I thought for a while what the first recipe here on Nordic Provisions should be, but I realized pretty quickly that it had to be fårikål. Autumn has finally come, which is my favorite time of year. It’s also the time of year when we Norwegians eat a whole lot of lamb, and especially fårikål.
Fårikål was voted to be Norway’s national dish in 1972, and variations of it have been made for hundreds of years. The first mention of it in a cookbook was in 1835. The word Fårikål, literally means Lamb in cabbage and this is basically what it is. The traditional way of cooking fårikål is very easy, where you basically just boil lamb, cabbage, salt, and pepper for a few hours until the meat is tender. I will be posting a recipe for this also in the near future, but in this post, I will be showing you my take on Fårikål, which involves a few more ingredients and techniques.
My Take on Fårikål
- 1kg of big chunks of lamb - Most cuts will work.
- Olive Oil
- 3-5 Whole cloves of garlic
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 2 twigs of rosemary
- Balsamic Glaze
- Worcester Sauce
- Salt & Pepper
- Green Cabbage
- White Wine Vinegar
- 2 Onions
- 1 Beet
- Various Vegetables (I used a carrot and half fennel, but feel free to use what you have)
- Step 1 Put the lamb in a stock pot and pour over some olive oil. Brown the meat on all sides. Pour water over the lamb so that it almost covers the meat and bring to a boil while you add the whole garlic cloves, bay leaves, rosemary, about 10 whole peppercorns and a few pinches of salt. Leave to simmer for 2,5-3 hours with a lid on.
- Step 2 When the meat is falling off the bone, remove the meat from the stock. Strain the stock and save for the sauce. Shred the meat with a fork and add to a hot frying pan with some olive oil. Add a few spoonfuls of honey, balsamic glaze and Worcester sauce, stir and cook until lightly caramelized.
- Step 3 While the meat is still cooking in the stock but almost finished, heat the oven to 250°C. Cut the onions in half and separate all the layers. Cover the middle layers of the onion in olive oil, and place in the oven. Save the outer layers and the inner core of the onion and finely dice for the sauce. When the onions have blackened around the edges, they are done.
- Step 4 Take the diced onion and dice some vegetables. Here you can use whatever you have and you think fits. I had a carrot and an old fennel that I had to use before it turned bad, so I used that. Heat some olive oil in a saucepan and add the vegetables, stir and add the meat stock. Leave to simmer for about 20 minutes. Blend in a blender or with a hand blender. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Step 5 Shred green cabbage with a sharp knife or a mandolin. I used about 1/5 of a huge cabbage for this. Boil the cabbage for about 5 minutes, then strain and fry it for a couple of minutes. Add a splash of white wine vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Step 6 Finely slice some beets, and plate all the elements with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
(Note: All our recipes are written in a way so that you can put your own twist to it. Exact measurements will often not be used, as a lot of factors such as technique, equipment, and even climate can influence how a dish turns out. It is your job as the cook to taste, smell and feel the ingredients as you go, and come up with the right measurements for you.)