This post in made in partnership with TINE
As I look out across the land, my eyes are drawn to the uncovered earth as the snow is melting away with each passing day. A closer look reveals tiny blades of grass emerging from the ruffled brown remnants of last year’s growth. Buds are perched on the tree branches, ready to open at any moment, and the songs of the birds are becoming more vibrant and prolonged. Our chicken’s restlessness over the long winter season is ceasing as they wander from the coop in search of new growth and juicy bugs. Our egg basket is full again. Spring is emerging as we enter the week leading to påske/Easter.
Påske remains an important time where schools close and people head to their cabins or stay at home to enjoy a time of kos (coziness) and calm as they indulge in nature and the joys that come from the established holiday traditions, be them related to the church or not. Food is certainly a key part reflecting all the varying elements that have led to what is considered traditional to serve, as well as more specifically what each family has adapted into their own celebrations.
Historically, the Easter Sunday dinner had a focus on meat following lent, the period of fasting leading to Easter. In some areas of Norway, it was usual to serve beef unless the calving season had begun and the milk was of high quality then they might serve rømmegrøt instead. Other areas would serve veal with milk soup. Usually, the meat was the best one they had, so dishes like salted mutton, sosekjøtt or kjøttkaker would be served. Along the coast, it was normal to serve fish, often lutekisk – even though the tradition to serve lutefisk and rice soup “risengrynssuppe” was a common occurrence during the high holidays of Christmas, Easter and Pinse (Pentecost), nowadays lutekfisk is associated as a Christmas dish. (source)
Today, lamb is the most popular meat to serve for Easter dinner – an example of how tradition has evolved and been influenced from other cultures over the years. I often make a slow-roasted leg of lamb, either baked in the oven or strung over an open fire under the canopy of the sky, but this year I wanted to make something a little different.
Each month, I’m sharing a recipe that features Brunost (Norwegian brown cheese) and I thought it would be fun to put a little twist on our påske lamb by incorporating this traditional ingredient. I opted for a smaller cut of lamb since there’s only three mouths to feed this year and turned to some local lamb cutlets.
The lamb cutlets are dipped in beaten egg and fully coated with an herb and Brunost breadcrumb mixture. As the butter foams in the pan, the cutlets cook for only a couple of minutes, allowing the Brunost to melt throughout and the crust to turn golden brown. Each bite is a delicate sensation of earthy lamb, delicate crumbs, fresh herbs, and subtly tangy Brunost.
Plan on 2 to 3 lamb cutlets per person and increase the recipe as needed. I recommend serving these with buttery peas or asparagus and creamy mashed potatoes or potatoes au Gratin.
Brunost and Herb-Crusted Lamb Cutlets (lammekoteletter)
Serves 2 to 3
- 1/3 cup (50 g) breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup (25 g) Ski Queen®/Gudbrandsdalen, finely grated using the smaller shred side of a grater
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs (such as rosemary, thyme, and/or parsley)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 6 (400 g) lamb cutlets
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons oil
In a wide, shallow bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, Brunost, chopped herb(s) and salt. In a separate shallow bowl, beat the egg. Dip each lamb cutlet in the beaten egg, covering them completely, then dip them in the breadcrumb mixture, pressing down and turning, to coat all sides. Set aside.
In a large frying pan, melt the butter and oil over medium-high heat. Add the breaded cutlets and cook, about 2 ½ to 3 minutes per side, until golden brown and just cooked through. Serve immediately.