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Ragnar Lodbrok Day

Updated on September 25, 2014
Hearty Viking Meal
Hearty Viking Meal | Source

Celebrate Ragnar Lodbrok Day with a Viking Meal

You may not want to celebrate Paris burning, but that's history for you, full of unpleasant things that you'd rather not dwell on.

What you can do however, is prepare a Viking style meal for Ragnar Lodbrok Day on 28 March and, what's more, have an enjoyable time with your family and friends.

Invite the gang to come over in costume, and to share a good dinner of soup, lamb and sweet dessert. Heap platters with barley bread or rye and serve ale, black beer or mead.

Paris burns!
Paris burns! | Source

The Siege and Sacking of Paris

After the attack on Lindisfarne in 793, the Vikings were named in the Christian West as evil plunderers, ravages and murderers although they weren't very much different from anyone else at that time. It was a brutal age although our modern age isn't really much of an improvement.

In 845, a fleet of Viking longships invaded the country of the West Franks and laid siege to Paris.

Over Easter they occupied the city, plundered it and withdrew only on payment of 7,000 French livres - about 3 kilogrammes of silver and gold, a colossal sum in the 9th century.

Who was this Ragnar Lodbrok?

The Tale of Ragnar Lodbrok

The great hero of the Vikings, Ragnar was an absolute nightmare for France and England.

In the 9th century his raiders attacked France many times, using the rivers to make their bloody way inland, and sacked Paris in 843. He then turned his attention to England

I'll make a Viking dinner but what did they eat?

Contemporary sources (such as Ibn Fadlan) tell us that the Vikings were tall men, strong, hefty fellows, so they must have eaten well since childhood. We know they ate meat, grain, dairy food, mushrooms and berries.

Unfortunately, they didn't write cookbooks, but don't let that stop you, we can easily whip up a tasty dinner that's a close copy of a Viking meal. No special ingredients necessary.

Recipes for Colder Days - Eat up, Winter is coming

A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Official Game of Thrones Companion Cookbook
A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Official Game of Thrones Companion Cookbook

I have this cookbook, and I've made many a delicious meal from it.

Recipes from the Wall suitable for Vikings such as Herbed Rack of Lamb, Mutton in Onion-Ale Broth and of course, Pork Pie


Do you need a fire pit?

Where I live, it's perfectly feasible to dig a pit in the back yard and light a fire over it in March. The weather is at its best at this time of year. Depending on where you live of course, March may not have pleasant temperatures, or you may not want to dig a pit, or possibly you have no back yard at all..

Luckily we have stoves in the 21st century, so these recipes are compiled with modern cooking appliances in mind.

One more thing, I'm not sure if the Vikings used salt or pepper. If that's an anachronism, I'm prepared to commit it in order to season my food.

Roast Meat and Poultry

You can't go wrong with a roast leg of lamb, and a tray of baked chicken thighs but, if you want something which looks authentic, try these old recipes from Denmark and Norway

What beer should I use?

You can use any beer, but dark beer looks more authentic and tastes better when simmered. Stout would be fine in this recipe.

Cook Time

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Serves: Small Gang (4 -6) of Vikings


  • 1 chicken,
  • 3 -4 carrots
  • 3 yellow onions
  • 1 turnip
  • 1 -1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Dash black pepper
  • Thyme
  • 2 bottles (large bottles) of dark beer


  1. Chop the chicken into pieces.
  2. Peel and cut the vegetables into pieces.
  3. Brown the chicken in a little butter, then season with salt and pepper and place in a pot.
  4. Pour in the beer
  5. Add the vegetables and thyme
  6. Bring to the boil, turn down the heat and simmer for an hour
Cast your vote for Chicken Soup in Beer

Cook Time

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes approx

Serves: Medium size Gang of Vikings

Lamb Stew - Kettle of Skause

  • Kilo (2 lbs) Stewing Lamb - (neck, shank, forequarter chops)
  • 4 large onions
  • 2 carrots
  • turnip


