Pinnekjøtt is a traditional Norwegian (at least on the west coast) Christmas dish. It is made from salted-cured lamb ribs, very juicy and tender meat. It directly translates to “stick meat”, a name it has got from the birch sticks you put at the bottom of a large pot, before putting the meat on top and adding water, to steam. There are as many ways to serve it as there are people on the west coast of Norway, but do not expect any salad or similar healthy stuff to accompany it. We serve it with mashed sweet potato/cauliflower/horseradish, traditional Norwegian-goatcheese-infused gravy, and Vossakorv (traditional sausage from Voss). Most people serve beer and akevitt with their pinnekjøtt, but we do wine (of course). We’ve found nebbiolos and red burgundies to be a great wine pairing with this dish, and every year we experiment to find the optimal pairing.
Needless to say, this is heavy stuff, and it’s not something you eat often (and you do NOT eat it outside of (holiday) season. We have a tradition where the first pinnekjøtt we eat every year is from the best (and only, really) butcher in Norway, A. Idsoe (www.idsoe.no), and yesterday was the big “event”.
We went with the 05 Blagny La Pièce sous le Bois 1er Cru, by Domaine Matrot. Spec’s, the best wine store in Houston, US, had some 05 lying around, and we could not resist, of course. More on Domaine Matrot and the wine here http://bit.ly/v8suVB. Highly recommended. With pinnekjøtt. And without.