European Food is the Best in the World: Delicious Roast Recipe's of the Vikings and Other Dishes

Here are some recipe's we've found that we're going to try out and so should you. I guarantee you that most intelligent people with a pallet with true taste will find these exquisite. European food is truly the best in the world.


Archaeological Finds of Ninth- and Tenth-Century Viking Foodstuffs

By Carolyn Priest-Dorman (web source)

Jorvík [York], Danelaw [England]

  • Meat -- red deer, beef, mutton/lamb, goat, pork
  • Poultry -- chicken, geese, duck, golden plover, grey plover, black grouse, wood pigeon, lapwing
  • Freshwater fish -- pike, roach, rudd, bream, perch
  • Saltwater fish -- herring, cod, haddock, flat-fish, ling, horse mackerel, smelt
  • Estuarine fish -- oysters, cockles, mussels, winkles, smelt, eels, salmon
  • Dairy products -- butter, milk, eggs
  • Grains -- Oats (Avena sativa L.), wheat, rye, barley
  • Legumes -- fava (Vicia faba L.)
  • Vegetables -- carrots, parsnips, turnips (?), celery, spinach, brassicas (cabbage?)
  • Fruits -- sloes, plums, apples, bilberries, blackberries, raspberries, elderberries (Sambuca nigra)
  • Nuts -- hazelnuts, walnuts
  • Herbs/spices/medicinals -- dill, coriander, hops, henbane, agrimony
  • Cooking aids -- linseed oil, hempseed oil, honey
  • Beverages -- Rhine wine

Birka, Sweden

  • Ingredients found in breads -- rye, wheat, spelt, oats, barley, emmer wheat; linseed; sprouted pea [?=Erbsenkeimblatt], unidentified Vicia legume (mix of barley plus one of the wheats seems to have been most common)
  • Fruits -- sloe (Prunus spinosa); hawthorn (Crataegus calycina), plum (Prunus insititia)
  • Nuts -- hazelnut

Hedeby, Denmark

  • Meat -- pork, beef, mutton/goat
  • Poultry -- chicken, duck, goose
  • Fish -- herring
  • Fruits -- plum (Prunus domestica L. ssp institia C.K. Schneider), sloe (Prunus spinosa L.), cherries, elderberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries

Oseberg, Norway

  • Meat -- beef
  • Grains -- oats, wheat
  • Fruit -- crabapple
  • Nuts -- hazelnuts, walnuts
  • Herbs -- watercress, cumin, mustard, horseradish

Jarlshof, Shetland Islands

  • Meat -- beef, lamb/mutton, pork, possibly venison and whale
  • Fish -- ling, saithe, cod

Dublin, Ireland

  • Meat -- pork, beef, mutton/lamb, hare
  • Poultry -- chicken, wild goose
  • Saltwater fish -- cod, ling
  • Estuarine fish -- cockles, mussels, oysters, scallops
  • Grains -- wheat, oats, barley, rye, Chenopodium album, Polygonum spp.
  • Legumes -- fava (Vicia faba L.), peas
  • Vegetables -- wild celery, wild carrot (Daucus carota), cabbage, turnips, radishes
  • Fruits -- cherries, sloes, blackberries, hawthorn, apples, rose hips, elderberries, rowanberries, strawberries, Vaccinium myrtillus
  • Nuts -- hazelnuts
  • Herbs/spices/medicinals -- poppyseeds, black mustard, fennel
  • Cooking aids -- rapeseed oil (Brassica campestris)


Some Suggestions

Vikings did not rely on the same set of dried fruits and nuts as did later Europeans. One really basic way to readjust a feast (or a camp kitchen) toward a Viking food aesthetic is to replace your other dried fruits with prunes and cherries, your almonds with hazelnuts and walnuts. Plums and prunes especially seem to have been very popular; both domestic and imported varieties are found at Viking sites, suggesting that domestic supply was insufficient to sate the appetite for these goodies. But be careful: developing a Viking palate can transform your daily habits. Before long you may be insisting that all your peanut butter sandwiches be eaten with imported plum preserves!

