norwegian flag waving

A Norwegian Viking Food Celebration.


Viking Food made by a Viking.
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

Viking Food
Ever wondered how the Norwegian Vikings cooked their food? Here is the answer, the Vikings baked their meat 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 how to bake a leg of lamb in a cooking pit as the Vikings did in the year 700 AD. Quite unique, and the result is delicious, I might add.

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.

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

Replica of a Viking house
Jernalderhuset/Iron Age House

Jernalderhuset-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 on 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 the rocks glowing hot the legs of lamb were prepared for baking.

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 the rocks and could be reused in the future. The students were happy to help.

This cooking pit was large enough to accommodate a great deal of food. You can bake potatoes and other vegetables in aluminum foil this way as well but place them further away from the rocks.

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

To make 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. he-he.

However, this is a unique and fun outdoor cooking idea for parties, for camping, or have 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 Seattle. We enjoyed the Viking food as well as visiting 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 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 and also helped them become more interested in Norwegian history.

Also, this event offered not only how to make Viking food, but methods of doing things such as the girls felted wool (tova ull).

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 and also helped them become more interested in Norwegian history.

Also, the girls had a chance in practicing their kitchen skills. They made the batter for making hellekake, 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 finger-licking, lip-smacking, authentic, Norwegian Viking Food! © Copyright 2020
All Rights Reserved

Find out about Mass Grave of Vikings Found in England

Learn about Building of Viking Ships in a small Norwegian Village today

Visit Einarr and Sigarda and Learn more about the Vikings here

Return to Home page after reading about Norwegian Viking Food.

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