Lapskaus – Stew

I made my first Lapskaus today. Which is a biggie as Jarle’s Mum makes a Lapskaus to die for. In fact I may not even tell Jarle it’s lapskaus till after he has eaten it so he does not expect it to be like his mother’s.

Jarle has been sick and is just getting his appetite back so I thought a dish that evokes childhood might be in order. That and the meat was on sale yesterday. Hard to get away from my Scottish genes.

The recipe I read a while back was on one of the Sons of Norway sites but I could not find that today for some reason.

So I found this lapskaus recipe that promises good lapskaus in 40 mins. The recipe is in Norwegian so here is my translation of it (please note my Norwegian is limited and mistakes are likely, but this is what I read it as and its cooking now. I’ll let you know at the end of the article how it turned out, as its cooking as I write.)

Lapskaus with thanks, from Marthe42 Blogspot
lapskaus with thanks from Marthe42 Blogspot

Lapskaus Recipe Translation

Amount Ingredient
about 600 grams stewing beef, eg shoulder, chuck steak
2 tablespoons butter
20 ml water or stock
1 beef stock cube
6 potatoes
3 carrots
1 thick slice swede
1 parsley root (I am guessing this is like parsnip)
about 40 ml water
1 teaspoon salt
half teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  1. Cut beef into 1.5cm cubes
  2. Melt butter in a large pot
  3. Brown meat in small batches
  4. Return meat to pot and add water/stock
  5. Wash the vegetables and peel potatoes
  6. Cut vegetables into 1 cm cubes and add to the pot
  7. Cook over a medium heat till all vegetables are cooked. Stir as little as possible so the vegetables don’t mush, but don’t let it stick on the bottom.
  8. Add salt and pepper to taste

The stew may be cooked without browning and often precooked meat is used. Serve with a coarse wholemeal bread or flatbread and cranberries.


I am not sure why the recipe has two entries for water. What I did was just add water to the pot till it was 3/4 up the pot knowing this would almost cover the vegetables. As it turned out it 3/4 covered the vegetables so was a good big pot full of vegetables. The recipe does not call for the stew to be thickened but I did all a little cornflour to water and added it in.

For the beef stock cube I used one ice-cube of home-made chicken stock and one beef fondu. Beef fondu is something I just dicovered in Norway, it’s a is kind of a concentrated beef stock in a gel form.

Also I cheated on the vegetable front, I bought a bag of frozen lapskaus vegetables which had them all already diced. I did add more leek to the mix as the pack came with leek and I am guessing no swede or parsley root. Also we had quarter of a leek left in the fridge.

Flat Bread:

Flat bread is a uniquely Norwegian food (to me). Its hard to describe, as there is no New Zealand equivalent. But its not like a bread, more like a steam roller cracker, which has been rolled out to almost A4 size. You break a bit of one off and eat it with butter. It’s a traditional accompanyment to lapskaus. Its also very good to have dry if your feeling queasy.

Flatbrød ingrediants are, rye meal, white wheat meal, water, oatmeal, wheat bran and salt.

Box of Mors flatbrød
Mors Flatbrød, yummy with lapskaus

By the way for all those cooks out there , there’s a cool site with the equivalent ingrediant names in various languages ie: english, finnish, swedish, norwegian, danish, icelandic and russian. The top of the page lets you choose what group of foods your intersted in then you can sort alphabetically by any of the languages. It’s well worth a look.

Well all I am waiting for now is dinner time. The lapskaus smells good, but I’ll come back and update the post after we have eaten it.


Okay the verdict after the Lapskaus has been tasted and consumed.

It was good and tasty, I am very satisfied with the result. Though Jarle says for a real lapskaus it would have more potatoes but he still says it still tastes good. So next time I think I will do the vegetables myself and see how that goes. For now though I am a happy camper having made an edible attemt at my first lapskaus. Actually next time I am going to ask Jarle’s Mum for tips…

Gratulere med dagen Norge

Today (17 May) is Norway’s national day, and they celebrate it in style.

In fact one guy in one of my Norwegian classes when asked to write on his national day wrote that he would not as it was not anything compared to Norway’s so he wrote of his first 17th May in Norway.

People are in their regional traditional costumes, parades and great gatherings of people happen all over, pølse (sausage), brus (fizzy drink) and iskrem (ice cream) are the foods of the day.

Why is this such a big day for Norway? To know this you need to know a little of Norway’s history.

