A few years ago I was fortunate enough to try a delicious, traditional Christmas dish in Norway called ‘Pinnekjøtt’ which means ‘stick meat’.
These salted lamb ribs have a rich, powerful flavour that I have never seen available in any UK restaurant and they really make a long lasting impression! So much so, that I had a massive craving for them and decided to make them FROM SCRATCH as I didn’t want to buy the expensive, frozen imports available from specialist shops. Gosh, it’s a long process but well worth the hassle…
Firstly, I found this amazing tutorial on how to prepare the meat! As the UK doesn’t have a cold enough climate, I called around the local butchers and luckily found an amazing butcher who would allow me to store the salted ribs with them during the 6 week ageing process. Once I picked them up, all I had to do was rehydrate them for 3 hours (up to 30 if you want them less salty) and I would be ready to cook the meal!
The ribs are steamed on 8 inch long wooden birch sticks over an additional 3 hours (as seen via this recipe) which produces a subtle, sweet-minty scent on the incredibly tender meat! I am lucky to have birch trees in my garden so I was able to use fresh sticks, otherwise I would have purchased them on-line or from a local timber merchant. As the meat is so deliciously salty, it is traditionally served with unsalted mashed potato and mashed suede to balance the meal. This is amazing during the winter but to provide a slightly lighter touch for the ladies, I added a mint, beetroot and cucumber salad as a light accompaniment which made a refreshing touch. If you fancy being entirely traditional, then the meal should really be served with Aquavit, but I find this a bit too overpowering, so instead we enjoyed the meal with an oaky Berberana wine.
This is one of those meals that silences the room with content and for such a long process, it is amazing how quickly the food vanishes! I’ve already been begged for a repeat next year…