Gordon Ramsay Uncharted Norway: From Viking food to reindeer games

Bergen, Norway - Gordon Ramsay cutting reindeer meat for stew during the big cook. (Credit: National Geographic/Justin Mandel)
Bergen, Norway - Gordon Ramsay cutting reindeer meat for stew during the big cook. (Credit: National Geographic/Justin Mandel) /

In Gordon Ramsay Uncharted Norway, the season finale made foodies not want to let go.

Ready to channel his inner Viking, Gordon Ramsay Uncharted Norway was more than just a Christmas celebration around the table. Even though the frigid temperatures might have everyone feeling a little frozen, each of the Norwegian inspired dishes were more comforting than anyone could have imagined.

As the Gordon Ramsay Uncharted finale opened, Chef Ramsay was introduced to four main components to Viking food. In many of the recipes, the food is smoked, salted, dried or fermented. These cooking techniques are not just meant to provide bold flavors, but they are part necessity against the brutal conditions of the region.

Although Viking food might not be a common cuisine on a restaurant menu, many people could be familiar with the salted fish that comes from the region. With many Norwegian people settling in the Midwest and other parts of the United States, salted and sometimes smoked fish have become a traditional part of holiday feast.

There are some homes in Wisconsin that serve a version of lutefisk. Even though it can be an acquired taste that pungent cured fish can bring big flavors to various recipes. Sometimes the best flavor boosters come from the unlikely places.

At the same time, this Norwegian exploration showcases how the pristine landscape can create beautiful flavors within the ingredients themselves. Beyond the cooking techniques, the ingredients themselves need to shine.

For example, many people are being exposed to Norwegian scallops in this episode. While scallops can be sweet, the coldness of the water makes these scallops pristine. More importantly, eating them directly from the sea adds to their delicate flavor.

Although few people will eat fresh Norwegian scallops directly from the sea, this concept applies in other areas, too. Produce harvested straight from the home garden will taste sweeter than the produce from the grocery store. Where and how food gets to the plate impacts the flavors of a recipe.

Of course, all of the culinary adventures in this Gordon Ramsay Uncharted Norway episode leads to the finale meal. The Christmas feast brought together traditional and comforting foods. While Chef Ramsay might have taken a little different approach to his recipes, the ideas celebrate the importance of the holiday celebration.

For example, here is the venison stew recipe that was inspired by Gordon Ramsay Uncharted Norway.

Gordon Ramsay Uncharted Norway
Gordon Ramsay Uncharted Norway recipe, photo provided by Nat Geo Channel /

While some of people will not have access to venison meat at the local grocery store (in the episode it was reindeer meat), the recipe has many aspects that apply to any stew recipe. A lamb could be a wonderful swap. Even, a traditional beef roast could be a nice choice.

Looking at the recipe, the combination of ingredients is quite intriguing. The use of juniper berries adds a lovely nuance. Additionally, it is a holiday flavor that could be explored in even more recipes.

Also, the just of rutabaga and turnips is a nice switch from a traditional potato. Home cooks could definitely think of substituting root vegetables in a variety of recipes. It may not change the flavor completely, but it can make a traditional recipe have a new approach.

Overall, Gordon Ramsay Uncharted Norway brought an understanding of ingredients that speak to history, culture and new beginnings. It isn’t about staying in or forgetting the past. This culinary adventure is about appreciating the balance between both aspects.

More importantly, the Norwegian cooks find way to be resourceful with the ingredients that they are given. Whether it is finding ways to preserve food under the harsh conditions or use all parts of an animal that they have butchered, there is a respect and appreciation for food. Those ideas could serve more people well in their cooking approaches.

As the Gordon Ramsay Uncharted season comes to a close, the theme that ties all these episodes together it is resourcefulness. From preserving food to using the entire animal to foraging for ingredients, these cultures look to nature to provide the food and flavors. It isn’t about the convenience of getting food from grill to plate. It is about thoughtful use and appreciation of ingredients.

Will there be a Gordon Ramsay Uncharted Season 3? Everyone will have to wait and see. There are plenty of culinary adventures that could be explored and hopefully foodies will get to explore them.

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What was your favorite Gordon Ramsay Uncharted episode? Do you think that Norway was a fitting ending to Season 2?