Viking Age cooking gear included large pots for boiling, hooks and spits for roasting, and ovens for baking. Frying pans and warming griddles were also known. Eating utensils were the knife and spoon. Some Viking Age spoons had fairly flat bowls, making them more shovel-like than modern soupspoons; presumably these were used to eat foods with a texture somewhere between roasted flesh (to be eaten with the help of a knife) and the broth resulting from seething flesh (to be drunk or eaten with a soupspoon).

Although there are no extant "Viking recipes," there are a few books that might be helpful. One is Mark Grant's translation of Anthimus' De observatione ciborum, which is a West Roman's-eye view of sixth-century Frankish cuisine. It makes recommendations for preparation methods involving most of the basic foodstuffs that Vikings were likely to have cooked. Another helpful set of books is Ann Hagen's pair on Anglo-Saxon food and drink, although there are no recipes.

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Recipe: Sweet & Savory Viking Chicken

By Maxwell Ryan (web source)

Sweet & Savory Viking Chicken

Serves 6

3 to 4-pound whole chicken
1 small lemon or clementine
Several sprigs fresh rosemary
1 to 2 large yellow onions
3 to 4 whole firm fruits such as apples, pears, or quince
1 to 2 pounds firm or crisp vegetables such as carrots, Brussels sprouts, potatoes, sweet potatoes, asparagus, mushrooms, or garlic cloves
Olive oil
Unsalted butter
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oven to 450°F. Set a rack in the lower-middle of the oven.

Remove the chicken from its packaging and thoroughly pat it dry. Place the lemon or clementine inside the cavity along with the whole rosemary sprigs, and truss the legs together.

Create a bed of fruits and vegetables in a roasting pan to raise the chicken off the bottom. Chop the onions and a few pieces of fruit into rings, and scatter them over the bottom of the pan. If you're using asparagus or carrots, lay them side-by-side on top of the onions in the center of the pan. Sprinkle the vegetables and fruit generously with salt and black pepper.

Set the chicken on top of the bed of fruits and vegetables. Roughly chop and scatter any remaining fruits and vegetables around the chicken.

Drizzle the chicken and all the fruits and vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle generously with sea salt. Set a few pats of butter atop the chicken.

Place the chicken into the oven and immediately lower the oven temperature to 400°F. Roast for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until the vegetables are cooked, chicken's skin is golden, and the chicken registers 165°F in the thigh.

Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and tent with foil. Let the chicken rest for 15 minutes before carving. While you're waiting, toss the vegetables with the pan juices and transfer to a serving bowl. If desired, make a simple gravy with the leftover bits in the pan.

Serve while the chicken and vegetables are warm. Leftovers will keep refrigerated for up to 4 days.

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Traditional Viking Foods

Viking Bread
  • 7 cups (900 g) of flour. I use a mixture of wheat, barley, oat, and rye flours. Old-style stone-ground flour is better than modern commercial flour.
  • 3 cups (750 ml) of buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 dash of salt
  • ¼ - ½ cup (60-100 ml) of honey
  • ½ - 1 cup (100 g) nuts, such as chopped walnuts

     Mix and knead the ingredients thoroughly. I use an electric mixer with a dough hook to knead the dough. The dough is thick, moist, and sticky. Caution: a regular, home electric mixer isn't up to the task, unless you make small batches.

     Using your hands covered with flour, form the dough into small balls, about 2-3 inches in diameter (5-8 cm). At this point, the dough can be refrigerated or frozen until it is needed.

     To bake, press the balls flat, about ½ inch thick (1 cm), and bake on a flat pan greased with butter over the fire. Turn the bread once, to cook on both sides.

     When done, the bread is light brown and sounds hollow when tapped, about 2-3 minutes on each side. Eat the bread warm.



Kornmjölsgröt (Barley Porridge)
  • 10-15 cups of water                  
  • salt                                                  
  • Two cups of chopped barley kernels, soaked overnight in cold water
  • A handful whole grain wheat flour
  • A handful crushed hazelnuts
  • 3-4 tablespoons of honey



     Put the ingredients in a large pot. Pour 10 cups of water in the kettle and heat to a rolling boil. Stir regularly, reducing heat if needed to maintain a low boil. Add water if needed if the mixture starts getting too thick. Cook until done. This takes me about an hour.

     Makes about 4 to 6 servings.


