1 min read

Brun Saus And Kjøttboller

And also potatoes in a can.

A staple of Norwegian cuisine is a gravy known as brun saus—“brown sauce.” I am not sure what its exact origins are, but the sauce is generally associated with 1950s cuisine. It’s not what one would call an exciting eat, and Wikipedia editors could only muster up the enthusiasm to write two lines about it.

Simple and low-cost, brun saus is traditionally served over boiled potatoes and meatballs or meat cakes. A dollop of lingonberry jam is a popular accouterment, as are carrots.

I will admit to not being a fan of either the gravy or the dish in general, but if you want to try a pre-oil-era Norwegian classic, it doesn’t get more authentic.

Below is a recipe for brun saus, which we served over Beyond meatballs and boiled canned potatoes. (More about the latter at some other point.) The optional browning sauce gives the palette a darker tint and a light caramel flavor. (It really isn’t necessary, but if you’re going to go 1950s, you might as well do it whole-heartedly.)

My photo did not turn out, so I borrowed this one from NPR.


  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 32 oz vegetable—or beef—broth (1 liter)
  • 1 tbsp Kitchen Bouquet browning sauce (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Melt butter over medium heat
  2. Reduce to low heat and add flour
  3. Stir and let simmer until mixture has reached a light brown color
  4. Gradually add broth, stirring constantly
  5. Optionally stir in browning sauce
  6. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes
  7. Add salt and pepper to taste

Serve over potatoes and meatballs or meat cakes.