rosemary and nettles would have been used.

    If you substitute the rosemary and bay for 35g of dried hops you can also make a simple hop beer.

    For more authentic brewing, leave out the sugar, as this would not have been available. You could add honey instead, but this will be more like a braggot.

    Without sugar the beer will be a lot weaker, maybe 1 or 2 percent, and so will not keep for long. This would have been made frequently and drunk within a few days at most.

    Ingredients:

    • 5 rosemary sprigs
    • 10 bay leaves
    • 500g amber malt extract
    • 375g sugar
    • 12 pints of water
    • Beer yeast (or Young’s super wine yeast extract)

    Method:

    Put the rosemary and bay leaves into a large pan and cover with 6 pints of water, boil for 30 minutes.

    Meanwhile put your sugar and malt extract into a fermentation bin. Strain the rosemary and bay water through a muslin cloth into the fermentation bin.

    Stir well to dissolve all the sugar and malt extract.

    Pour in 6 pints of cold water and stir. Make a note of the gravity, it should be around 1040.

    Add your yeast and leave to ferment for 3 weeks. Whilst a lot of recipes state much shorter times I find the beer benefits from this extended time.

    Don’t forget to check your final gravity, if you haven’t already and want to know the percentage of alcohol in your brew.

    Add a level teaspoon of sugar to each beer bottle and siphon the beer into the bottles. Cap the bottles (or use swing tops) and place somewhere warm for 2 days before moving to somewhere cool.

    The beer should be ready to drink in 2 weeks, 3 is better.

    Chicken & Ginger soup

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    Ingredients:
    A knob of Butter
    1 onion (roughly chopped)
    600g Chicken breast (cut into chunks)
    1L chicken stock
    2 white or purple carrots (quartered and sliced)
    2 sticks of celery (roughly chopped)
    A small bunch of wild garlic leaves (Finely chopped)
    1 thumb sized piece of ginger (Finely chopped)

    Method:
    Melt the butter in a large pan or cauldron. Add the onion and fry for a few minutes to soften.

    Add the chicken and fry for a few minutes.

    Pour over the chicken stock and add the carrots, celery, garlic and ginger. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes.

    Serve with fresh sourdough bread

    Taken from my book ‘Eat like a Viking!’ Available now on Amazon