Norwegian lamb fricassee, lammefrikassé, is comfort food at its best. It’s a classic dish that has traditional roots, notably from the French, and is served particularly in the autumn months when lamb meat is in abundance.
There is a reason September is known as the lamb month, and that is due to the tradition of bringing down the animals from the summer mountain farm “seter” after they’ve had the whole summer to graze and roam freely. Easily said, this meal is a celebration of the harvest and the quality of the produce you can find in the country.
Fricassee itself is merely a dish of meat and/or vegetables stewed in stock and served in a white sauce. The stewing over a low heat for a longer amount of time ensures that the meat is tender. It’s also important to use meat on the bone to create a rich stock that is full of flavor. Feel free to use whichever vegetables you have in season.
Norwegian Lamb Fricassee (lammefrikassé)
Serves 4 to 6
- 2 ½ cups (600 ml) water
- 2 ½ pounds (1.1kg) stew meat of lamb on the bone, cut into smaller pieces
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1 medium leek, washed and thinly sliced
- 2 parsnips, peeled and sliced
- ½ medium celery root, peeled and diced
- 4 tablespoons flour
- ½ cup (120 ml) sour cream or heavy cream
- Juice of ½ lemon
In a large, heavy pot, bring the water to a boil. Add the lamb pieces, bay leaves and salt, lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 1 ½ hours, or until the meat is falling from the bones, removing any scum on the top that might form.
Add the carrots, leek, parsnips, and celery root to the pot with the meat and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until tender. Transfer the meat and vegetables to a bowl, removing any bones if desired, and set aside. In a small bowl, mix the flour together with a little cold water, adding more water as necessary, to make a thin slurry. Pour this into the pot with the stock and cook for about 5 minutes or until the sauce has thickened a bit. Stir in the sour cream and remove from the heat. Add in the lamb, vegetables, and lemon juice. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and garnish with parsley.
Divide the lamb fricassee among bowls and serve with a side of boiled potatoes.