  1. You can chop the lamb into bite size pieces or, depending which portion you're using, just trim the fat to your liking
  2. Chop all vegetables into bite size pieces
  3. Dust the lamb with flour, season with salt and pepper and brown
  4. Place everything in a large pot, cover with water and slowly bring to the boil
  5. Simmer for a good 2 hours, stirring now and then and adding more liquid when necessary

Cook Time

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Serves: Small Gang (4 -6) of Vikings

Fruit Kissel

  • Kilo of berries, raspberries, blackberries or whatever you prefer
  • Large bottle of cider
  • 2 tablespoons of honey


  1. Put the cider and honey in a pan and bring to the boil.
  2. Cook on medium-low heat for about 5-10 minutes, until reduced by about a third.
  3. Turn the heat down very low and add the fruit
  4. Gently simmer until the berries are tender
  5. Serve with yoghurt
Vikings need a mead
Vikings need a mead | Source

Want to try some Mead?

Have you ever thought of making some mead? I've been thinking of trying this, it doesn't look at all complicated.

I found this Easy Mead Recipe when I was searching for breadmaking instructions and it really does look easy. Everyday ingredients from the supermarket placed into a plastic jug with a balloon!

I bookmarked it for the future. The future is breathing down my neck and I'll try my hand at mead in readiness for Ragnar Lodbrok Day.

(The chap with the authentic horn cup doesn't look too happy with his drink, perhaps it's not mead, but warm milk).

We know what the Vikings of York had on the menu

From 866 to 1066, York was a thriving Viking city.

In the excavations beneath the modern city, archaeologists found evidence of how the people ate - including 5 tons of animal bones and vast quantities of oyster shells.

Are you brave enough for traditional Icelandic food?

Tasty Singed and Boiled Sheep Head
Tasty Singed and Boiled Sheep Head

Are you brave enough for traditional Icelandic food?

The Unusual Celebration of Thorrablot
You just can't beat a good Celebration - the anticipation, the gift- giving, the music and the mouth- watering traditional foods to mark the special occasion.

Thorrablot is no exception. The Icelandic Midwinter festival extends from 19 - 25 January. Want to put in your calendar?

Scandinavian Cooking

There are some tempting, tasty meals from the North.

Here's a selection

Delightful Desserts

Top 30 Scandinavian Most-Popular Dessert Recipes You Must Eat Before You Die
Top 30 Scandinavian Most-Popular Dessert Recipes You Must Eat Before You Die

Some enticing recipes here, nothing to shock you! Finnish Sour Cream Cake, Apple Cheese Danish, Oatmeal Cookies, Mansikka Kiisseli (strawberry soup), Ginger Snaps, Icelandic Almond Cake ... more


How do you dress like a Viking?

For Men : Baggy trousers and boots, vests over bare chests, small rugs or blankets for capes. Lots of arm rings.

For Women : Baggy trousers and boots or long skirts of rougher fabric (not silk), tunic tops and shawls. Lots of arm rings.

You know the Vikings didn't really wear horned helmets, but everyone enjoys a bit of fun

What will you do on 28 March?

Do you celebrate Ragnar Lodbrok Day?

See results

© 2014 Susanna Duffy

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    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 3 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      @Nancy Hardin: I can see you as a Viking, Nancy

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 3 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      @Lee Hansen: Buon appetito to you!

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 3 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      @Lorelei Cohen: The storyline is fictional, Lorelei, although the clothes, utensils, weapons and those beautiful ships are authentic

    • savateuse profile image

      savateuse 3 years ago

      Great recipes - I shall eat like a Viking on Ragnar Lodbrok Day!

    • Lorelei Cohen profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 3 years ago from Canada

      My husband has been watching the Vikings series on television and I just now realized that it is based on a real life Ragnar Lodbrok. I had thought the series was purely fictional so this was a surprise.

    • Lee Hansen profile image

      Lee Hansen 3 years ago from Vermont

      Vær så god! Vel bekomme!

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 3 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Interesting tale and recipes for Ragnar Lodbrok Day. Thanks for sharing.