Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fårikål season

Summer begins to seem like a distant memory. It is chilly here during the day now, whereas I see that in NY it is still warm. With the cooler weather come the traditional meals that one associates with autumn. We are approaching ‘fårikål’ season here in Norway. ‘Fårikål’ can literally be translated as ‘sheep in cabbage’, and that’s exactly what it is. Google Translate translates it as mutton stew. A stew according to the dictionary is a dish of meat, fish or vegetables (alone or in combination) that is cooked by slow simmering, so a stew it is! Fårikål is an autumn meal that is very popular in most of Norway and is often served at dinner parties. It was originally made with meat from older sheep (mutton), but is now made with lamb meat, which I prefer. It is fairly simple to make. The grocery stores now sell pieces of lamb meat (often with attached bone) for fårikål already cut for the purpose. This, plus a head of cabbage, whole black pepper, and flour are all that are needed to make this dish. The recipe that follows is for 4 persons; you will need a head of cabbage (about 3.3 lbs), 3.3 lbs meat, 4 tsp whole black pepper, 2 tsp salt, and 1.2 cups of water.

1.      Cut the cabbage into medium-sized chunks
2.      Place the meat pieces (fatty side down) in a big pot
3.      Add a layer of cabbage pieces, sprinkle with whole black peppers and salt, then another layer of lamb pieces, then another layer of cabbage, more pepper and salt, etc., ending with a cabbage layer
4.      Add water and bring to a boil, then simmer for at least two hours until the meat is tender (falls away from the bone).
5.      Serve with boiled potatoes.

Fårikål is one of the first Norwegian dishes I ever made. It came out really well (because it is so simple to make) and it is very good. It tastes even better the day after you’ve made it.

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