Osyrat Kornbröd (Barley Flatbread)

  • 1-1/2 cups barley flour                                 
  • 1/2 cup water



    Blend ingredients together until a stiff dough is formed. Warm a griddle over a fire (or you can use a cooking sheet in the oven). Take a heavy rolling-pin and take a ball the size of a walnut and roll the ball until flattened. Roll outward so that it is as thin as you can until you have a flat, round disk. Lay it on the griddle and and place it over the fire (or cook at high heat in the oven) about 30 seconds on either side. One flat loaf at a time, roll out the dough and cook. It is most efficient to have two people, one rolling dough and one cooking flat loaves.

     The bread should be eaten immediately, but may be frozen and then reheated.

     Makes approximately eight servings.


Green Soup

  • 3-1/2 to 5 oz. of fresh, parboiled spinach, or about 8 oz. of frozen whole spinach 
  • 10 cm of the white part of a leek 
  • 1 quart good bouillon 
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped parsley 
  • Dash of pepper                                        
  • Dash of ground ginger 
  • 2 to 3 egg yolks 
  • 1/2 cup cream 
  • Grated nutmeg 



     Clean and rinse the fresh spinach or thaw the frozen.  Rinse the leek and slice thinly.  Bring the bouillon to a boil and add the spinach and leek.  Let boil for 5 minutes.  Add the parsley and boil together a few more minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and ginger.

     Whisk the yolks with the cream in the bottom of a soup tureen. Pour in the soup while whisking briskly. Grate some nutmeg over the soup and serve it with a good bread.


Nässelsoppa (Nettle Soup)

  • 2 quarts fresh nettles                                   
  • 2 tablespoons butter 
  • 2 tablespoons wheat flour 
  • 1 quart good bouillon 
  • salt 
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon thyme 
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon marjoram 
  • 1/3 cup chopped chives 
  • 4 cooked egg yolks, chopped finely 





    Wash nettles well. Cover nettles with bouillon and boil for 5 minutes or until just tender. Drain the liquid off the nettles and save it. Chop the nettles. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add a little flour to the butter and stir until it starts to brown, then gradually add the bouillon. Add the nettles back in, then cook at a simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt, thyme, marjoram, and chives. Place into individual bowls and garnish with chopped egg yolk.

    Makes 4 servings.


Rökt Fisk (Smoked Fish)

  • Fish to smoke                                             

     Gut and scale the fish. Leave the backbone intact with the two sides still connected to it, but remove as many of the remaining bones as is possible. On a large fish, cut a series of parallel slices into the muscle to allow the smoke to completely penetrate the flesh. Place the fish above the fire. In a smokehouse, the fish would be hung from lines. In a commercial smoker, lay on the highest rack. Do not seal tightly, allow a little air in for ventilation for the fire.

     How long you will need to smoke the fish depends on the size of the fish. A small fish may take only ten minutes or so, while large fish can take much longer. The fish is done when the meat will flake with a fork.


Chicken Stew With Beer

  • 1 chicken, about 2 to 2-1/2 lbs. 
  • 3-4 carrots 
  • 3 yellow onions 
  • 1 turnip, about 1 lb. 
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon salt                                      
  • Dash black pepper 
  • Thyme 
  • 6-8 whole allspice 
  • 1 bottle (12 oz) dark beer 


     Chop the chicken into 8 pieces.  Peel and cut the vegetables into pieces.  Fry the chicken in butter, about 5 minutes on each side.  Season with salt and pepper and place in a pot.  Add the vegetables, thyme, allspice and beer.  Let boil for about 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender.  Serve the dish with bread.

     Makes four servings.


Honey Glazed Root Vegetables

  • 1 turnip 
  • 2-3 carrots 
  • 1 slice of white cabbage (use a quarter of a head of cabbage) 
  • 1 leek 
  • butter 
  • honey                                                     
  • salt and pepper 



     Peel the root vegetables and cut them into pieces. Boil together in slightly salted water about 5 minutes and drain.  Sauté the root vegetables in butter until soft. Let the leek and cabbage sauté with them at the end. Add some honey and stir the dish carefully.  Season with salt and pepper.

     Makes four servings.


