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A Norwegian fall dish: Lamb in cabbage

posted on 2nd October 2006 under Food, Tradition

Let’s face it: After a wonderful, warm summer, the day’s gets shorter and the temperature falls. Another season has started and I don’t regret since I love the significant four seasons in the Nordic countries. A milestone was the 23rd when day and night were equally long and it’s called the Equinox. When I was young, I already was looking forward to Christmas, but now I’ve learned to enjoy every day of the change in nature and rather slowly build up the anticipation.

Another milestone is to have the Norwegian national dish: “Fårikål”, or Lamb in cabbage if you wish. Fårikål actually means “sheep in cabbage”. “Får” is however not the usual Norwegian word for lamb or sheep, but the Danish word for sheep. The Norwegian word for the animal is “sau”. “Får” is only used in the names of a few dishes and in some figures of speech, like “sort får” (black sheep). Let me serve you the dish and then give you my experience and the recipe:

Dinner is served – click if you like a bigger plate!

I’ve been eating it since I had my first tooth and every time at fall it gives me a lovely trip down memory line. Shorts and t-shirts were changed to jeans and sweaters, farmers were finished with the harvest and the boring old school days were back in their regular routine. I was a bit tired of playing football and was just waiting for the snow and ice to go skiing and skating. Something was brightening up the season though, especially the last weekend of September. We had Fårikål for Sunday dinner. The house was filled with the lovely smell from noon till dinner time, and the atmosphere was filled with anticipation. There was no way mom could surprise us and it was a part of my childhood highlights. Even my father contributed in the kitchen as he pealed the potatoes. Nothing was like an ordinary day:-)

This year we where one weekend late though, but anyway:-) Let me tell you how easy it’s done. I mean even I can make Fårikål, but then again I’m not only a man, I’m a Norwegian you know:-)

You just cut the cabbage into pieces and layer lamb and cabbage on top of each other with some whole black pepper in between. Some sew a sack to hold the pepper, but that’s cheating. One of the charming thing about eating Fårikål, is to pick the pepper out of your dish and if you don’t get all of them: well you have an extra sharp taste:-)

Two hours more and it will be perfect:-)

It should be slowly cooked for at least 4 hours on low heat. The longer it cooks the better as the cabbage gets tenderer and of course the lamb picks up the flavour from the newly harvested cabbage and vice versa. I start with just a cup of water in the beginning but after a while I pour little cold water mixed with flour to make the natural sauce. As you can see from the first picture – all taken with my Nokia mobile phone anyway – I like lingonberries with it, but that is of course optional.

And you might think the story ends here. But no; the dish tastes even better the second day! Then the best piece of meat might be taken, but my creative mom added some sausages for a full dinner day two. Sausages is not my number one favortie, but everything goes in Fårikål you know:-)

The day after and even better!

So by this I declare fall has really begun at RennyBA’s Terella. Stay tuned, because I love this season too and will very much like to share some of it with you in the coming month!

57 Responses to “A Norwegian fall dish: Lamb in cabbage”

  1. Leslie says:

    This is your best topic yet!

  2. Louise Rande says:

    What is the name of the container that you can put the whole pepper in.

    RennyBA
    Thanks for the visit and comment.
    I know what you mean, but don’t know the English name. However, we just put pepper directly into the post. Picking the pepper corns out as you eat, is part of the charm.

  3. Tink says:

    This is exactly what I meant with Norwegian Cuisine (cuisine is French). I’m not much of a cook, but I think I’d like this dish a lot!

    RennyBA
    I’m glad and its defiantly a typical and special Norwegian recipe.

  4. OH MY LORDY…..That looks delicious, Renny….You might have to create that dish HERE when you all come to visit…LOL!
    I bet you are a very good cook…..Your lovely wife had to learn many special Tenny-Norwegian dishes when she married you, yes?
    Anyway…My mouth is watering.

  5. Tricia says:

    Mmmm Looks good! My tummy doesn’t do that well with cabbage though so if I ever tried it I’d probably only be able to have a little bit. ;)

  6. Shionge says:

    Hiya Renny…so happy to come by your blog. Was in Helinski last month and realised there’s a lot of salmon being served. How about Norway?

