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How to cook Pinnekjøtt

1. Watering the pinnekjøtt

Because the pinnekjøtt are salted due to the preservation of the product, pinnekjøtt must always be watered according to the manufacturer's recommendations (see the packaging), or personal preference.

1.1 Rinsing

The pinnekjøtt are first rinsed with water in a pot a couple of times.

1.2 Watering

Put the pinnekjøtt i a pot, completely submerging the meat. The watering time varies slightly depending on how much the meat has been dried, the thickness of the pieces of meat and the temperature of the water. Room temperature water causes speeds up the watering process. Put the pinnekjøtt in water for the specified time, see how many hours are recommended on the package.

2. Preparations

You must have the following to prepare the pinnekjøtt correctly:

- Birch sticks or a steam grate
- A pot that is large enough to accommodate the portion of pinnekjøtt you are going to prepare and birch sticks or a steam grate in the bottom of the pan.

3. Starting

Place the birch sticks or the steam grate in the bottom of the pan. (The birch sticks are layered on top of each other in the opposite direction, in every other layer. The steam grate should only be placed in the bottom of the pan.)

Pour water to the top of the birch sticks / steam grate.

Then place the pinnekjøtt on top of the birch sticks / steam grate in layers.

4. Cooking

Let the meat simmer until the meat starts to come away from the bone.

Make sure the pan always has water in the bottom, but no higher than the birch sticks / steam grate, so the pan doesn't boil dry.

Pinnekjøtt of sheep should be steamed a little longer than pinnekjøtt of lamb.

If desired at the end of cooking time, sausages kan be added to the pan, to steam with the pinnekjøtt for the last 10 - 15 minutes. Tradionally Vossakorv is used (Coarser sausage).

If desired, the pinnekjøtt can be lightly browned in the oven after steaming. Place the pinnekjøtt on a rack or in a long pan, slightly high in the oven on high heat or grill for approx. 5 minutes.

5. Serving

Traditionally served with:

- Potatoes / Mashed potatoes
- Mashed yellow turnip
- Vossakorv or a coarse sausage

- Aquavit on the side


The name "pinnekjøtt" comes from the cooking method that traditionally has been to steam the meat on wooden sticks (birch). In Norway, about a third of the population eat pinnekjøtt on Christmas Eve, which makes it in second place after the rib of pigs. More and more eat it on Christmas Eve, and is a menu staple for many during Christmas, New Year's Eve, or even at easter.

The dish has its roots in the old Norwegian community where salted and dried meat was an important part of the diet, as this was the best conservation method for meat. The status as a party and Christmas food is due to the fact that the meat has high fat and protein content and was therefore attractive.  In recent years, several have embarked on new ways of preparing the meat, ranging from steam on a steel grating to cook the meat directly into broth.

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