Egg custard tarts

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Ingredients:

300g plain flour (sifted)

150g unsalted butter (cut into cubes)

Water

250ml whole milk

250ml Full fat cream

4 egg yolks

80g honey

Cinnamon

Method:

Add the butter to the flour and rub it between your fingers and into the flour. Keep rubbing until the mix resembles breadcrumbs.

Add a small drop of water and mix together. Keep adding a little water at a time, until the mixture comes together to form a stiff dough and leaves the bowl mostly clean.

On a lightly floured surface, roll the pastry out as thin as possible – 1 or 2 mm is best. Cut rounds for the bases using a pastry cutter and place into cupcake cases.

Blind bake (filling each pie with dry beans) for 10 minutes at 180 degrees, remove the beans and cook for a further 5 minutes at 160 degrees.

Remove from the oven.

Heat the milk and cream together until almost boiling.

Beat the egg yolks with the honey, then whisk in the hot milk.

Pour the custard into the baked pastry cases and sprinkle a little cinnamon on top.

Bake for around 20 minutes at 140 degrees until the custard has set.

This recipe is taken from my book ‘Eat like a Viking!’ Available now on Amazon

Stuffed spit-roasted hearts

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Ingredients:
2 lambs hearts

For the stuffing;
Butter
200g lardons
Large handful of hazelnuts (finely chopped)
Large handful of spinach
1 mushroom (finely chopped)
Splash of white wine (parsnip if you have it)

Method:

Melt some butter in a pan. Add the lardons and fry for several minutes, until browning.

Add the rest of the stuffing ingredients and fry, Stirring occasionally, until the liquid has cooked off and the spinach is wilted.

Leave to one side to cool.

Trim the hearts of any excess fat and slice them in half, but not all the way through, opening them up like a butterfly.

Spoon some of the stuffing mix onto the open hearts, close them up and tie together with a few pieces of string.

Push the hearts onto a skewer and cook for around 30 – 40 minutes over a hot fire, depending on how rare you like it.

Leave to rest for 5 minutes, before slicing and serving with any leftover stuffing mix.

This recipe is taken from my book ‘Eat like a Viking!’ Available now on Amazon

Flatbread

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Ingredients:

100g bread flour + a little extra

2g salt

60 ml water (give or take)

Optional – Small bunch of roughly chopped herbs or fruit/nuts, for example; nettles/rosemary/walnuts or a tsp of fennel/cumin seed etc

Method:

Put the flour and salt into a large bowl and mix together.

Add any extras (if using) and slowly add the water and mix together to form a workable dough. You can add more or less water depending on how your dough feels. I find it varies slightly every time.

Tip out onto your worktop, dust your hands with flour and knead for 5 minutes.

Roll the dough into a ball and dust with a little flour.

Flatten to around 0.5-1 cm thick.

Cook for 3 or 4 minutes on each side in a hot frying pan, without any oil.

This recipe is taken from my book ‘Eat like a Viking!’ Available now on Amazon

Sausages

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Use the cut end of a piece of horn to aid the stuffing of sausage cases. An old drinking horn works well. It needs to be small enough to fit a casing on to, but with an opening large enough to stuff meat through. Mine measures approximately 2’’ long by 1’’ at its narrowest. The opening at the small end is about 1/2 inch, but find what works for you.

When you cut the horn, you may need to use a drill to open up the hole a little more.

Ingredients:
Recipe 1;
240g venison
60g pork fat
1 tsp wild garlic
½ an onion
½ tsp of salt
¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
Sausage casings (soaked in cold water and rinsed)

Recipe 2;
240g Pork
60g pork fat
1 tsp summer savory
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
Sausage casings (soaked in cold water and rinsed)

 

Method:
Chop the ingredients up as finely as possible, then knead and mash the ingredients together for a few minutes. If you have a sausage maker you could grind the meat through this to save a lot of time.

Push one end of your pre soaked sausage casing over a sausage horn and tie the loose end.

Stuff the ingredients through the horn into the casing. This is a slow process, don’t rush or overfill the casing, or it might split.

Twist the sausage at even intervals to mark out individual sausages. If there is any trapped air in the sausages prick the skin with a small needle or pin.

To cook these, boil them in water (or try stock or beer) for 10-15 minutes, until cooked through. Alternatively, though less authentic for the time, they can be grilled or fried.

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

Thor’s wedding

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Thor’s hammer was lost. Well, when I say lost, I mean Loki had ‘misplaced’ it – with a giant.

In order to get it back, Loki promised the giant Thrym that he would give him the beautiful Freya’s hand in marriage.

‘She’ll never agree to that’ said Thor, as Loki explained his plan.

‘She won’t need to’ replied Loki ‘put on this dress….and this lipstick’

And that’s how Thor ends up married to Thrym, spending the reception of the wedding eating all the food and drinking all the mead. I’d like to say they lived happily ever after, but, well, there was still the issue of Thor’s ‘misplaced’ hammer.

Thrym was looking concerned. ‘Freya really does eat and drink a lot!’

‘It’s fine’ said Loki. Freya has been sooo sick with nerves over marrying you, she hasn’t eaten all week!’

