>>Funding for this series has been provided in part by the following… Ringsaker Municipality in Norway. Journeys to extraordinary lands. Borton Overseas, since 1894. Rainy weather won’t stop the outdoor activities. CoverAllSports AllWeatherWare.>>This is a story
about dedication. It’s about the willingness
to go the extra mile, to find
and unlock nature’s secrets. It’s about tasteful selection
and the understanding
that every step of the journey is vital for the end result.
This is the story of Evergood,
a story that always ends well.>>Viestad: Yes, they are a wee
bit charred on the outside
but are still quite firm. Think it’s underdone. Hi, and welcome to “New Scandinavian Cooking” from Geilo in the Norwegian mountains. I’m Andreas Viestad.
One fact is that Norway
is a country far north in the world and that
the climate can be terrible.
It can be cold and inhospitable. Another fact is
that Norwegians love it.
Whenever we have the chance, we go outdoors, hiking,
skiing, fishing, playing,
whether it be summer or winter, and this does something
to our culture.
We’re sporty. It also does something
to our food culture.
Much of the food we eat we eat out of our homes.
We even have a word for it:
niste. And in today’s program,
we’ll look at niste,
the food we eat when we’re out hiking,
when we’re on the run,
our packed school lunches and the complicated secret
behind our everyday food.
I’ll start off on a frozen lake fishing for trout,
and I’ll bake and smoke
the fish on the fire and serve it as an open-face
sandwich with cucumber salad,
dill and sour cream. Then I’ll make boiled ham,
a laborious process but one
that makes food that will last for several days and be
a part of our packed lunch,
and I’ll bring my packed lunch to a local school
and find out how we can make it
healthier and more tasty, and finally I’ll go indoors
for a proper dinner
cooked in a most unusual place, a knife factory.
I’ll cook trout and root
vegetables in the same flaming-hot oven
that’s normally used to weld
the steel for the knives, sharp and hot. In winter, the inland lakes
are completely frozen.
There’s about a foot and a half
of ice underneath me now, and it looks like nature
has gone into total hibernation,
but it has not. The fish are still here,
and late winter is a great time
to go ice fishing, and Bodil and her son, Ola,
have been fishing all day.
>>Viestad: Hei.>>Viestad: It looks like
a wonderful Arctic char, and they’re going to let me
use it in my cooking.
The Arctic char is a fish in the salmon family
and a little bit
dependent on the food, it gets this lovely sort of
It’s a beautiful fish. Many people say that they find
it difficult to know
how to cook a fish, but it’s not really difficult.
It’s very simple.
You just add a little bit of heat, not too much.
That’s the secret,
so here I’m going to rub this beautiful fish with
a combination of salt and dill,
and I’m going to bake and smoke it on the fire,
so I need
a few juniper branches. Now the fish bakes
and smokes at the same time,
and when the flame starts flaring up,
I’ll put on one of
these smoke blankets to sort of douse the fire.
Not only is the fish smoked,
I’m being smoked as well. I bet I can smell this
on my anorak for months to come.
Okay. I’ll just check the fish. And it looks like a very chaotic
way to cook, but look here.
The fish is beautiful. It has been protected
by the branches,
but of course if you want a somewhat more controlled way
of doing this,
use a kettle grill, and just throw a few juniper
berries onto the burning embers,
and you’ll get a nice smoky flavor as well.
I’m going to serve the fish
as an open-face sandwich with cucumber salad,
so just halve the cucumber
and scrape out the seeds, and then I mix the cucumber
seeds with sour cream.
Some just discard it, but that’s where
a lot of the good flavor is.
Then I mix the rest of the cucumber
with a little bit of vinegar,
so either white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar,
then just a sprinkle of salt,
and this is a really nice and fresh-tasting cucumber salad.
It goes really well together
with the smoked char and really all kinds
of smoked fish. You can find all the recipes at our website, newscancook.com. Hei. It’s got a really nice hint of smokiness. Even though there was a lot of smoke and it looks brutal, it wasn’t on the fire for more than a few minutes. Then it’s very nice with that fresh-tasting sour cream and the cucumber with the fish. Mm. It is said that being outside in nature is like a national
religion to most Norwegians,
but how true is that really in a time
when most Norwegians are highly
educated, very busy people? Most of them live
in urban areas.
Well, if you look at statistics, this myth turns out to be,
Last year, 80 percent of all Norwegians went hiking in
the forest or in the mountains.
More than 40 percent went skiing.
This does something
to our culture and, not least,
our food culture.
It strengthens our tradition of packed lunch.
They’re often spectacularly
unglamorous affairs more about giving you energy
for the ride
than about enjoyment, but it doesn’t really have
to be that way.
