Beef and Vegetable Stew (Brun Lapskaus)

January 12, 2018
Norwegian Beef and Vegetable Stew (Brun Lapskaus)

Norwegian Beef and Vegetable Stew (Brun Lapskaus)Lapskaus is simply a Norwegian stew made up of meat and vegetables, with both dark and light versions. Brun “brown” lapskaus is made with beef that is browned first before the other ingredients are added. Some also prepare brun lapskaus with the addition of a brown gravy. Lys “light” lapskaus is typically made with pork, salted or smoked, and cooked in the sauce rather than browned first.

It’s thought that lapskaus is of German origin. Historically, it’s referred to as a skipskost (ship meal)  because it was served and eaten on-board ships while at sea, although the original version was far less imaginative than what we recognise as lapskaus today. On-board the ship, the stew was made with dry biscuits (neutral-flavored crackers) that were soaked before being added to the meat. The dish’s popularity spread among the seamen and later variations could include potatoes, beef, fish, brown sauce, and butter. It’s believed that lapskaus made its way from the ship to the Norwegian home during the 1800s and has stayed ever since.

Beef and Vegetable Stew (Brun Lapskaus) Beef and Vegetable Stew (Brun Lapskaus)Beef and Vegetable Stew (Brun Lapskaus)Norwegians adore their lapskaus and rightly so a big pot of slow-cooked stew teeming with seasonal vegetables is always welcome as a quick and easy meal to serve during the week. It’s also a fantastic dish to cook over an outdoor fire, especially in the colder months.

Feel free to vary the vegetables, and if you have flatbrød (flatbread) on hand, it’s customary to slather a few pieces with butter and dip them into the stew while you feast – perhaps a nod to the version once served on-board the ships.

Beef and Vegetable Stew (Brun Lapskaus)

Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 ¾ pounds (800 g) beef stewing meat, trimmed and cut into 1-inch (2 ½ cm) cubes
  • 3 cups (720 ml) beef stock
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 ½ cups (150 g) celery root or parsnip, peeled
  • 2 large carrots, peeled,
  • 2 cups (400 g) potatoes, peeled
  • 1 large leak, rinsed
  • Parsley, to garnish

Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan. Add the beef and brown on each side, you may need to brown the beef in batches. Place the beef in a large pot and add the stock. Bring to a boil then lower the heat, cover, and simmer for 1 hour.

Chop all the vegetables into ½-inch (1 ½ cm) pieces, except the leeks which should be sliced thinly. Add the vegetables to the pot and return to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook uncovered for 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Don’t be tempted to add more liquid as the vegetables will cook down, resulting in a somewhat-thick stew.

Serve warm with flatbread or bread, and garnish with chopped parsley.

Beef and Vegetable Stew (Brun Lapskaus)

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  • Reply Little Cooking Tips January 29, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    Even though we read and enjoyed this beautiful post, somehow we missed leaving a comment underneath:) Exceptional recipe dear Nevada. What we love about this stew (besides your awesome -as always- writing and photos!) is that this is an old-school, classic dish, variation of which exist pretty much in whole Europe, and it resonates with memories, flavors and aromas of days past.
    Will be difinitely trying out this winter:)
    Have a beautiful week ahead!

    • Reply nevada February 14, 2018 at 2:40 pm

      Thanks Mirella and Panos! ´:)

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