‘Of course!’ Said Thrym ‘That makes sense. I am rather handsome. Are her eyes usually that red?’

Er…no It’s just, well. Erm…. she hasn’t been able to sleep with all the preparations for the wedding.

Ah yes, of course!

Listen Thrym, I can call you Thrym, can’t I? We are friends after all? What Freja really wants to see – as YOUR wife, is something really special. Maybe a rarity, a jewel, a certain …mjolnir?’

‘Well, of course. Anything for my darling’ said Thrym.

And this is how Thor got within range of his hammer. And that’s all he needed. Swiftly he drew the mighty mjolnir upwards, striking Thrym cleanly on the chin. Before bringing it down, crushing his skull.

He looked around the room at the Wedding guests and grinned. ‘who’s next?’

Nettle & wild garlic soup

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Ingredients:

  • A knob of Butter
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 sticks of celery (finely chopped)
  • 2 white or purple carrots (finely chopped)
  • 2 large handfuls of young nettle tops (finely chopped)
  • 1 large handful of wild garlic leaves (finely chopped)
  • 1L stock
  • 3 tablespoons of full fat milk or cream
  • Salt & pepper (to taste)

Method:

Heat the butter in a pan. Add the onion and cook for several minutes, until softening.

Add the celery, carrots, nettles, wild garlic and stock.

Bring to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Stir in the milk and serve with crusty sourdough bread.

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

Sourdough crumpets

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Ingredients:

  • 200g sourdough starter
  • 20g bread flour
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp salt
  • butter

Method:

Mix the starter, flour, honey and salt in a large jug or bowl. Cover with a wet cloth or tea towel and leave to prove for about an hour.

Heat some butter on a low heat and, once hot, add the batter to the pan in large spoonfuls, using one spoonful per crumpet.

Cook for around 5 minutes, flip and fry for a further few minutes, until golden in colour and cooked through.

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

Nettle bread

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Ingredients:

  • Large handful of blanched, finely chopped nettle tops
  • 350g bread flour (plus extra for dusting)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 100 ml milk
  • 50 ml water

Method:

Put the nettles, flour and salt into a large bowl and mix together. Add the yeast.

Mix together the water and milk.

Slowly add the milk solution to the bowl of dry ingredients and mix together to form a dough.

You can add more or less milk/water depending on how your dough feels. I find it varies slightly every time.

Tip out onto your worktop and knead for around 10 minutes.

Roll your dough into a ball, and dust with a little flour. Put it into a bowl and cover loosely with a damp cloth, to stop it drying out. Place somewhere warm.

Leave to prove for 1-2 hours, or until the dough has roughly doubled in size.

Tip your dough back out onto your work surface and carefully deflate it by poking it with your fingers. Divide the mix into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and coat with a little more flour.

Place onto a baking tray, that has been dusted with flour, and leave for another hour or to prove again.

Heat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Cook for about 20 minutes.

Remove from the oven, the rolls should sound hollow when you tap them on the bottom.

These can also be cooked in the dying embers of a fire.

Leave to cool fully before serving with butter.

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

Oat cakes

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Ingredients:

  • 225g oats (1 1/2 cups)
  • 60g wholemeal flour (1/4 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 60g unsalted butter 1/4 cup)
  • 60ml just boiled water

Method:

In a large bowl mix together the oats, flour and salt.

Add the butter and rub it into the flour and oats with your finger tips, until it forms a breadcrumb like texture.

Add the water and mix together to form a stiff dough.

Roll out thinly to around 0.5mm thick and cut into rounds using a cup or pastry cutter.

Cook in a dry pan for around 5 minutes on each side, until lightly browned, or bake for approx 20 minutes at 170 degrees C

Leave to cool fully before eating

Char cloth

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Used to light fires with just a spark. It works incredibly well and burns very hot. It’s also easy to make and can be used for authentic fire lighting for reenactment purposes. All you need is some 100% cotton or linen cloth – an old dust sheet works well, though I have heard that denim or old flannels are good, as well as cheesecloth or muslin.

1. Cut the cloth into rough squares, 2″ works well.

2. Put the squares into a tin. Any can work, providing it has a tight seal and doesn’t have any rubber or plastic seals. Try an old sweet or mint tin.

3. Don’t pack the tin too tightly, I learned this my first time, as things don’t burn evenly and I ended up having to start again.

4. Punch a hole in the tin lid using a 6” nail. This allows gasses to escape, without too much oxygen getting in and turning the cloth to ashes.

5. Stick the tin onto a heat source (outdoors due to the smoke produced). I use a small gas camping stove.

6. After a few minutes of heating, smoke will stream from the hole in the lid, which may also ignite at times, but don’t worry, this is normal.

7. Continue to burn until the smoke is no longer coming from the hole – anywhere from 5-15 minutes.

8. Remove from the heat, but do not remove the lid until the contents are completely cool. I learned this the hard way. By removing the lid and allowing oxygen into the tin, the cloth will combust.

9. Once the tin is cool and you have removed the cloth, store in an airtight container and keep dry until needed.

10. To ignite all you need is a spark from a flint and steel and some tinder. Straw, dried nettles or Gorse work well.

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