Smoking fish and meat

Preservation and flavour

When visiting the Vikings in the Longhouse remember to notice the hook over the fireplace and whatever hangs from it. Smoking was an easy way for the Vikings to preserve fish and meat. It would last longer, take another delicate flavour and not go rancid.

Planked fish

4 small trouts
Chopped herbs: Sping onions, goutweed, thyme
Chopped garlic

Cut off the heads, tails and fins of the trouts. Gut them and rinse them well. Cut each fish in two fillets and leave the skin on. Place the fillets skin side down and sprinkle with herbs, garlic and salt.

Prepare four planks, each 2-3 cm thick and approx. 20 x 50 cm of size. In the middle of the planks make two holes with a diameter of about a little finger and with a distance of 20 cm.

You also need to prepare eight small branches, each with three twigs and barked. The twig in the middle must be a little thinner than a little finger. The branches will be fixing the fish to the planks.

Turn the trouts over so that the fleshy side with the herbs goes against the plank. Use the branches to fix the fillets to the planks. Place the planks upright by the fireplace. After about half an hour, when the fat starts dripping down the planks, rotate the planks 180 degrees. The trouts are done, when they are soft and the colour of the flesh has gone light.

Omelette with smoked herring

8 eggs
A little milk
Butter for the pan
Chopped spring onions
Smoked herring fillets

Beat the eggs and add salt. Melt the butter on a frying pan and add the egg mixture. When the omelette begins to cook and firm up, put the herring fillets on top - many and close together. Sprinkle over the spring onions. Serve with rye bread.

Lamb sausages

A large piece of a shoulder of a lamb
A smaller piece of pork fat
2 onions, finely chopped
A little honey
A little stock
Herbs, for instance thyme, garlic mustard, goutweed, ramsons
Casing (small intestine) from a lamb or a pig

Finely chop the meat and fat with a knife and mix together with chopped onions, salt, herbs and honey. Add a little stock to reach the consistency of soft porridge.

Fill the meat mixture into the casing by using a sausage stuffer (a piece of a cow's horn) and twist off into 10 cm lengths. Only fill about 3/4 of each sausage or they will burst when cooking. Tie the ends of the casing with a tooth pick.

Hang the sausages high over the fireplace to smoke for a week minimum. To eat, cook them in simmering water. Be careful that the water doesn't boil, or they will burst.

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