Sunday, June 24, 2012

Dothraki Wedding Part 1

She had never seen so many people in one place, nor people so strange and frightening... They gorged themselves on horseflesh roasted with honey and peppers, drank themselves blind on fermented mare’s milk and Illyrio’s fine wines...Food was brought to her, steaming joints of meat and thick black sausages and Dothraki blood pies, and later fruits and sweetgrass stews and delicate pastries from the kitchens of Pentos, but she waved it all away.

My question...WHY???? Because that sounds pretty awesome.  Okay, so maybe I know why...the whole "being sold as a child bride by your creepy power hungry brother" thing probably doesn't do much for one's appetite, but still...

I've given a lot of thought to Dothraki cuisine and have come up with the following rules:

1. GRRM has said many times that the Dothraki are a composite of many cultures, including the Mongolians and various Native American cultures.  However, although there is not a direct one for one analogy, it is impossible to look at Khal Drogo and not see shades of Genghis Khan, so many of my Dothraki meals will have a Mongolian feel to them.  Mmmmmmm...Mongolian....

2. The Dothraki would likely have access to a wide variety of spices, ingredients, and culinary styles, borrowed from places that paid them tribute or...well...didn't pay them tribute and got their stuff taken anyway.  So there will be shades of middle eastern, far eastern, and basically anything that is good, meaty and hearty.

3. As a nomadic culture, the cooking methods must be simple.  There may be the ability to do things a little more complex while close to town, but this will largely be campfire and dutch oven cuisine.  Again...yum!

4.  "horseflesh" will be represented by either elk when I can get it, or very lean beef.  Horse are friends, not food.  And besides, in the US horse consumption is banned.

So, now that that is settled...without further ado...Part one of a multi-part series:

Horseflesh Roasted with honey and peppers!

  • one large, lean sirloin steak or elk steak.
  • 1/3 cup of soy sauce*
  • 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 2 tsp ginger crushed
  • 2 tsp garlic
  • 1/3 cup honey 
  • Colorful Peppers
Cut the steak with the grain into 1/2 inch strips.  Combine the soy sauce, vinegar, pepper, ginger, and garlic.  Marinate in a shallow dish for 20 minutes.  Flip over, and marinate for another 20.

please ignore the fact this meat has been frozen...Dothraki meat would of course be steaming fresh off the horse!

Skewer the beef, weaving it with some cut up peppers.

Add the honey to the reserved marinate liquid and baste liberally.

Grill beef to your liking.  We did 3-4 minutes per side at medium high heat and ended up with "medium".

While the meat is grilling, boil the remaining marinate and honey until it reduces to a syrup for dipping.

I then served it over a bed of couscous with cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger.

*Stay posted for a discussion of soy sauce and how yes, indeed, your ancient recipie may in fact use your favorite salty condiment!