Around the world in 14 dinners - First stop Norway: Fårikål


As it looks like we won't be travelling much anytime soon and our main entertainment for the day, apart from our one allowed daily walk ever-so-slightly hysterically dodging other people, is the dinner, I decided to do a bit of a world tour of recipes. I will cook famous, traditional or just much-loved recipes from around the world for the next 7 or 14 days or however long the ideas last and husband perseveres before he just wants something normal to eat.

Fårikål - Norwegian lamb and cabbage stew
Fårikål - Norwegian lamb and cabbage stew
The start was successful I had some lamb rump in the freezer and defrosted it for tonight's Norwegian meal of Fårikål, a very simple lamb and cabbage dish. It looks a bit grey and unappetising - I did a bit of photoshopping to get it look as good as it does in the photo, but it does taste very nice. Sweet somehow, both lamb and cabbage soft and melt in the mouth. 

Somehow unexpectedly the fragrance (if you can call it a fragrance) wafting from the simmering pot  made me think of my maternal grandmother who passed away when I was 13.  There is a very similar Finnish lamb and cabbage recipe which I remember mum cooking and us eating with ketchup - I can't explain the ketchup, I can only apologise. And I can't remember my grandma ever cooking this. Maybe she did. Or maybe she just smelled of cabbage naturally. Possible. 

Beloved maternal grandmother, accountant, businesswoman, mother of 5 and a famously talented cook who had a big handbag but no cash. Philanthropist. May have smelled of cabbage. Had an amazing mass of blond hair. Religious. Disapproved of my Dad's 1970s skimpy swimwear, but otherwise approved of her son-in-law. Famous quotes (to her daughter): "If he ever divorces you, it will be your fault."   

Fårikål - Norwegian lamb and cabbage stew (serves 4)

500g lamb pieces
1 head of cabbage
1.5 tbsp whole black peppercorns
Salt to taste
2 tbsp of plain four

6-8 potatoes (to serve with)

Arrange a layer of lamb in the bottom of a casserole or soup pot. Top with a layer of cabbage. Sprinkle some flour, salt and peppercorns on top. Repeat layering as many times as you can. Pour enough water over all to cover most of the cabbage and meat. Cover with a lid. 

Bring to the boil, then simmer over low heat for 2 hours. Add more water during the cooking process if it starts to dry up. You want to have lots of liquid left when it's ready. 

Peel and halve the potatoes and boil in salted water until soft but not breaking up, about 25 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes.

Serve the stew and potatoes with fresh bread to dunk in the sauce.

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