Norwegian Lamb Heart Recipe Uses Everthing Except the “Baa”

My Norwegian mother prepared this lamb heart recipe each Christmas while I was growing up.


(Actually, Mom used beef heart, but the recipe is the same.) Mother called it headcheese; I never knew why. It’s a gelatinous mixture of everything not yet cooked. It’s formed in small bread pans, chilled, cut in slices and served cold.

Mother’s Sylta (Head Cheese) Recipe

Meat: lamb tongue, liver, heart, head. (If head not available, use pork hocks.)

Procedure: Add an onion and salt and boil the head until the meat loosens from the bones. Pick meat off when cool, not cold, as meat sticks to bones when cold. Strain the juice to get out all small bones. Cut meat into small pieces, put back into broth, add 4 tablespoons allspice, some bay leaf, and pepper corns. If not salty enough, add more salt.

Boil for about one hour with the lid off so that the broth will evaporate some and it will jell when cold. (Add plain gelatin to thicken, if necessary.)

Ladle mixture into small loaf pans or plastic containers of some kind. Chill until thick. Cut into slices and serve cold.

This must be healthy. As I write this recipe, I’m reminded Mom is 91 and Dad 95. Both are going strong with clear minds and able bodies! And why not? Grassfed meat is laden with heart-healthy omega 3 fatty acids. Dad and Mom have eaten grassfed meat year after year.

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