Meatcakes in Brown Sause

Tuesday, September 27, 2011 Comments

Today I have a real treat for all you who are wondering what to eat for dinner and wants something which is easy to make and tastes good. My freezer is stacked with ground beef which I need to get rid of, so today I made a traditional Norwegian dinner: Meatcakes in brown sauce served with potatoes, onions and carrots.

Now you are probably saying: "Meatcakes? Don't you mean meatballs Blogarina? Hahaha, foreigners." But yes, I mean meatcakes. Or as we call them kjøttkaker. Yes, that right. With an odd letter and everything. Literally translates to meat (kjøtt) and cakes (kaker). Meatballs, or as we say kjøttboller, are smaller and meant for pasta or tapas. And comes with different spices entirely. Then there are karbonader, which in my dictionary says in English are called patties. Hm, I never heard that word before....

Well, let's call this the end of today's Norwegian lesson. The one you didn't ask for! What's "important" to know is that in Norway there is almost a meatball hierarchy. At the bottom you have the meatballs, which are the smallest in size. Then comes the meatcakes, which is a bigger in size but less round. It's is almost always served this way I'm about to show you. Then there is the patties.. I don't like that word,does it even mean anything to you? The point is, they are even bigger and even flatter then the meatcakes. Almost like the hamburger but not quite. Because the hamburger is in the top of the meatball hierarchy, as the biggest and the flattest!

When I say kjøttkaker is a Norwegian Classic, that is no exaggeration. It is probably Norways signature dish, sure other dishes such as lutefisk or smallahovet might be more famous but that's because they are delicatesses. Kind of like the French with their snails. Snail are famous for being French, but I doubt the avarage French person has them often. Every single person in Norway has a relationship with this dish. Every single one. The only dish which according to experts come even close to competing is fårikal but that is just nonsense if you ask me. Yes, fårikål is a marvelous meal, delicious. But you only serve it in the fall, when lamb is in season. Meatcakes are an all year round treat. I promise come fall to show how to make fårikål as well.

Now you're thinking "quit blabbing Blogarina and tell us how to make it already"! Sure thing, here is the recipe:

Meatcakes in Brown Sauce

For the meatcakes:

  • 400 g ground beef.
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 whole egg
  • 0,5 ts grated ginger
  • 0,5 ts grated nutmeg
  • 0,5 dl milk
  • 1 whole onion.

For the sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 dl cream or milk
  • 1 ts brown food coloring.
  • 1 dl beef stock.


  • 3 whole gulrøtter
  • 6whole potatoes.
  • Cranberry Jam
  • Butter for cooking
  • Salt og pepper

Start by putting some water on the oven. While the water is heating clean your potatoes and peel the carrots. Of course you can peel you're potatoes if you prefer. But did you know most of the potatoes minerals are in the peel? So why take it out? Personally I think it taste better with the peel. When the water is boiling throw in the potatoes. Let them boil for a few minutes before reducing the heat and just letting them simmer.

Put the ground beef in a bowl with salt.

Crack the egg, then add ginger and nutmeg. Finally add the milk, or cream - whatever you have decided to use. Normally I use milk, but today I used cream because that's what I had in the fridge. With a fork blend it all in, until the dough is a one mass. You might want to get in there with your hands.

Chop up the onion, coarsely, so that it's ready. In a kettle melt the butter.

Add the flour and whisk it in. Whisk constantly for about 1 minutes. This is the "tricky" part, you don't want your sauce to taste of burned flour which can happen if you don't whisk.

Add the cream (or milk) and let it boil. Stir it occasionally.

Add a little water an let it boil up again. Do this again and again, until you have the consistency of the sauce you want.

While the sauce is boiling and in between additions of water you can get back to the meatcakes. Form about 10 meatcakes with your hands. I only got 9 this time, as you can see. Add butter to a pan. Don't be stingy here! Add the onion and the meatcakes.

If you are lucky you'll have a slighter bigger pan then I do. While waiting for them to be ready to be turned and stirring in the sauce (don't forget about the sauce!), throw in the carrots. The carrots cook faster then the potatoes so they need a shorter time.

Cook the meatcakes until golden, about 6-7 minutes on each side. Add salt and pepper after taste.

Add the stock and the left overs from the frying pan. Salt and pepper after taste. Also add brown food coloring to make the sauce a nice brown, which is more appetizing then grey.

Hope you are hungry! This is a rich meal! Add a dash of cranberry sauce to the plate and put it out on the table if people want more. I was out ( crisis!!) so that's missing here.

All men love this meal - it's typical guy food.

There you have it, a Norwegian Classic dinner. The Italians have their pasta and pizza, the Americans their hamburgers, the English their shepard pies, the Spanish their ham and this is what we have. Meatcakes in brown sauce with vegetables.

Bon Appétit!