Given the intersection of what the Vikings had to eat and what they had to cook it with (both of which we can know from the archeological record) I surmise that a great deal of what the average Viking ate on any given day boiled down to what my friend Eulalia calls “war glop”, and later English writers referred to as “pottage”. 

Basically, some combination of grains, legumes, vegetables, and a comparatively little meat is cooked together in a pot with plenty of liquids until it’s mushy.  The result can range from the texture of our breakfast oatmeal to something closer to what we might call pilaf. 

Some examples I’ve tried:

  • oats with bacon, onions and dried apples or prunes
  • peas and barley with onions and parsnips
  • barley grits (stone ground barley, like polenta) with cabbage, turnips and smoked herring
  • hulless barley with carrots, onions, garlic and fresh dill
  • pork, strawberries, hazelnuts and watercress
  • chicken with barley and dried fruit

Any of these can be easily cooked in pottery or iron vessels over the fire.  They work particularly well in pottery, I find, because they tend to stick less.  For idea on additional ingredients, see Þóra Sharptooth’s excellent list here