Horhog is a Campfire Delicacy

The Gobi Dessert, stallions, and nomads are just a few of the wonderful things you’ll find in Mongolia – until your try the recipe for horhog. Despite the rough-sounding name, horhog is a popular dish for camping and outdoor affairs because it will not only please your palate, but is believed to reduce fatigue and promote energy and strength.  You are supposed to eat horhog with a group of friends (at least five), as the enormous recipe is meant to be shared with others and promote a sense of community – the recipe below should cook for around 10 people.  Horhog is made according to both the number of diners and flavor preferences, so feel free to be flexible with the recipe. When cooking, please make sure to use proper safety precautions, especially around the fire and when handling the hot stones. Enjoy!


–          5-10 lb sheep*

–          20-30 red potatoes

–           4 liters/ ½ gallon of water

–          6 yellow turnips

–          6 bell peppers

–          3 garlic sprouts

–          6 garlic cloves

–          3 medium onions

–          Salt and pepper to taste

–          20 liter/10 gallon aluminum can

–          Firewood

–          25 smooth stones

*traditional recipes do not offer specific amounts (i.e. pounds or kilos) for the sheep, but a general rule to follow is 1 pound of meat per person, excluding the weight of bones

1. On an open fire, place the smooth stones. They should be rivers stones that do not retain smoke. Heat until they glow red

2. Cut the sheep into large chunks, leaving the bone in.

3. Cut and chop any vegetables than you plan to include.

4. Pour  the water into the 20-liter aluminum can. Season the water according to preference.

5. Then put the meat in the can, alternating it with the heated stones. If cooking with vegetables, put the vegetables towards the top.

6. Close the lid tightly and let the meat cook for approximately 1.5 hours. To ensure that the meat is thoroughly cooked and all bacteria are killed, put a small open fire beneath the can. Make sure that meat is properly cooked before ingesting it.  Sometimes, there are not enough stones to cook the meat, or they were not heated well enough, so an extra fire is needed.

7. After the 1 ½ hours, open the can with caution and release the steam. Carefully take out the stones and set them in a pile.

8. Serve meat with vegetables and the broth separately. The amount of broth varies according to how much water you want to put in

9.  While still hot and greasy, roll the hot stones between your hands in order to improve yourhealth and energy. Exercise caution when doing so.

To learn more about Mongolian cuisine, check out the following sites:

e-Mongol (where today’s recipe came from):

Cheke Tours: http://www.cheketours.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=67&Itemid=74&lang=en

Mongolia Tourism Board: http://mongoliatourism.gov.mn/


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