Hangikjöt Recipe – Icelandic Christmas Lamb

One of the main reasons for initially building my smoker was to try and attempt unusual dishes that one wouldn’t normally come across.


Hangikjot certainly falls into that category. It’s a traditional Christmas dish in Iceland consisting of a leg of smoked lamb. However somewhat unusually this dish is historically smoked using dried sheep shit. Whilst it would be fair to say that this somewhat sordid method did excite me, I attempted it with a great deal of apprehension.


I’ve posted the recipe below but to be brutally honest I think there are probably better things you can smoke. The taste was far from unpleasant; I just feel that your cooking time would be better invested in a different dish.


How to make Hangikjot


Ask your butcher to tunnel bone a half leg of lamb.

Soak the leg overnight in a standard brine solution (salt, sugar, nitrates)

Once drained leave the lamb in the fridge a day or two to let it form a pellicle.

Smoke for about 48 hours. I used a mixture of alder and dried, broken up sheep shit. Wood would suffice though!

Leave in the fridge for at least four days to let the smoke flavor mature and permeate the meat.

Poach for between 30 to 60 minutes depending on size. Slice and serve pink.

Traditionally served with canned peas, plain boiled potatoes and béchamel sauce. It can also be served cold on bread.


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