A Cut Of Meat From The Front Of An Animal Scandinavian Rullepolse Or Ribberull – Creating a Delicious Scandinavian Masterpiece

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Scandinavian Rullepolse Or Ribberull – Creating a Delicious Scandinavian Masterpiece

Knowing how to make rullepolse or ribberulle, the seasoned meat roll, is an essential element of having a proper Scandinavian Christmas party, at least in our house. Once you’re able to get the desired lamb arm, the rest of the process can be a fun, family affair.

The first thing we need to do is remove the lamb’s arm and cut it. We like to do this ourselves, as it’s important not to cut through the “root”, which is the skin-like membrane that covers the surface of the meat. If there are holes or cuts in the beer, the internal ingredients come out. Not to worry too much, as we can close the holes if necessary, but it is better to keep intact. Also, the raja provides a good anchor to which we sew the seam together. All ribs are removed along with excess fat. We then cut the ends to “square” the meat into what looks like a rectangular sheet of meat and fat, thus making the mushroom wrap.

I know this sounds like a lot of work, but I believe the origin stems from the fact that in the “old days” you didn’t waste any part of a slaughtered animal. Making ribberrull was a way to take an undesirable part of the lamb and transform it into something delicious.

Now comes the assembly process. We buy the cheapest cut of pork we can find, usually a pork butt. Cut it into thin slices, trying to remove as much of the excess fat as you can. There is already enough fat in the lamb leg, plus we don’t want to cover any of the lamb flavor from the rendered lamb fat. Then thinly slice some onions. Have plenty of salt and pepper on hand. The last thing you will need is an upholstery needle, or any needle with a large eye, and a simple string of cotton.

We always sit at the kitchen table to do this as it takes a while to assemble. Place the leg of lamb in front of you and continue to salt and pepper the lamb. You will need to put a lot of salt and pepper, a lot more than you think. There is no recipe, it is something you learn from experience. The reason for this is that the breast has to be boiled for several hours, so a large part of the salt is cooked. Otherwise, the resulting product is too bland. This is the topic of conversation every year, as the new batch of rebberull is carefully evaluated by the family’s trained palaces. This evaluation process is important, as we try to remember for the next year if there is a new need to adjust spice levels.

Now layer the onion and pork on top of that, then more salt and pepper. Then more onions and pork, and more salt and pepper. Usually two coats is about all you need. The point is to get as much stuffing as possible inside the lamb case, so you may need to add more or remove some if necessary.

Now comes the fun part. You must “roll” this sheet of lamb, pork and onion together until the two edges meet, overlapping slightly. Then take the needle and cord and continue to sew the ribbon together, all the while manipulating the fillings to prevent them from falling out. Your goal is to sew the leg of lamb together into what looks like an overstuffed sausage, leaving no holes or gaps for the stuffing to escape. This is difficult to describe in writing and is something best seen in person.

Then wrap the bobbin with several layers of cheesecloth and then wrap it tightly with thread, wrapping it several times around the entire surface. The cheesecloth and string act to hold the ribbon together, as it has a tendency to fall apart during the cooking process. We refrigerate them for a day or two, as this cures them somewhat and allows the flavors to meld. Simmer for several hours, until fork tender. The wonderful aroma in the house is like no other, a true sign that Christmas is just around the corner.

The process is not complete. After it has been rolled, you remove it from the water and then flatten it to a depth of about 1 inch or so. We use what we call a regulation press which consists of two boards with long bolts at each of the four corners. The planks are slowly joined by screwing a wing nut onto each bolt. You open the press, placing the cooked strip between two boards, then continue to join the two boards until they reach the desired thickness. At this point, refrigerate until chilled. Remove it from the press and carefully remove the gauze and thread. Be careful not to tear the tape, as the string used to sew it together often gets caught in the tape itself.

At last!! You are done! The resulting product is a flat, somewhat elongated piece of meat. Slice it about 1/4 inch thick. You can’t cut it too thin, as it tends to crumble easily. We use it as lunch meat, making the perfect sandwich. No extras please, except maybe a little butter. You don’t want any seasoning to detract from the great flavor. Scandinavian or not, try this wonderful dish at least once in your life!

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