I’m going to make my own boiled ham
and my own spectacular
packed lunch. One of the most popular components in niste,
or packed lunch, is boiled ham,
and most of the time, I must admit,
we just buy it in the store,
but I think it’s fascinating also to make it from scratch,
and that is a pretty
time-consuming process. It takes me a full week.
Most of it is just waiting,
but still, it takes me a full week,
and it starts like this
with a beautiful piece of raw ham deboned.
This one weighs around 3 kilos,
a little more than 6 pounds. I’m going to cover it
with water, in this case,
2 liters or 2 quarts of water, then spices,
10 black peppercorns,
10 juniper berries, 10 whole allspice and one, two,
147 mustard seeds, no, just kidding, around
2 teaspoons of mustard seed
and five or six bay leaves. And now comes the fun part,
trying to brush off
a little dust of that high-school math
because we are going to add
salt, two percent as per the combined weight
of the meat and the water.
We’ve got 3 kilos, 6 pounds of meat and 2 liters,
2 quarts of water.
So do you want me to stop while you do the math,
or should I just give you
the right answer? It’s 100 grams.
It’s 3.5 ounces of salt,
and I’m also going to add 1 teaspoon of pink salt,
a curing salt,
which helps it keep its color. And now comes the boring part.
Put it in the fridge and let it
stay there for a full week. And during that week,
almost nothing happens
or almost nothing that you can see.
The meat is a little bit paler.
If you feel it, it’s a little bit firmer.
You can see the spices
have swelled up, but what has happened
inside the meat
is incredibly important. The salt and the flavors
That takes time. It takes that much time.
So now I’m going to cook it.
I’m using a meat thermometer, which
I think is a great thing to use,
and I’m just placing the pot with the meat and the water
inside a very hot oven, 400
Fahrenheit, 200 centigrade, and then I’m immediately
reducing the temperature
to 175 Fahrenheit or 80 Celsius, and I’m leaving
it there for a long, long time
until the core temperature is around 175
Fahrenheit or 80 centigrade.
And after a week and then some hours, it’s all done.
It’s not worse than that.
And I’m excited to taste. I’ve allowed the meat
to cool off
in the cooking liquid. That way, it becomes moist too
because it actually draws back
some of the moisture it has lost.
Ah, look at that. Mm, and it tastes delicious.
It tastes just like
classic boiled ham but with a little hint of
spiciness from all the spices,
and I’m going to use this in my niste today. You can find all the recipes at our website, newscancook.com. This is a coarse
which I think is really nice together
with the salty boiled ham.
Now this is very much how I normally have my
niste, my packed lunch,
but I’m going to team up with some kids
and see how we can take it up
one notch, make it a little more exciting.>>Hei.>>Viestad: Any one of you
who have niste?
Uh-huh-huh. And any one of you
who have bread?>>Viestad: Some have, and some
Anyone who sometimes think that it’s a little bit boring?
>>Viestad: So we’re going to try and make it
a little more exciting now.
Do you want to try and taste something new?
Mm-hmm.>>Viestad: This was the clover, and that was quite mild
but these were the radishes, and they were very strong, huh?
>>Viestad: Ah, and then we have the peas,
and they tasted like peas, but
they were quite sweet, right?>>Yes.
>>Viestad: And then we had the
fenugreek, and that smelled funny, didn’t it?
>>Viestad: It smelled a little bit like curry.
>>Viestad: So the reason why we do this is that every day
we eat packed lunch,
but maybe we should just put a little more green food in it
because then it becomes more
exciting and much more healthy. It tastes like nature.
It tastes like curry
and radishes and clover, and it’s like eating
a green forest
on my little slice of bread. Mm.
So, kids, wasn’t this fun?
>>Yes.>>Viestad: And the best of all
it’s really healthy as well. Geilo is a station
along the main railway line between Oslo and Norway’s
second city, Bergen.
It’s about 220 kilometers or 135 miles out of Oslo,
and if you go back in time,
that was about as far as you could travel in a day.
That’s why Geilo was established
as the first ski-resort town in the country,
and for more than a century,
wealthy citizens from the capital
have come here to enjoy sports.
First, it was cross-country, and these last few decades,
there’s also become alpine
sports, slalom and snowboarding, and because so many people
came from the cities to this
rather rural area, something interesting happened.
It became a meeting point,
a point for cultural exchange and a hub for local food.
Many of the local food
traditions have survived here because they found a market
with the city-dwellers.
One of the things that I find really delicious is this,
a reindeer sausage.
We’re not far away from the southernmost reindeer herd.
Reindeer meat is delicious
really quite sweet, gamy meat, and here is a white goat cheese
made at a small local dairy. Mm.