    Luv your lamb dish, so yummy.

    Visited all the Nordic countries and not Norway…must must visit…:D

  7. Melinda B. says:

    Greetings from New York City. Thanks for your great comments about my Blog. Your lamb and cabbage dish looks so good. This is what we call comfort food. It’s making me hungry.

  8. RennyBA says:

    @Beachtiglet: Welcome to my Terella and come back any time buddy!

    @ghee: How nice of you! I wish you a lovely week ahead:-)

  9. ghee says:

    Hello Renny!!

    I dropped by again to greet you a happy weekend!! :)

  10. beachtiglet says:

    Hey blogshares buddy! Looks like an interesting dish and interesting blog…will have to check it out more! Beachtiglet

  11. RennyBA says:

    @ExpatTraveler: Yes, I’m overwhelmed by all the comments too!
    Heiniken from the Nederland’s, is quite popular in Norway.
    You can make the stew in a smaller portion, if you cook it for a long time, the cabbage has a milder taste so maybe P will try it?
    There will be more fall post – stay tuned!

    @Purwarno: Thanks for sharing your food tradition!

    @服從到只一 A.K.A: Sugar Cat: Forikål is definitely low carb, as long as you don’t overdo the potatoes. Have a lovely Taco dinner, which is getting more and more popular in Norway too!

    @Tin-tin: In Norway the dish is made with lamb, but in Germany they make it with pork for instance. The choice is yours – have a good meal.

    @Missy: Okay, if you come to visit, we also make a great vegetarian lasagne:-)

    @MotherOfInvention: Thanks for sharing your habit. Because my wife is American, we have the same dinner in November – I love turkey too you know:-)

  12. Mother of Invention says:

    We will be cooking up turkey dinner with all the trimmings, whipped potatoes and squash, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pies, this weekend for Cdn Thanksgiving. (We get a holiday Monday!) Many homeless and shut-ins will get it too from the community services too. They are lucky in your country to be so well taken care of. Bon appetit!

  13. missy says:

    I forgot to say that I also cannot eat veggies cook with meat because I don’t really like the taste of it :-(

  14. tin-tin says:

    honestly, i’ve never tasted/eaten lamb chops or anything that is made of lamb. pathetic? heeh.

    and renny, i never thought you know how to cook. just kidding :)

  15. 服從到只一 A.K.A: Sugar Cat says:

    I’ll have to try this wonderful recipe! Mouthwatering post indeed!

    Tomorrow night is Tacos, old fashioned made… I’ve leaned away from my own culture when it comes to food, mostly because of the carbs! Too many for my own health. I have got to keep making my way back to your posts!

    Thank you for sharing!

  16. Poerwarno says:

    Mutton curry is my favourite food. I like it best of all kinds of food. It always invites my appetite to eat more and more, hehehehe…..

  17. Expat Traveler says:

    Hey Renny – quite the comments!

    I noticed the Heiniken right off! That looks really good, but unfortunately we don’t have the room or the tools yet to cook it. Not to mention that I haven’t been able to get P to eat cabbage. They just don’t do that here (neither artichokes) (What’s wrong with them!!!)..

    Anyhow- great post and so interesting..

    Now get out there and take pics of those fall leaves for me, on farms where ever… I’m dying for more!

  18. RennyBA says:

    @Teena: Thanks – the story was as important as the dish you know:-)

    @Charles: Probably last fall!

    @ALBjørnstad: Then we are two of a kind then!

    @Lime: Mine did as well and yes it is a cosy fall meal.

    @Richard: So we are two of a kind too then. The Ottawa way sounds great too – everything goes with cabbage you know:-)

    @ttfootball: Well, you didn’t ask me! Fiskeboller is great too: in white sauce and with cauliflower and potatoes. Welcome back any time!

    @Barbara: No, it’s a national dish eaten all over Norway.

    @Ginnie: I think you are right, but then again people have been very gentle in their comments.
    So I just say: welcome do dinner next time in Norway then!

    @BarfootMistress: Maybe this isn’t your dish then:-)

    @ADecentMan: Thanks for your comment. I love to hear about food traditions all over the world!

