Fårikål (lamb in cabbage stew)

´Tis the season! No, not Christmas… I am talking lamb season! And lamb season in Norway means that it is time for fårikål (lamb in cabbage stew); Norway´s national dish! Norwegian lambs spend all summer running and jumping around in the Norwegian mountains, free as a bird. They eat all kinds of good stuff; heather, blueberries (probably… at least I would if I was running around in the mountains) etc. and the result is lamb packed with flavour. And fårikål is indeed flavourful and also fall off the bones-tender … oh happy joy joy!

This awesome picture (Lomo fish eye shot) is generously lend to me from Irene. Thanks again Irene, your pictures rock!

Fårikål is easy to make, you just have to be a little patient. For a hungry family of four, I would suggest the following:

  • About 4 lbs of sliced lamb shoulder, neck or breast on the bone
  • 1 head of cabbage
  • 2-4 TS whole black pepper
  • salt
  • 2 cups of water

Norsk:

  • Ca. 2 kg fårikål-kjøtt
  • 1 hodekål
  • 2-4 ss hel sort pepper
  • salt
  • ca. 4 dl vann

Start by putting a layer of the fattiest pieces of lamb in the bottom of a big pot.

Then roughly chop the cabbage.

Then lay some cabbage over the lamb in the pot, and sprinkle some pepper corns and salt over it.

Now simply repeat the layers, remember to add salt and pepper between the layers. Pour the water over, bring to a boil, cover with a lid and let it simmer for about 2 hours. Your kitchen will slowly, but surely be filled with the most mouthwatering scents! Don´t be surprised if your neighbors come over to “borrow some sugar”.

When the lamb is getting closer to being done, it is time to prepare the sides. Now, here Norwegians tend to differ. Some serve the stew as it is, together with boiled potatoes. Some sprinkle a teensy bit of flour between the layers. Some even serve it with rice (shocking? I know!). My way (or rather, my mom´s way) is to serve it with boiled potatoes and a white sauce made from butter, onion (I used one shallot), flour and some of the lamb stock from the simmering pot.

For the sauce:

  • 2-3 TS butter
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 TS flour
  • Lamb stock

Norsk:

  • 2-3 ss smør
  • 1 sjalottløk, finhakket
  • 2 ss mel
  • Lammekraft

Melt the butter, add the shallot and let it sizzle a little bit. Then add the flour, and finally pour over some stock from your big pot until you have your wanted consistency.

Bon appetite!

While you wait patiently for the lamb to cook, why don´t you enjoy these wonderful pictures of Norwegian sheep in Norwegian nature? The pictures are borrowed from these great photographers: Irene, Karinga, publik_oderberg, and Mike Dole. Thanks!

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