Porridge and gruel

Nutritious and filling

From May 7 till May 11 the Vikings make porridge and gruel over an open fire in the longhouse.

It's a good idea to cook the porridge and gruel in earthenware pots set right beside the fire. Do remember to stir quite often and turn the pot to prevent the porridge or gruel from burning.

Below are the Vikings' recipes. The food is easily made at home on the cooker as well. Enjoy!

Pear gruel

6 pears
2 cups of water
2 tablespoons of honey
4 cups of milk
1 cup of cracked barley groats
A little bit of salt

Peel and half the pears. Remove the core. Cook the pears in water and honey in an earthenware pot by the fire till halfway tender.

In another earthenware pot place milk and groats and let it simmer until the groats are tender (about half an hour). Remember to stir and turn the pot to prevent the gruel from burning. Season to taste.

Drain and chop the pears into bite-sized pieces and add them to the gruel along with the moisture in the pot. Simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes.

Wheat porridge with fruit 

8-10 cups of water
2 cups of cracked wheat left to soak in cold water over night
1 cup of barley flakes
1 cup of hazelnut kernels
1-4 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon salt
6-8 apples
1-2 cups of whipping cream

Drain the soaked cracked wheat and put it in an eathenware pot together with 8 cups of water. Place the pot close to the fire. Stir and turn the pot frequently. If necessary add a little more water to prevent the porridge from getting too thick and burn.

Crack the hazelnut kernels: place them in a cloth and hit them with the back of a ladle. Rinse the apples and remove the core. Cut into bite-sized pieces.

After 45 minutes of cooking add the apple pieces and the hazelnut kernes to the porridge. As soon as the apple pieces have become soft add the barley flakes, the salt and the honey. Stir and leave to simmer for another 10-15 minutes for the right porridge consistency. Serve hot with cold whipped cream on top.

Bread-and-beer soup 

Leftover rye bread
2 cups of beer
2 tablespoons honey

Break the rye bread into smaller pieces and place them in a large earthenware pot. Add enough water to cover the bread and leave to soak overnight.

The next day, bring the mixture to the boil over the fire and let it simmer until the bread is completely soft. Whip the mixture and add the beer and the honey. Let it simmer a little longer.

Serve with whipped cream on top.

1 cup = 150 ml approx.

Ribe VikingeCenter's 2012 project 'Nordic food is Viking food' is supported by Region Syddanmark.