Recently, I googled "What did Vikings eat." Since it was just days before Winter Nights, I was hoping for some feast planning inspiration. Secretly, I was also hoping for some evidence to present Superman with so that he would quit insisting that he should be a hardcore carnivore as part of his Heathen journey. That man is so full of shit sometimes!
Not surprisingly, our Norse ancestors ate very simple food. Mostly meat/fish and cool weather vegetables with some dairy and grains depending on the location. Apparently, one of the most common forms of substance was skause, a perpetual soup pot chock full of meat, vegetables, and local herbs. As the meat and vegetables are consumed, new ones are added for days on end.
Since soup of any kind is a favorite at our house, I had to give this new concoction a go. Superman dubbed it "Viking Soup," so that's what moniker we went with. It's a little more fun than skause. We added to and ate our Viking Soup for three days and then I drained off the broth and used it as a base for grits the following morning. For three nights and one morning, I had a hearty and highly nutritious meal for my family with very little fuss.
Here are the experiment details.
Day 1: An ok soup.
- A rack of boneless baby back ribs
- Carrots (cut in large chunks)
- Potatoes (halved)
- Garlic (minced)
- Onion (quartered)
I buy my meat when it is on sale or discounted and then toss it in the freezer, so the ribs were just something I had on hand. Unfortunately, I didn't stop to think what the long cook time would do to the potatoes and by early afternoon they were disintegrating. At that point, I pulled them out and let them sit in a casserole dish until just before supper when I heated them in the oven. In the future, I won't include potatoes, which is fine because they pretty much have no nutritional value anyway.
Day 2: This is starting to get really good. I could have doubled both the meat and vegetables, though.
- Chicken drumsticks
- Onion (quartered)
Just before lunch, I pulled the pot out of the fridge and started reheating it. I added all my new ingredients to the existing broth and let it simmer all afternoon. Super simple and I can use all the short cuts I can get in the evening.
Day 3: This is off the chain!
- Pork shoulder blade steak
- Beef tip steak
- Hulled Barley
The first thing I did this day was to skim the chicken fat off top of my broth, quite a bit had formed in the fridge over night. Then I tossed in some more of that meat stash from my freezer, added some veg and barley, then went about my business. Superman and I could have kept going with the soup, but the girls were starting to get a bit tired of it, so we strained the broth and used it for grits the following morning. I think skause is going to be a staple at our house.
As for my research, these were my three best finds.