Kokt Svinmålla (Boiled Lambsquarters)

  • 1 lb. fresh, very young, tender lambsquarters
  • 2/3 cup water                                              
  • dash or two of salt

     Rinse the lambsquarters. Add the salt to the water and bring to a boil. Add in the lambsquarters and boil for about 5 minutes. Pour off the liquid and allow the lambsquarters to drain. Serve with a little butter.

     Makes four servings.



Pancake with Berries

  • 2/3 cup white flour                                      
  • 1 cup lingonberries or bilberries
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2-1/2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter


     Turn on the oven to 425°F (225°C). Whisk the batter together without the butter and stir in the berries.  Melt the butter in a heat-resistant baking pan and pour it in the batter. Bake it in the middle of the oven for about 20-25 minutes until the pancake has a nice color.  Cut it into pieces and serve with some jam.

     Makes four servings.



Färskost (Skyr)

  • 6 cups skim milk 
  • 1 cup buttermilk 
  • Rennet                                                        
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream 
  • 1 tablespoon milk 

     Skyr has a consistency and flavor that reminds many people of yoghurt. However, skyr is made much like cottage cheese or cream cheese, using rennet to congeal the milk solids and allow the whey to be separated -- thus the Swedish name, Färskost or "fresh cheese".

     Check the rennet package for specific instructions on how much rennet to use. This will vary depending on whether you are using vegetable rennet or not, and whether it is liquid, granular, or tablets. If you are not using liquid rennet, you will need to dissolve the rennet beforehand in a little tepid water. Ideally this should be done in a small measuring cup which has been pre-warmed using hot water.

     Heat the milk to 185-195°F (85-90°C) and hold it at that temperature for about 10 minutes. Be careful not to boil or scorch the milk. Cool down to 100-102°F (38-39°C). It is important that you allow the milk to cool properly, or else the rennet may not work.

     Stir the sour cream into a tablespoon of milk until well mixed. Pour into the warm milk and mix well. Add the rennet.

     For best results, the skyr needs to cool down gradually. Allow the skyr to cool about 6 hours. You will be ready to proceed to the next step when you can make a cut in the skyr which will not close immediately.

     Line a sieve or colander with cheesecloth or a fine linen cloth and pour in the skyr. Tie the ends of the cloth together over the top and hang over a bucket or other container so the whey can drip off. Be sure to retain the whey -- it can be used to pickle foods, and adds lots of flavor to recipes when substituted for part or all of the water. Allow the skyr to drain until it is fairly firm. The consistency should be like ice cream.


Basic Oatcakes

  • 1lb. wholemeal flour
  • 8oz. oatmeal                                                
  • a good pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp. melted dripping or vegetable oil
  • water to mix
     Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl until you have a fairly wet dough. Cover with a damp cloth and leave out of the sun for about 30 minutes, by which time the dough will have stiffened. Flour your hands, break off walnut sized pieces of dough, and shape them into flat cakes. Get your griddle good and hot, or they will cook slowly and turn into hockey pucks! Cook the cakes quickly for about 30 seconds each side. Serve hot or cold, with just about anything.




Baked fish in bread

  • a batch of bread dough                                
  • one or more large fillets of firm fish
     Press your dough out sufficiently to make a neat parcel around your fish. Dampen the edges and seal your fish in the dough, making sure there are no gaps. When you have a good deep bed of hot coals(not flame), rake them out so you have a bed large enough to take your fish. Place the fish, carefully, directly on the coals. Leave it there for at least 10 minutes (resist the temptation to prod), then, carefully, turn it over and repeat for a further 10 minutes. Lift the fish off the fire and leave it to stand for another 10 minutes. To serve, break open the bread crust. The fish will have cooked to perfection and be beautifully moist.



Springtime Fritters

  • 6oz flour
  • a good pinch of salt 
  • an egg 
  • 3/4 pint or so of beer (flat lager from last night will do) 
  • a few handfuls of edible young leaves and flowers 
  • oil for frying
  • honey                                                             

     Put the flour and salt in a large bowl, make a well in the centre and break the egg into it. Pour in a little of the beer and start to mix from the middle, gradually incorporating the flour from the centre as you pour in more beer. Mix thoroughly, beating well to avoid lumps. Once you have a batter the thickness of cream, cover the bowl with a cloth and leave to stand for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, trim your green stuff and rinse it in cold water, if necessary. Heat some oil in a deep skillet until smoking. Mix in your greenery; small leaves and flowers can be stirred into the batter as they are, while larger leaves can be dipped individually. Drop spoonfuls of flowery batter into the hot oil (carefully!), and fry until golden, turning once. Lift them out onto a plate, and drizzle with honey to serve.



