Norwegian Boneless Birds (Benløse Fugler)

This old-fashioned recipe highlights Scandinavian ingenuity. Although it has been called “poor man’s bird” and “boneless birds” the dish is actually not made with birds at all! Use thin slices of beef round, veal cutlets or lamb flank steak. Serve with mashed potatoes.

Serves: 8Hands-on: 30 minutesTotal: 2 hours 30 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 8


  • 8 thin veal cutlets (2 lbs. total)
  • 8 slices bacon, cut in half
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1½ tsp. minced fresh thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • ¼ cup plus 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour, divided
  • ¾ tsp. salt, divided
  • ½ tsp. ground black pepper, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • ¼ cup ice water


  • Place cutlets on a work surface. Top each cutlet with 2 pieces of bacon.
  • In a small bowl, mix onion, thyme, and garlic. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the mixture onto the end of each cutlet. Starting at the end with the onion mixture, roll each cutlet into a tight bundle. Secure with kitchen string or a toothpick.
  • In a shallow dish, whisk together ¼ cup flour, ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Dredge bundles in the seasoned flour.
  • In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, heat the canola oil and butter. Using tongs, add the meat bundles in a single layer and sear all sides. Add beef broth and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 2 hours, or until tender. Transfer bundles to a plate and keep warm. Skim fat from the top of the broth.
  • In a small bowl, make a slurry by whisking together 1 tablespoon flour and ice water. Over medium-high heat, bring broth to a simmer. Whisk in the flour-water slurry and cook, stirring constantly, until the juice thickens into a brown sauce. Stir in ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  • Serve meat bundles with brown sauce.