It’s really, really
quite a powerful cheese even though it just looks pale
and this here is also one of the real Norwegian specialties,
the fudge cheese,
and it’s made not from the milk but from the whey
that has been boiled and boiled
and boiled until it caramelizes, so it’s kind of like
a dulce de leche but with
a little goat-y tang to it. It’s very good.
There’s also salted
and smoked venison, interesting baking traditions
almost pancake-like flatbread. This here small dry cake
is really quite delicious…
and traditional flatbread. And I think that all of these
because they are truly delicious but also because
they’re quite convenient.
Most of them are very suitable to bringing along
when you’re out hiking as a part
of your niste. Apart from skiing and hiking, one of the most important
activities here in Geilo
is hunting and fishing, and it has been for a long,
There are also handicrafts related to hunting and fishing.
This is Brusletto, a knife maker
that has been in production since 1896,
and they still make their knives
in the old-fashioned way, and I think that
it’s fascinating to see
all these machines and how much manual labor
goes into each knife,
how much knowledge and how much love.
And I like all the machines,
but I particularly like these here.
These are the ovens,
and I think that you can make use of them in different ways,
not just making knives.
You can make food in them. Well, most people say
that it can’t be done.
The ovens are simply too hot. This oven over there is now
more than 1,400 degrees
Fahrenheit so around 800 degrees Celsius, but I’m sure
we can make something,
and I’m going to try and bake these beautiful Arctic char
and serve them
with some baked root vegetables, and I’ll start off with the root
vegetables and see
if it is at all possible or if it will just catch fire.
So I start with three parsnips,
three carrots and some lovely beets,
one onion and one leek.
I’ll just cut off most of the green stuff. Man, it’s hot in there.
Now it’s been in the oven
at 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit, 800 Celsius, for 2 minutes,
and I’ll see how that has gone.
Okay. [ Laughs ]
You can see the water sort of sizzling out of the leek,
and it smells amazing.
Yes, it does smell a little bit charred,
a little bit burnt,
but you can also smell those sweet aromas
of the baked vegetables.
I’m going to let them just rest and continue to bake
in their own residual heat.
Anyway, they’re too hot to handle now.
Now I’m going to see
if it works with the fish as well, if we can bake it
at that high temperature. It’s been a minute and a half,
and I don’t dare to let it be
in there any longer. It doesn’t look too bad.
It’s a little bit charred
on the outside, but I think that goes with the territory,
and if I just
check the temperature by inserting a knife,
it actually comes out
quite cool, so that means that the fish
is still raw in the middle,
but I’m hoping that it will cook with the residual heat
so that it will be quite perfect
after a few minutes. And now the vegetables
are just cooling off to touch,
so I’m going to peel them. There are various ways
to do this.
I’m going to just do it with these metal gloves.
These are actually butchers’
gloves that butchers wear in order not to cut their hands,
but they are also quite good
if you want to just remove the burnt parts on your vegetables.
So if you want to
do this at home, you should either purchase
one of these ovens
or use your normal oven. Set it at maximum,
which is probably 450 degrees
Fahrenheit, 225 Celsius, and then bake the fish
for 5 to 6 minutes.
Let it char a little bit on the outside.
Leave it to cool while the heat
disseminates inside the fish and bake the vegetables
for 12 to 15 minutes.
Let them char a little as well. That should do the trick,
but you can always just test
whether the vegetables are done afterwards.
And then I’ll just cut the
vegetables into smaller pieces and mix them in a bowl.
And look at the leek.
It’s perfectly baked all the way through,
and then it becomes wonderful,
soft and creamy and quite sweet, and there’s nothing left
of the burnt part.
This is really the optimal way. It’s incredibly sweet,
a little bit overcooked
at the outer layers, and then it still has quite
and a crunch in the middle. That’s delicious.
And it’s smart not to mix
the red beet root with all the other vegetables
because they’ll just go
pink or red. I’m going to flavor
very simply with salt and a little bit of beer vinegar.
You can also use malt vinegar
or sherry vinegar, but don’t use balsamic.
It’s just too sweet.
And then just a little bit of oil, a neutral oil,
and some of the shoots.
You can use any shoots that you like.
And some parsley,
and I’ll just chop them using pair of scissors
and then some rye-bread croutons
to give it a bit of crunch but also a bit of starch since
there’s no other starch here.
Then I just mix it up. Remember that you can find all the recipes at our website, newscancook.com. Despite the treatment
in this oven, the fish is
perfectly cooked just as I said. Apply heat, not too much.>>Ah!
>>Viestad: Now so this fish
has been in the oven at 1,400 degrees Fahrenheit
or 800 centigrade
just for a minute and a half.>>Amazing.>>Viestad: It’s interesting how something that has been made with such force can be so mild and gentle when you eat it just minutes after. Did you like it?>>Tasty.>>Viestad: Mm.>>For more “New Scandinavian Cooking,” find us online and on social media.