Category Archives: whale

How to cook a whale

I have received a request from someone who wants to know how to cook whale. The recipes are presented here for the curiosity value, as whale is only available in a few countries. I haven’t tasted whale since I was in my teens, and I don’t expect many of my readers will ever get the chance to try it. The recipes are therefore untested by me. Beef or a good, tender piece of horse-steak can be substituted for whale, in which case you can leave out the beating.

Recipe nr 1:
3/4 to 1 kilo whale meat (or beef/horse)
50 g butter, tallow or lard
2-3 onions
Salt and pepper
Laurel leaf (optional)
600-700 ml water
Sauce colouring (caramel)
50 g flour
200 ml milk

Clean the meat: some say it’s enough to slice off about a centimetre off each side of the piece, others recommend soaking in milk overnight. This is only to ensure there will be no oily taste to the meat, but if it has been properly handled in the first place, it will not taste oily. Cut into steaks and beat with a meat mallet.
Slice the onions. Heat the cooking fat in a frying pan, brown the meat on all sides and put in a cooking pot, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Brown the onions in a frying pan and add half to the pot with the meat, along with the laurel leaf, if using. Set half the onions aside. Pour water into the frying pan and deglaze. Pour over the meat and cook for 15 to 30 minutes or until the meat is tender. Arrange the steaks on a serving dish and arrange the browned onions that were set aside on top.
Make a paste with the milk and flour and use it to thicken the cooking liquid left in the pot. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with cooked potatoes and vegetables arranged around the meat and sprinkle parsley or cress over the dish. Serve gravy on the side.

Recipe no 2:
3/4 kg whale meat, beef or horse
250 g onions
75 g margarine or butter
2 tbs tomato purée
200 ml water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika

Melt the margarine in a frying pan, slice the onion and brown it. Remove from pan and set aside. Cut the meat into slices, brown in the pan and put in a cooking pot or stew pan with the onions. Boil the water, stir in the tomato purée, salt and paprika and pour over the meat. Cook slowly for 14 to 30 minutes, or until the meat is tender. Serve with potatoes.

Recipe no 3:
3/4 kilo whale, beef or horse
50 g margarine
3-4 onions
2-3 tbs water
Salt, pepper, garlic powder

Cut the meat into very thin slices (1/2 cm thick or so). Brown quickly in a dry pan (no oil). Remove meat and melt the margarine and brown the sliced onions in it. Remove from the pan, add the water and cook the meat slices in the water for 2-3 minutes. Flavour with salt and spices. Serve with potatoes and a salad.

Sour pickled whale blubber – súr hvalrengi
Chunks of whale blubber are washed under cold running water and cooked until firm, then removed from the cooking liquid, cooled and kept in cold water for 1-2 days, cut into smaller pieces and dropped into strong whey. Ready for eating in 4-6 weeks.