Saltkjot og Baunir (Salted Meat and Beans)
This stew, traditionally served on Sprengidagur ('Explosion Day' - no, not Sept 11th but Shrove Tuesday when you're meant to eat so much you explode, just don't do it on a bus) is best made the day before. It's a simple hearty recipe and I've made it affordable by leaving out the slightly expensive bacon.
½ pound (250g) yellow split peas
1 medium onion, chopped
2 teaspoons dried thyme
3 pounds (around 1.3kg) salted lamb on the bone
1 pound (450g) rutabagas (swedes)
1 pound (450g) potatoes
½ pound (250g) carrots
Put the meat in a bowl and cover with cold water; this will exract some of the excess salt out. Place the peas in a large pan and add 8 cups/2 litres cold water. Heat to a boil, skim, and add onion and thyme.Simmer, partly covered, for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add the meat and let the soup simmer for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel the vegetables and cut them into 1½- to 2-inch cubes. Add them to the soup and simmer for 25 minutes more, or until tender. Stir the soup occasionally and add water if it is becoming rather thick. When the meat and vegetables are tender, taste the soup and add some pepper. Remove the meat from the soup and serve on a separate platter.
This soup is eaten with the meat as a main course but the meat is not served in the soup. The table is laid with plates and bowls side by side and each person is served a piece of meat on the plate. Many cut it up and add it to the soup but others prefer to eat the soup and meat seperately.