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literally: mutton-in-cabbage, traditional Norwegian dish normally served in the autumn which is the season for lamb and mutton in Norway. It smells peculiar and, like most traditional Norwegian cooking, in no way looks like haute cuisine, but is highly appreciated.

The dish is very easy to prepare and not costly - you need not use very expensive pieces of meat, they should have some grease and bone still in them, that is part of both the taste and the charm that is fårikål. In Norway, suitable pieces of meat will often simply be sold under the name of "fårikål meat".

This is a fairly basic recipe that serves 3-4 people:

  • about 1 kg of lamb or mutton
  • 1,5 kg cabbage
  • 2-3 teaspoons of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of whole, black peppercorns
  • about 0,5 litre boiling water

Cut the meat if it is not already in pieces suitable for serving, and layer it with the cabbage, cut into chunks, in a big casserole. The greasiest pieces of meat should be at the bottom, and the upper layer should be cabbage. Sprinkle salt and pepper between the layers, and note that the peppercorns should be kept whole, so that people will have to separate them from the rest on their plates unless they would like a spicy surprise. Some people use small bags of gaz or similar to keep the peppercorns together and get them out easily. Go ahead, be a sissy.

Pour boiling water over the cabbage and meat. Some prefer to use dark beer instead of water, and that actually tastes quite good.

Cover properly and let simmer for about two hours, making sure nothing sticks to the bottom by giving the casserolle a swirl now and again. Do not stir! (but you are allowed to turn the top layer of cabbage, making sure it's all cooked properly). Serve with boiled potatoes.

As any fårikål-eating Norwegian will tell you, the dish tastes better the day after preparation, so make sure to prepare enough for two days, or just make it the day before. (Personally, I would opt for the latter, as having this several days in a row is mostly for the hardcore fårikål enthusiasts. They're quite numerous, though.)

credits for most of the recipe go to Norwegian cooking and tv legend Ingrid Espelid Hovig

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