    @Nan: So maybe your husband can come and it and we could always make you a salad!

    @Lynn: It’s good to know that someone gives the Viking credit. Happy Canadian Thanksgiving and good luck with your weekend dinner. I’m glad I could inspire you!

    @MotherOfInvention: Yes, everything goes with cabbage you know!
    The government takes responsibility for shut-ins and people who can’t cook for themselves. This is a social service in Norway you know.

    @LadyBug: I really do hope you can make it. You are welcome any time!

    @3.14: You’re welcome. Interesting you noticed the beer:-)

  19. 3.14 says:

    thanks for the visit! Yummy especially with the heiniken…my mouth is watering.

  20. Ladybug says:

    Your pictures and descriptions are DELICIOUS, Renny!!! I’ll have to visit you and try this dish someday. :-)

  21. Mother of Invention says:

    Yep, Canadians love Leif the Lucky and Eric the Red! We do cabbage and corned beef here. I don’t eat lamb but maybe you can substitute any meat for your dish?
    Do you do Meals on Wheels? (That’s a community volunteer delivery of meals here for Shut-in people who need help with meals.)

  22. Lynn says:

    RennyBa you have inspired me.
    I will cook the Newfounlanders’ specialty this weekend.
    It too is a great cabbage dish!
    It is called Jiggs Dinner.
    And if you have Jiggs Dinner you have to serve it with Codfish cakes!
    Are you with me?!
    Cross your fingers, and maybe I will have some meal highlights after the weekend.
    Incidentally this weekend is Canadian Thanksgiving.
    Our Harvest Thanksgiving. We don’t celebrate the ships coming to Plymouth Rock the USA.
    This is because the Norwegians were the first upon our shores in Newfoundland way before the others came to the New World. Gotta love those Vikings!
    We keep our festivals close to the Equinoxes, the Gods favour us that way.

  23. Nan says:

    I’m not really that jaloux since I am a vegetarian – and I am very afraid of sheeps too. I am sure my husband would have loved it though :D

  24. A Decent Man says:

    Hello Sir, Greetings from Indonesia:-)
    That’s a delicious posting! We like lamb here, most often any feasts here served barbecued lamb as main dishes.

  25. barefoot_mistress says:

    Baa baa baa baa!
    Just kidding RennyBA, but NO WAY im eating lamb, and well, Im also the sort of person that cannot eat cabbage…if ya know what I mean.

    I’m sure that it’s delicious…though, I just cant cook meat…

  26. Ginnie says:

    So many people do NOT like lamb, which I’ve never quite understood because it’s one of my favorites. I choose it in restaurants almost every time I see it on the menu, especially while I’m in Germany. If I were at your house as a guest, I’d definitely want you to make this for me :)

  27. Barbara says:

    Sounds delicious. Is this recipe particular to Telemark?

  28. ttfootball says:

    hey how come nobody told me about this when i visited norway…i guess cuz it was summer hehe. I did have fiskebolla tho! it was awesome! I love scandinavian food :) Gonna ask my friends about this, I’ll be back ;-)

  29. Richard says:

    I am definitely very partial to cabbage (sadly, my wife is not).

    I have never tried lamb with cabbage, but your dish is slightly reminiscent of bigos (Polish hunters stew).

    When I am alone in Ottawa, I frequently stew cabbage with meats and some tomatoes for my dinner.

    Pepper is an essential ingredient to go with cabbage.

  30. lime says:

    my tummy is rumbling! and as much as i miss the fresh summer fruits and veggies, there is something so comforting about the fall dishes. thanks for sharing:)

  31. AL says:

    Huh! Fårikål! One of my faves!
    Yes, this is certainly the season for it!

  32. charles ravndal says:

    That looks tasty! I think I tried one of those but just cant remember when.

  33. Teena says:

    Though I don’t like lamb or cabbage, I did enjoy your story telling :)

    And that pic of you with the kitty is very cute :)

  34. RennyBA says:

    @Mark: You are adjusting to Norwegian food tradition sooo fast!

