norwegian flag waving

A Norwegian Viking Food Celebration.


Norwegian Viking Food made by real Nordmenn.
Baking a Leg of Lamb in an in-ground Cooking Pit
Hen Skole, Isfjorden, Romsdal, Norway (above)
Photo by Øystein Talberg, Åndalsnes Avis, Norway

Photo at the top: Isfjorden, Romsdal
Photo by Endre Olav Bu

Norwegian Viking Food
Ever wondered how the Norwegian Vikings cooked their food? Here is the answer, the Vikings baked their meat in the ground on top of rocks in Cooking Pits.

In-the-ground cooking?

So, if the Vikings baked their food in the ground so can we. Read on to find out how...

Here is the unique method to bake a leg of lamb as the Norwegian Vikings did in the year 700 AD - the result...delicious.

According to the archaeologist, Ragnar Orten Lie, Romsdal, Norway, the remainders of many "ancient cooking pits or holes" (Viking kokegrop in Norwegian), can be found in Isfjorden, Romsdal area where I was born.

More about Norwegian Viking Food and how they prepared it...

This ancient type of cooking pit was used to bake a leg of lamb at the Viking Fest (Viking Celebration) held at the public school in Isfjorden, Romsdalen, Norway, where I attended.

This unique method of cooking is dated back to 700 AD, according to the archaeologist, who was in charge of cooking the lamb the ancient Nordic method at the school's Viking Fest and it turned out to be a feast, as well.

Many people were gathered to find out how the Norwegian Vikings prepared their food and to sample the delicacy prepared by the archeologist himself, using this ancient method.

Having a good look at the Jernalderhuset,(a replica of a house from the Iron Age) was of course of great interest.

Replica of a Viking house
Jernalderhuset/Iron Age House

Jernalderhuset/the Iron Age House is located in my hometown, by Isfjorden Skole, Isfjorden, Romsdal, Norway.

The proceeds from the evening would go toward the finishing touches of "The Norwegian Viking House, which was being built for the students on the school grounds.

Isfjorden Skole, Romsdal, Norway

Below you will find a slightly updated recipe of how the Norwegian Vikings prepared their meats around the year 700 AD.

Read on to find out more about Viking Food...

First on the agenda was to dig large holes in the ground to create the cooking hole/pit. Then the hole was lined with rocks bottom and up the sides creating a type of kettle. Wood was then placed on top of the rocks and a fire was started. When the rocks were red hot - time to cook...

While the fire was going and heating up the rocks glowing hot a few legs of lamb were being prepared for baking.

How the Vikings in Isfjorden prepared legs of lamb for roasting in a Cooking Pit.

1 leg of lamb
Cloves of garlic, sliced
Sprigs of freshly picked rosemary
ground sea salt and coarsely ground pepper
Wrap the leg of lamb in aluminum foil, instead of leaves, since this is the 21 Century and not 700 AD. However, leaves would most likely work well - just messy.

Insert sliced garlic into slit pockets of the meat.
Cover the leg of lamb with honey and mustard.
Sea salt and fresh coarsely ground pepper.

I don't know if the Norwegian Vikings used salt and pepper, but I do.
Toss freshly snipped rosemary all over the lamb.
Wrap the entire lamb tightly in heavy-duty aluminum foil.

Some of the rocks were removed and the meat, in this case, a few well foil-wrapped legs of lamb, were placed into the hole on top of and surrounded by hot rocks, as well topped by hot rocks and then covered with dirt. Dinner was on.

After "the dinner" was cooked the pit was then tightly re-filled with dirt. The pit area was marked with rocks and could be reused in the future. The students were very happy to help.

This cooking pit was large enough to accommodate a great deal of food. Potatoes and other vegetables wrapped in aluminum foil can be cooked this way but placed further away from the rocks.

After about 1 hour and 25 minutes, the in-ground baked leg of lamb I named Norwegian Viking Food was baked to perfection. It was moist, delicious, and ready to be served to very impressed guests - in this case, students at Isfjorden Skole (school), parents, and friends.

Making food this way is easy enough, however, it is time-consuming. But once you have your cooking pit/hole prepared you can use it over and over again, just like the Norwegian Vikings did. It was their "slow cooker".

You can even make a spot in your backyard into a special "Norwegian Viking Cooking Pit". The pit can be covered with large, round landscaping rocks.

It's like having a free stove outside, something to consider to save on your utility bills - just kidding. Maybe you could call Al Gore to clue him in?

It would definitely hit the 6 o'clock news if Mrs. Homemaker would begin using this Norwegian Viking Food cooking method to prepare dinner. Dinner would be an event for sure. hehe.

However, this is a unique, fun outdoor cooking idea for parties, camping, or having it ready-to-go in case we end up in hard times.

I attended the Norwegian Viking Fest (feast) with one of my friends, Else, a former classmate, who now lives in California. We enjoyed the Viking food as well as visiting with old friends.

We had traveled to Norway for our class reunion. It is a long distance to go from California and Michigan to Norway for a class reunion, but it was well worth it and we all had a great time, but that is another story.

The archaeologist became a hero with the students and parents alike and was thought of as a master chef of this ancient Norwegian Viking Food.

The children took part in everything that was going on and it gave them a new insight into how people lived a long time ago as they became more interested in Norwegian history. The event offered not only how to make Viking food, but how to prepare things the way they did in ancient times, such as felting wool (tova ull). The girls showed much interest in that project.

Also, the girls had a chance in practicing their kitchen skills. Norwegian Viking Food and other interesting facts.
They made the batter for making hellekaker, a Norwegian type of griddlecake.


Hellekaker was baked on an old-style large round iron griddle placed over an open flame, a neat experience for little future homemakers and possibly historians.

norsk hellekake-

The picture above is how the girls served hellekaker.

The boys worked hard at whittling and got to practice bow and arrow shooting - great for aspiring, little hunters.

I hope you will have fun trying this ancient recipe and enjoy lip-smacking, authentic, Norwegian Viking Food! © Copyright 2020
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