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Published December 10, 2013, 03:37 PM

Halgrimson: Norwegian rullepølse a meaty delicacy

It’s been 10 years since I wrote about rullepølse, that tasty Norwegian holiday delicacy.

By: Andrea Hunter Halgrimson, INFORUM

It’s been 10 years since I wrote about rullepølse, that tasty Norwegian holiday delicacy.

And now, since I can’t buy it at my friendly neighborhood supermarket because of a corporate decision on their part, I had to find another source, which I have, or make it myself, which I do.

At first I thought my market couldn’t make rullepølse because of some problem with the ingredients. But what problem? They have been making it for at least 30 years and their meat department is carefully inspected.

So I called the North Dakota Department of Agriculture and then the state health department and then the Fargo-Cass Public Health Department where I talked to Grant Larson and Doug Jensen. My question was, “Why can’t my supermarket make rullepølse?” And the answer is, “There isn’t any reason.” It apparently was a corporate decision and as stupid as that is, it stands.

However, I found out that Meats by John & Wayne, 1801 45th St. S., makes this ambrosial treat and although the trek to their market is more than a 15-mile round trip from our north Fargo home, rather than a 20 block ride, I sallied forth.

A story in 2005 when Meats by John & Wayne opened, said the owners Wayne Rheault of Moorhead and John Mangin of Kindred, N.D., had a combined 65 years of experience in retail meats and groceries. Rheault said at that time, “We’re going to be here to get the customer what they want.” Rheault and his wife are now the sole owners.

And indeed, he was there the day I stopped in and he sliced a pound’s worth of rullepølse for me. At $9.99 a pound, it costs less than making it yourself, especially if you count your time.

Meats by John & Wayne is open 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays. Sunday hours are noon to 4 p.m. The business can be reached at (701) 281-2300.

The recipe below that I use is a combination of recipes from my friends Rita Amundson of Walcott, N.D., and the late John Hove, longtime head of the English Department at North Dakota State University. My version is a little spicier than the delicious rullepølse at Meats by John & Wayne.

Andrea’s Rullepølse

2½ pounds beef round steak or flank steak

½ pound pork or veal, or some of each (cut in narrow strips)

2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon salt

2 teaspoons ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground coriander

2 teaspoons ground allspice

1 large onion, finely chopped and sautéed in 2 tablespoons fat

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)

Suet trimmed from steak, finely chopped

2 cans (12 ounces each) beef broth

3 to 5 cups water

1 tablespoon brown sugar

2 to 3 bay leaves

Waxed paper

A 6-inch needle with a large eye

Cotton string


Trim steak of fat and reserve. Place meat between 2 sheets of waxed paper. Flatten it to ¼-inch thickness, using a meat mallet or rolling pin. When finished, the steak should be in a rectangular shape. If it isn’t, carefully trim it and use the trimmings along with the pork or veal in the stuffing.

Combine spices, cooked onion, parsley and minced fat in a bowl and gently stir until well mixed. With a spatula, evenly spread mixture on steak. Place strips of pork or veal parallel to the grain of the steak.

Roll flank tightly and sew open side and ends tightly shut. Bind entire roll with a strong string. Prick the roll well with a skewer and wrap in cheesecloth. Tie at both ends.

Place rolled flank in a pot with beef broth, enough water to cover, brown sugar and bay leaves. Cover and simmer slowly 2 to 3 hours until tender and meat easily slides off of a fork when poked.

Remove from cooking liquid saving it for soup, and, weight the meat with something heavy (such as a foil-wrapped brick or two) and let stand in a cool place for 4 hours. Refrigerate for another 8 hours. To serve, remove cheesecloth and string and cut into thin slices. Serve with lefse, bread or crackers.

Readers can reach Forum Food Columnist Andrea Hunter Halgrimson

at ahalgrimson@forumcomm.com