I'm no chef but this is something I want to share.
John Man has written a highly readable account of the life, death and resurrection of Genghis Khan.
His quest started with an article in the American Journal of Human Genetics. In a DNA study of some 2,000 men across Eurasia, geneticists found that several dozen of them shared a common pattern - a pattern that ran through 16 population groups ranging from the Caspian Sea to the Pacific Ocean. They arrived at the startling hypothesis that it would have been possible for one man, living in the 12th century, to scatter his genetic material across half Eurasia.
Man sets the stage for the search for Genghis Khan by conjuring up a vivid image of the landscape of Central Asia. This recipe is from the introduction, where he describes some of his own travels in the region. Man claims that for the most part the method of cooking would have been familiar to twelfth century families. Bored Domestic Goddesses are hereby invited to try it out.
Casserole of Marmot
(To feed six. Time approx 1 hr)
You will need:
Good quantity of dried dung
Assorted fist-sized stones
1 pair pliers
1 blow torch
First, shoot your marmot. Using string, hang dead marmot from a branch. Skin it, peeling skin carefully downwards to keep the skin in one piece. Discard entails. Ignore flies. Remove and dice flesh. At the same time, arrange for the visiting author to collect cow-pats, said author to ensure cow-pats are dried to the texture of polystyrene. Make a pile of dung. Use blow-torch to start slow dung-fire, arranging for smoke to drift over diced marmot flesh to discourage flies. Place stones in fire. Using wire and pliers, sew up limb-holes in marmot skin, binding holes tightly. Do not seal head-hole. Into your marmot-skin bag, insert meat and red-hot stones, using twigs to hold stones. Ignore attached dung, ashes etc. Bind up head-hole with wire, using pliers to secure. Apply blow-torch to skin, scraping off seared fur. Meanwhile hot stones have begun to cook the meat from inside out. Trapped air expands to form taut, round, sausage-like container. As fur is removed, blow-torch cooks meat from outside in. After an hour, cut open and serve meat with fingers. As stones cool, toss them about until you can hold them without too much pain: they are good for health and luck.