Fårikål is a traditional Norwegian dish, consisting of mutton, cabbage, whole black pepper corns and a little wheat flour, cooked for several hours in a stew pot and served with boiled potatoes (no surprise there for a Norwegian dish). Fårikål translates directly to “sheep in cabbage”. Originally a dish from the Western part of Norway, this “bucket of bah” is now enjoyed in all parts of the country.
Unlike most traditional Norwegian dishes, it is based on fresh ingredients and is therefore prepared in early autumn when the sheep return to the farms to be shorn and slaughtered after having grazed in the mountains all summer. It is a perfect dish for a cold and rainy day and simple to make.
From my Norwegian husband –
After slicing the cabbage all you need to do is layer it with the mutton in a heavy pot and let it boil for a few hours while you do something else.
My family LOVES Fårikål, and as soon as the season starts my mom will cook up a giant pot of it. The general consensus is that it gets better the more it is reheated, so it is important to make enough for a couple days of leftovers.
Depending on who you ask, Fårikål should be paired with beer (+aquavit), white wine, or red wine.
Fårikål (serves 8-10 normal people or 4 Norwegians)
5 lb lamb shanks or leg
1 large savoy cabbage
1 can light beer (this is our contribution to the recipe)
10 whole pepper corns (I use at least five times as much)
1 cup water
1/4 cup all purpose flour
Boiled Potatoes (as many as you think your guests will eat, but don’t skimp on them)
The lamb should have some fat on it, but not too much.
Place a layer of it at the bottom of a heavy stock pot or dutch oven (the fattiest parts should be in this layer). Salt and pepper the meat and cover it with a thin layer of flour. Follow with a layer of cabbage. Repeat the process with another layer of meat and cabbage and salt, pepper and flour the mixture. Layer each until you run out of cabbage and meat. Add enough water to cover the first layer of meat and cabbage (about 1 cup water and 1 beer). Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer for 2-4 hours or until tender.
Remove from the pot and serve with boiled potatoes.