The Hound’s Ideal Meal

Unlike our previous character themed meals, there was a lot of consensus about the Hound’s ideal meal: Nothing fancy, a cheap cut of meat, bitter drinks, and possibly a lemoncake or two for dessert.  Kathleen summed it up well, stating that the meal “should be charbroiled, unpretentious, and drowned in a sea of wine”.

We liked where a lot of you went with game meat, what with Sandor being a “hound”. The subtle poetry of hound and quarry was too appealing to resist. So, game meat it was, and we chose venison and rabbit. True, in our Middle Ages, only the nobility could hunt, but are you about to stand between the Hound and his meal? Didn’t think so.

Our grill was recently stolen, right off our porch. Otherwise we’d do a spit roasted rabbit to go with the meal. Barring that, though, we swapped in some oven roasted rabbit legs alongside the venison sausages.

A big question was whether to sear the meat, or no. Personally, we liked the idea, but could see how the Hound might not. So, we hedged our bets, searing the lamb, then hiding the evidence by braising. :) We also liked the idea of lamb, because while Sandor might be a Hound, he’s also more than a bit wolfish. Lamb shank it was, then.

Both Kate Quinn and Irian suggested bone marrow, which we loved. It evokes the image of a big mastiff gnawing on a bone in front of the fire, and also ties in with Random’s thought that “Joffrey would probably find it amusing to throw his dog a bone.” Ours is topped with applewood smoked salt.

For smaller sides, we liked Frank’s suggestion of beans thick  with molasses, and Duckchick’s of sharp cheese with apples, for the Hound’s sharp words.

Our final bill of fare: black bread, bone marrow, leg of lamb, venison sausages, rabbit legs, savory beans and sharp cheese, wilted greens, and rustic lemoncakes.

 Our Thoughts:

Good Lord. Or the Seven. Or any other deity the Hound probably doesn’t believe in…

This is a fantastic meal.

It is obviously very heavy on the meat, but given the fighter’s lifestyle that the Hound leads, this makes sense. The three meats- lamb, venison, and rabbit- all give amazingly rich flavors to the meal. Of course, it helps that we braised the lamb and then the rabbit in mead and molasses. The venison sausage already has port in it, so each of the meats has essentially been cooked in/with booze. Even the vegetables have been braised in mead, along with the lamb, so they’re incredibly tender and tasty. And the bread! Also made with beer.

The rustic lemoncakes are a much lighter finish to a very heavy meal, and you’ll probably only have room for a couple of them.

Our drinks consultant recommends a beer made with juniper to pair with the meat dishes, in the style of a traditional Finnish Sahti.  A couple good examples of this are Huvila Arctic Circle Ale and Lammin Kataja.  Another interesting pairing would be a rauchbier, such as Spezial and Schlenkerla, given that the smokiness would pair particularly well with the molasses beans and cheddar.

Honorable Mention:

  • Chris’s suggestion of black and white truffles to represent the duality of his nature (only if you’re buying!)
  • Wildling, Selkie, and Julia’s suggestions of “little birds”. We’ve got something else planned for those, though… ;)
  • Irian’s list of other cheap meats, including like black pudding, head cheese, ox tongue, lard, goose fat and bacon
  • Richard’s suggestion of “Black Dog” wines, especially if served on a yellow tablecloth
  • roussefolle’s wonderful ideas, just exotic enough to be Westeros, amazingly delicious
  • Verity’s suggestion of Baked Alaska for dessert, first for the irony of a flambe, and also because they can be made to look like a mountain, and the Hound would enjoy symbolically demolishing and devouring a Mountain


20 thoughts on “The Hound’s Ideal Meal”

  1. Jose M. Larrinaga says:

    In Spain we eat something similar it´s an ancient dish called “Cocido” which there are many versions in different areas. Mainly composed by Pork ham, chicken leg, beef, stuff with chickpeas and carrots and potatos. Remmember Spain is full of castles.

  2. Trinity says:

    Damn!!! I want that shank!!! (DROOL)

  3. Tessa says:

    No wine pairings!? We know the Hound enjoys a good flagon (or six) of red wine ;)

    1. Needs Mead says:

      Of course! We’re taking suggestions on our Wine page. Of course, for the Hound, you could probably just leave an open bottle out for a few days to approximate the lousy stuff served at lowbrow taverns, then serve it with the meal… :)

  4. fluffywarthog says:

    I’d be careful on cooking some of those other offal products in booze- tongue will soak up everything it can get!

