Krube and Lefse
My Mother's Cooking
What is Lefse?
NORWEGIAN SPECIALTIES – KRUBE AND LEFSE
Before my mother met my father, she was married to a man of Norwegian descent named John Johnson. Being a good wife, she learned from his mother how to make two Norwegian staples, krube and lefse.
Krube is a large potato dumpling, a little bigger than a golf ball with a surprise in the middle. Lefse is a flat grilled pancake made from mashed potatoes and is often eaten with butter a lot like Greek pita bread or Mexican flour tortillas.
Unfortunately, her first husband was an abusive drunk who constantly hit, choked and threatened my mother and her two small children. The story of how she managed to get away is told in my short story, "The Five Dollar Gold Piece". Later, when she married my father, she brought her two small children with her along with these two recipes.
Krube (Potato Dumplings)
3 Large Russet Potatoes peeled
3 Cups of Flour (approximately)
1 Teaspoon Salt
2 Oz. of Salt Pork, Bacon or any other raw Pork that has some fat on it
- Grate the potatoes using a box grater. (You could use a food processor, but the texture of grated potatoes cannot be duplicated.)
- Place the potatoes in a large mixing bowl, drain off the excess liquid and mix in the salt.
- Add the flour, one-cup at a time, and mix in thoroughly. Keep adding flour with mixing until you have a large ball of dough much like a heavy bread dough.
- Form all of the dough into two-inch diameter balls.
- Cut the pork or bacon into ½ inch strips or cubes, poke a hole in each dumpling, insert the meat and close the hole.
- Meanwhile boil a large pot of water and drop the dumplings in, separating them with a slotted spoon. Some people salt the water, but I prefer to salt the dumplings
- The dumplings should cook about 30 minutes and rise to the surface to make certain that the raw pork is thoroughly cooked.
Serve as a side dish with roasts or stews. Some good pairings are with Swiss steak, spareribs with sauerkraut, Szekely goulash, veal paprikash or beef ragout. Surprisingly, krube is also good simply split in half with a pat of butter on each half.
Lefse (Potato Flat Bread)
6 Cups of Leftover Mashed Potatoes (or you can boil some potatoes and mash them)
3 Cups of Flour (approximately)
½ Cup of Whole Milk
½ Teaspoon Salt
- Place the mashed potatoes in a large bowl, add the milk and salt and mix with a large wooden spoon until smooth.
- Add the flour one-cup at a time and mix thoroughly with your hands until you get a stiff ball.
- Divide the dough into baseball sized balls.
- With a rolling pin, roll each ball into thin pancakes. Norwegians use a special tool, which puts shallow grooves into the pancakes, but a plain rolling pin will work just fine.
- Heat a large cast iron frying pan or a heavy non-stick pan until it is quite hot.
- The trick is to brown each pancake on both sides with little or no oil but without burning them. You will get the idea once you have made one or two.
- It is best to serve lefse hot off the grill with some butter rolled up inside. They are meant to be eaten with your hands.
- In Norway, they might also eat them with lingonberry jam or powdered sugar, but we only used butter.
Once you have made lefse, how you eat it is only limited by your imagination. You can eat them any way you would eat pita bread or tortillas.
Making Lefse Video
For additional ways to prepare potatoes, see the other sections of Chapter 6, which are listed below:
Chapter 6 – Potato Dishes
8. Norwegian Staples - Krube and Lefse
More of my mother's recipes
- My Mother's Cooking - Pork Loin Roast - Two Differen...
My mother made pork loin roast in the traditional way. She used a standing pork rib roast and seasoned it with apples, onions and thyme. By the time my wife started cooking pork roasts for us, there were boneless roasts and everyone was concerned abo
- My Mother's Cooking - Braised Beef Short Ribs
Growing up 60 years ago, beef and pork ribs were much cheaper than they are today. When my mother made pork spareribs she usually made them with sauerkraut and when she made beef short ribs, she braised them with various root vegetables. Here is my m
- My Mother's Cooking - Baked Beans and Pork Chops
One of my fondest memories is visiting my aunt Anna and smelling the baked beans that simmered all day while our parents sat around and talked. This is my mother's recipe for homemade baked beans which is similar. If you add some pork chops while coo
- My Mother's Cooking - Baked Ham and Scalloped Potato...
Around the holidays, my mother would bake a half a ham and she frequently served it with scalloped potatoes. Here are the easy, tempting recipes. Both can be cooked in the same oven if you have room. Remember to save the bone and ham remnants to make
- My Mother's Cooking - Coleslaw, Shrimp Salad and Wal...
In addition to the typical mixed greens salads, My mother made three other salads as side dishes. The first was coleslaw (cabbage salad)for which almost everyone has their own recipe. The second was shrimp salad which generally only showed up on Frid
- My Mother's Cooking - Pasta Salad with Salmon
Another of my mother's meatless meals consisted of shell noodles or elbow macaroni with canned salmon and green peas bound together with mayonnaise or salad dressing. To add even more color and complexity, you can add cherry tomatoes and sliced black
North Central Wisconsin where I learned how to cook from my mother
Ann Trombley on June 24, 2017:
Thank you for sharing the receipe for Krub my dad used to make this when I was a young child. I have been looking for this recipe for years.
wishyouwell on January 13, 2012:
It is always so interesting to learn about the many Lefse recipes that have been handed down for generations in American families. Some call for old fashioned lard, heavy cream, etc. Some families use a skillet to fry, some use an electric pan. Also, the type of potato used can really affect the quality of the Lefse. I use Yukon Gold or Yellow Gourmet for tender, moist Lefse. Thank you for sharing your family's version.
rjsadowski (author) on December 07, 2011:
Thank you both for your comments. If you like hearty food that will stick to your ribs, you will like these recipes.
Sueswan on December 06, 2011:
I have bookmarked these recipes.
Thanks for sharing.
Gypsy Rose Lee from Daytona Beach, Florida on December 05, 2011:
You just got me drooling. Will definitely try these recipes. One of my best friends is of Norwegian descent and will e-mail her your hub. Thanks for the recipes.