As a Norwegian-American (like most, my great-grandparents emigrated to America in the late 1800s), it has been my goal to incorporate more Norwegian traditions into our daily lives. Serving Fårikål is just one of the new traditions we honor.
Fårikål is Norway’s national dish. A casserole of seasonal lamb and cabbage makes this simple dish a favorite autumn treat. Fårikål season is from September to October when the fattened lambs come down from the mountains. In fact, the last Thursday of September in Norway is National Fårikål day.
Fårikål used to be made from mutton for flavor but over time lamb has become more favored as it is more readily available in our supermarkets. It is traditionally served with new potatoes, cowberry sauce or lingonberries, and crispy flat bread.
1 ½ kg lamb or mutton stew meat
1 ½ kg white cabbage
4 teaspoons whole peppercorns
2 teaspoons salt
3 cups water
- Cut the head of cabbage into wedges.
- Add meat and cabbage in layers in a casserole dish. Sprinkle salt and pepper between layers. Pepper grains can possibly put in a special pepper holder. (Some people also like a smooth fårikål. Sprinkle a little flour then, about 1-2 tablespoons per 4 portions, between the layers.)
- Pour the water into the dish. Bring to a boil and let fårikål draw on low heat until meat is tender (it separates from the bone), ca. 2 hours.
- Serve steaming hot with boiled potatoes
This humble stew of boiled lamb and cabbage, has been Norway’s official national dish for more than 40 years. The last Thursday of September every year is National Fårikål Day. I have recently learned, however, that Norway has launched a nationwide competition to replace it.
In our home, we eat it with potatoes and crispy flat bread (sometimes even Naan – a traditional Indian style bread that is readily available at our local supermarket).
The recipe I shared here is a traditional recipe. For a variation of this traditional recipe, visit My Little Norway.