  5. Shirley says:

    “A big question was whether to sear the meat, or no. Personally, we liked the idea, but could see how the Hound might not.”

    hahaha!! It took me a second to get that one. Excellent meal! Looking forward to the little birds.

  6. Irian says:

    I like it. It’s a very nice combo – and I’m not only saying that because of the bone marrow! Mead for the braising of the meats sounds like a fantastic idea – I never really thought about that.

    Well and the wilted greens give at least a little color. Although they do not look that wilted … *g*

    I am looking forward to doing something like this again!

  7. - says:

    That looks fantastic! I really like the idea of the venison sausage — and how can you go wrong with three meats!

    And I can sympathize with your stolen grill. My bicycle was stolen out of our detached garage because I forgot to close the garage when I came back home with the groceries so it was left open (for maybe like, 2 hours, in the evening before it was even dark). People suck.

  8. duckchick says:

    Oh wow, this looks fantastic! Thanks so much for celebrating one of my favorite characters! I really love the idea of the bone marrow, and now I want to know how to make it! Must Google immediately!

  9. John Thompson says:

    That looks really good and hearty … I also love the table in the background of the picture.

  10. Janet says:

    Littlefinger fans eagerly await what you’ll be doing with little birds.

  11. Carcosa says:

    looks exquisite! any chances on getting some details re: preparation? or pointing me in the right direction if the individual dishes have been covered previously? i’d love to try and make this myself, but i’m only a journeyman culinarist (i made that up, pretty cool, right?) and don’t trust myself to even attempt something like this just off-the-cuff.

    1. Needs Mead says:

      I can try! :)

      lamb shanks: seared in a dry pan, then nestled into an oven safe dish with a lid. It went in with a load of mead, some meat broth, pinch of savory, and assorted veggies.
      the sausage: simmered in shallow water until nearly done, then scored and broiled.
      the rabbit: braised like the lamb, in the lamby-meady juices, once the shanks came out.
      lemoncakes: any recipe will do; those pictured are the medieval version from the cookbook.
      bread: our black beer bread
      beans: just standard Heinz baked beans, with a little extra molasses thrown at them

      Hope this helps!

  12. Sandy Fox says:

    If the Hound was eating on the move quite a lot of this might be done in one pot over the fire. The meats could be done in a fire-pit underneath. I’d probably chop up the suasages and cook them in the beans. I can see Sandor eating them straight out of the pot prior to digging out the meats and taking them straight from the bone.

    As for wilted greens? For little birds. :D

  13. Dawn Marie Martin L. says:

    How odd that nobody seems to have noticed the lemoncakes inclusion on the menu… they’re only Sansa’s fave dessert ever!! ;-)
    Perfectly Houndish meal….excellent taste everybody. Just misses the sour red wine. Salut!

  14. Natalie says:

    I see the Hound as secretly kind and tender hearted on the inside. I imagine that he might like to sneak something a little more refined into this meal when no one is looking.

  15. Rumblefish says:

    Lemoncakes shouldn’t be in this meal. I understand that the folks running the web site like lemoncakes, however in the book they are almost always used as a metaphor for child-like naievety. No way that metaphor fits the hound, and, having read the books, why would Sandor Clegane have a dessert at all? Not everyone loves dessert, and I think a rough and tumble “meat and potatos” type of person would fit into that category.

    1. Chelsea M-C says:

      While I do love me some lemoncakes, that’s not why they’re a part of this meal. With the character-themed meals, I try to give an overall sense of the character, not just what they might eat for lunch. In the case of the Hound, he has a small soft spot for Sansa, in part because of her unquenchable naivete and sweetness. You’re likely right, and he wouldn’t eat them, but they would sit there at the side of the plate, sweet and tempting…

  16. Rumblefish says:

    I’ve read you’re themed meals and do know that you tend to use foods as metaphors for the characters and their personalities in addition to what they would eat, however I still feel the lemoncakes are a miss because of their already established metaphor.

    I definitely agree with you that he should have something in his meal to represent his affection for Sansa, so please allow me to present you with an alternative. The Hound often referred to Sansa as a “little bird.” I believe something as simple as a cornish game hen, or, if you prefer to go high end an ortolan bunting (which I realize is not likely to be something you can find nor prepare) would satisfy The Hound’s affection for Sansa and his “meat and potatoes” personality without adding the fantasy level naivete that lemoncakes tend to represent.

    Anyway, I do enjoy this site and appreciate your response to my first post. I am sorry this one is so late.

  17. Rumblefish says:

    oops, wrong your…sorry about that

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