The Viking Family's Porridge

  • 10-15 cups of water 
  • Two cups of chopped wheat kernels. Let them soak over night so they won't be so hard to chew. 
  •  Two cups pearl barley 
  •  A handful whole grain wheat flour 
  •  A handful crushed kernels of nuts 
  •  3-4 tablespoons of honey 
  •  A healthy portion of apple bits, hippells, pears or...                                                     

     Put the chopped wheat kernels, wheat flour, pearl barley and crushed nuts in the kettle. Pour 10 cups of water in the kettle and place on the fire.

     Stir the porridge evenly and turn the kettle to spread the heat. If the porridge starts to get too thick, pour more water in it.                                                                               

     After about ½ hour add the honey, nuts and fruit. The porridge should now cook until the fruit is wet and the porridge has the desired consistency. It should take 15-30 minutes.

     It should be served warm, possibly with some cold cream.



Meat soups

  • 8-12 cups of water 
  • ½ kg meat (pork, beef, lamb, chicken, hen etc) 
  • Salt 
  • 3-5 cups of herb such as the top shoots of stinging nettles, young dandelion leaves, wild chervil, cress, wild marjorum, dill, plantain, angelica, wild onions, caraway greenery, thyme, or whatever the season has to offer.



     Put the meat in the kettle. Pour water over the meat so it is covered and put the kettle on the fire. In order that the heat is spread evenly the kettle must be turned about every 5-10 minutes.

     When the water boils it should cook for about one hour. It may be necessary to add more water so the meat is always covered with water.

     While the meat is cooking wash and chop the herbs. They will go in the soup when it is ready.

When the meat is tender take it out and slice it to a size fit for a spoon and return it to the soup.

     Add salt as desired, then it is ready to be served.

     It can be served with flatbread.

     If you want a more filling soup you can add soaked wheat kernels, thick flour...or the soup can be smoothed out with pea flour (yellow peas grinded on a stone).                                



 Fish Soup

  • ½ kg of trout, salmon, cod or another fish. 
  • 10-12 cups of water 
  • Salt 
  • One cup of whipped cream 
  • 3-5 cups of herb such as the top shoots of stinging nettles, young dandelion leaves, ashweed, wild chervil, cress, wild marjorum, dill, plantain, angelica, wild onions, caraway greenery, parsley, thyme, ... or whatever the season has to offer.





     Clean the fish, wash and cut into small pieces.

     The slices of fish must be cooked until they are tender. This takes 20-30 minutes.

Put the cooked fish slices on a dish and bone them.

     Put the fish back in the soup. Add the whipped cream and chopped herbs.

     The soup should now cook for about 20-30 minutes adding salt as desired. Then it is ready to be served. Fish soup can be served with flatbread.

     A little dab of butter in the soup tastes good!                                                                                                     



Traditional Mead

  • 12 lbs unprocessed honey
  • 5 gallons spring water                                        
  • 2 packets dry yeast
  • 2 tsp yeast nutrient 





     Heat 2 gallons of spring water to 160f in a large kettle and remove from heat. Add yeast nutrient and 12 lbs unprocessed honey, and then stir until thoroughly dissolved. Transfer kettle back to heat and bring back to 160f; maintain this temperature for 30 minutes. Skim off any foam that accumulates. Remove from heat and let cool; add 1 to 2 gallons spring water to quickly bring the temperature back down below 90f. Transfer must to primary fermentation chamber and aerate by shaking or stirring for 5 minutes. Start yeast per packet instructions before pitching into must. Add fermentation lock and store in a cool dark place for 14 to 28 days. When you see one bubble every sixty seconds, primary fermentation has concluded. Rack the mead into the secondary fermentation chamber and store in a cool dark place for 2 to 4 months. Sample the mead and bottle once it has achieved an acceptable level of clarity and shows no signs of fermentation.