Nov 05 2007

Cooking Directly on Fire

Published by at 8:42 pm under Foods

Like Ray Mears do in his Wild Food DVD, I prefer cooking directly in the fire, opposite of using a cooking wessel. The simplicity of it appeals to me, and I also feel that the taste is enhanced compared to using a pot. Pottery doesn’t transport very well since it is so prone to breakage and birch bark kettles are a mess to clean and needs to be watched very carefully not to burst be destroyed by the flames. And using stones is too bothersome for everyday use I feel. Cooked water is rarely necessary anyways.

The main danger of this method is that the food is scorched. If you have a big or slow cooked piece you can not cook it directly on big, hot coals as it will burn on the outside before it’s cooked on the inside. Put it at the side and sweep some ash and coals over it. The roots of for example Alpine Bistort or Cattails are excellent cooked this way. Smaller fish can be cooked directly on the large coals, as you are likely only to scorch the skin before it’s cooked. The fish on the photo was about 1kg big, which is about maximum for this way of cooking. If any bigger it must be suspended, on a stick, like in this article.

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A variation on this method is to cook on a hot rock either on the side of the fire or directly on top of a large flat one. For food that doesn’t stay well together like roe from fish or if you don’t want all that ash sticking to your food, this is better. If you cook it ontop of a flat rock like on the photo, it will also slow cook, suitable for medium sized pieces of meat. I didn’t have it, but if you have some fat to lubricate your rock with, you essentially have a frying pan. 😀

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Some words on the fish intestines cooking on this picture. There is liver, roe, semen (don’t know what fish semen is called) and heart. On lean autumn fish I usually don’t eat anything except these and the head (cheeks and brains). The rest can be discarded, dried or thrown to the dogs. Eating only lean fish will kill you (proteine poisoning), while these parts contain a lot of juicy fat. Ummm… The male fish often remains quite fatty throughout the season, they you can eat as a tasty belly filler.

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Regards
Torjus

Get my book "Traditional Trout Fishing: Fishing for Survival in the North (Volume 1)
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5 responses so far

5 Responses to “Cooking Directly on Fire”

  1. Marcon 05 Nov 2007 at 9:02 pm

    Hey Torjus,

    mmmm jummie, that sure raised my apetite, I love fish!
    looks very good
    thanks for explaining these methods of cooking – good idea!
    did you ever try cooking in moss?

    greetz,

    Marc

  2. Cliveon 06 Nov 2007 at 12:55 am

    Hello Torjus,

    Fish semen is milt I think. Don’t know how often you’re going to be using that word, but there it is!

    Are you really saying that you throw away most of the fish meat in Autumn? Sounds like you really do have too many fish up there.

    Also, how do fishing licences work in Norway? Is it good enough to have a German one, for instance?

    Clive

  3. adminon 06 Nov 2007 at 7:20 am

    Marc

    Never tried steaming in moss, I have seen it, but pretty much forgotten all about it… Thanks for the idea.

    Clive

    There is a LOT of fish there yes, it’s not like that everywhere in Norway, but many places. You mean like the German fishing exam? No, that is not needed. The only thing you usually need to fish in Norway is to pay a small fee. In the ocean, all fishing is free.

  4. Ernestoon 22 Jan 2009 at 11:31 am

    “Eating only lean fish will kill you (protein poisoning)”

    Are you serious? I have NEVER heard of this before? Really?

    BTW, now that we’re coming up with seldom used terms, how about a word for cooking directly on fire? I thought it was broasting? I know I’m wrong but I thought there was a word for it.

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