Horhog is a traditional Mongolian meat dish, which is very popular in camping and outdoor activities. It entails the spirit of togetherness and sets the beginnings of friendship. The cooking process is simple at first glance, however, it requires practice and intuition. Meat cut in large chunks is cooked with hot stones in a tightly closed aluminum can until it forms a hearty stew. When the cooking is done, the stones are taken out first and given to all horhog eaters. While still hot and greasy, stones should be rolled between palms or held with fingers. Rolling or holding stones with hands is supposed to be good for health because Mongolians believe that the heat and grease from just cooked meat eliminates fatigue and boosts stamina.
Mongolian recipe Ingredients:
- 1 half medium sheep
- Potatoes (optional)
- Carrots (optional)
- Yellow turnips (optional)
- Bell pepper (optional)
- Garlic sprouts (optional)
- Pepper (optional)
- Onion (optional)
- Garlic (optional)
- Spices (optional)
First heat stones on firewood on open fire. It is important to select the right stones, as not all stones are good for cooking horhog. Stones must be river stones that are smoothly shaped and medium sized. Stones must be thoroughly heated until almost red. If heated correctly, stones usually do not retain any smoke and have a clean surface.
While stones are heated, prepare meat for cooking. Cut meat in large pieces with bones. If you are cooking a more western-oriented horhog, prepare also vegetables. Wash and peel potatoes, carrots, turnips and onions. Some people add also garlic sprouts.
Pour 4 liters of water (cold or warm) in a 20-liter aluminum can. The amount of water depends on how much bouillon you would like to have in your horhog.
Put seasonings in water. Then start putting meat layering it with hot stones. If you are cooking together vegetables, put them always on top.
Close can tightly and leave the meat to cook for an hour and a half. The meat is supposed to cook on its own purely by the heat of hot stones. However, it sometimes needs additional heating, which you can provide by putting the can on slow open fire. Extra heating may be required due to several reasons. The meat may not be properly layered with hot stones or the number of stones may not be enough for the amount of meat being cooked.
When the cooking is done, carefully open the can and let the vapors out. First, pull out the stones and pile them aside. Meat and bouillon are usually served separately. The Mongolian recipe of Horhog is ready...enjoy it !