History in a glimpse

Norway was under Danish rule including the Danish King for 400 years.

Norway wanted to have more say in what happened in Norway. A change of power due to world events saw Norway taken from Denmark and put in union with Sweden.

The Swedes allowed some governance by Norwegians for Norwegians. Norway wrote their constitution while under Swedish law. The constitution was signed on 17th May 1814.

This was a big day and is considered as the restart of Norway as an individual nation.


Celebration of 17 May started small but has evolved into some pretty full on traditions.


In Oslo there is a parade past the palace and the royal family gets dressed in traditional clothing and goes to the palace to stand on the balcony and wave to everyone in the parade.

Everyone in the parade is a lot of people. It is the usual brass bands but also every school dresses in traditional clothes and walks past the palace. Afterwards, as I understand it, they go back to their school and have a party with pølse and ice creams.

Other cities

The tradition is pretty much the same in other cities except there is no royal family or castle. There is a parade through the town and parties at the schools.

Russ (people finished with High School) are in the parades as are some football clubs etc.

Other Info

You can buy 17 May medals to wear with you clothes on the day.

A consumer program (Hjelper Deg) did a spot last week on the best ice creams for the day based on taste test by kids, value for money etc.

I have been noticing people tidying up round their houses and thought it was just a spring clean thing but my boyfriend says it was to be spic and span for 17th May.

Lots of houses in Norway (compared to New Zealand) have flag poles. Normally these fly the pennant Norwegian flag but today as a special day they fly the rectangular Norwegian flag and those houses without flagpoles have flags displayed on the front porches of their homes.

At Christmas there was a tower ´cake´with Norwegian flags attached to various layers of the cake and I was expecting to see that return now, but that is not a traditional food for 17 May I am told.

This is my first 17 May in Norway, so I am sure I have lots to learn yet. If you have more info on any of traditions or corrections to my first impressions please leave me a note.

One year soon I want to go down to the parade and experience the crush of people and the costumes and food for myself. Got to do that at least once.

In the meantime I will have to make do with tv news, weather and other presenters being dressed in national costume and the flags flying in the street.

<h3>Photos from round the net</h3>

To give you some idea of the day, here are some photos from round the net, clicking ont he photo will take you to the place I grabbed the photo from.

Group in traditional Norwegian costumes
Sample of Norwegian national costumes
Children parade with castle in background.
Children parade 2005 with castle in background.
Royal family waving from balcony
Royal family waving to crowds in parade
Hoards of people in parade approaching the palace
Look at all the people going up to the palace!
House in field flying norwegian flag
Houses with flagpoles are flying this flag rather than the triangular pennant flag today
Norwegian Flags on porch
Just about all houses are displaying flags like this or more.
Sami in parade
Sami in parade
parade 17th may
More children in parade


In my travels round the net I found this cute game where you can dress a woman in bunad (traditional dress). Your meant to match items so her clothes are all from one region, which I did not manage too well though most I got first time through was three sets of two items from same places. Obviously I have a bit to learn about bunad.

Alltid og Aldri

When I first came across these two words (Alltid and Aldri) I despaired to my boyfriend, “Why do two words that mean such different things sound so similar?” He simply gave me some advice on how to remember to spell them which I will go into later in the post.

a sad girl and a happy girl
Photos kindly provided by D Sharon Pruitt

After a bit I got Alltid, after all ‘All’ is a lot like ‘all‘ in English and ‘tid’ meaning time, just looked like it meant time to me. So alltid (all time) easily converted in my head to always.

Then I just had to remember that the one that sounded like it but was not it, ie aldri meant never. Over time that is getting easier to remember just with association of the word with the meaning.

However, I have never learnt in any of my classes what dri by itself means; and it does not appear in my “Englesk blÃ¥ ordbok” which is a pretty substantial dictionary. So it is just a matter of remembering really and then usage solidifying that meaning in my head.

I figure it’s just one of those words that every language has that sounds like it’s a compound word but really isn’t.

Which brings me to the tip my boyfriend gave me on how to remember to spell them. As you will notice alltid has two Ls and aldri has just one. The rule that Norwegian kids learn from their parents or maybe teachers goes like this:

  • Aldri to L i aldri, alltid to L i alltid!

Translated that means:

  • Never two Ls in aldri, always two Ls in alltid!

Which I find both helpful on the spelling front and with Norwegian as a second language, it helps me also remember what the words mean.

I hope this post is helpful to you.