    @Hexe: I will and are glad you can have some season feeling on my blog instead:-)

    @Missy: Well, you could always eat the cabbage LoL!

    @Sue: Try it and welcome back for more fall adventures.

    @Lisa: Glad you liked both the dish and the story.

    @Gattina: Thanks for your experiences. Blogging is a great way to exchange such things and thanks for your share!

    @Yorokobee: Thanks and just you stay tuned! As you clean and cock with Bob a music post from you would be great!

    @Grish: And yummy tasting!

    @Nona: heheh a multitalented you might say LoL

    @Maribeth: Glad I could inspire you – happy comfort meal:-)

    @TorAa: Glad you succeeded – otherwise it would have been a catastrophe you know!

    @Sidney: Glad you liked it and I’ll do my best to follow up your expectations Sidney:-)

    @Grammie: Glad you find my Terella. Welcome back any time.

    @Ghee: Thanks for your visit in the middle of the night. Hope you had a good sleep afterwards and I wish you a lovely week!

    @LetterShredder: There will always be a bite left for good blog friends like you!

    @April: Well, thank you, but I think I’m only an amateur cock while Charles is a great chef:-)

  35. April says:

    renny the chef? or the norweigian chef? charles is rubbing off on you, i see.

  36. letter shredder says:

    *rubs tummy*

    Please save the last bite for me…

  37. ghee says:

    wowww Renny!! You made me starving at this hour,middle of the night.

    they look sooooo yummy and healthy!!

    great!so,when season change,you have some changes of dishes,too?

    hve a lovely night Renny :)

  38. Grammie says:

    I just found your site via Gattina’s blog…and glad that I did. Great pictures and interesting posts! I’ll be back,
    Grammie : )

  39. Sidney says:

    What a yummy looking dish!
    What a great dish to celebrate fall!
    I look forward to discover fall through your blog!

  40. TorAa says:

    RennyBA, “får-i-kål” sure are a very popular dish in Norway. Most shops where sold out on lamb and sheep last Saturday. But I saved the Saturday and Sunday dinner by driving 30 minutes.

  41. Maribeth says:

    That looks delicious! I am going to save the post and make it for my husband and me. We would call this comfort food!

  42. Anonymous says:

    mouth watering post…! I’m amazed you’re not only the creative, self motivated CEO and a networking wizard but also a good cook…!

  43. Grish says:

    Hmm Yummy looking…

  44. yorokobee says:

    Its moi again!,,,,okay the tagged I’ll do that later…I will make it one of my post!
    would that be fine?

    I love Bob Marley too!!! aside fron Madonna*wink*
    Bob Marley is my kind of music playing it all day long while cleaning and cooking!
    “Get up Stand up” yeah like it!…”no woman no cry” … “I shot the sheriff”…”Buffalo Soldier”
    have the album, oooh I love Bob!!!

  45. yorokobee says:

    the food looks yummy!

    looking forward for you’re fall adventures*wink* excited to see lovely shots of you’re nokia!

    have a nice week!

  46. Gattina says:

    That’s funny ! We have a similar plate in Germany which my grandma used to cook (Hmm) but instead of lamb, she put porc in it, otherwise it’s the same recepee. And your sau, means pig in german !
    I love this dish also very much, should try it with lamb. In Italy they start automn with “Polenta” that’s fine grains of corn (looks like couscous, but in yellow) served with big red beans and slices of marinated beef. Of course this is a plate from northern Italy. Tastes great !

  47. Lisa says:

    Lamb is not commonly eaten here, but I have had it before. Your stew sounds delicous. Thank you for sharing the wonderful recipe and story.

  48. Sue says:

    We don’t eat lamb here, but I really enjoyed reading about your traditional fall recipe for it!
    Looking forward to more posts about fall in your country!

  49. missy says:

    Interesting! I’m a vegetarian so this is really not my kind of dish :-)

    missy x

  50. hexe says:

    Renny – Keep the autumn stories and food coming. This is the season I miss most living in Florida. Your blog allows me a little taste of the season that just makes me smile. Thanks!

  51. Mark says:

    That’s a yummylicious post, Renny! We are having fårikål this weekend!

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