Monthly Archives: December 2015

Recipe: Real Swedish Meatballs

December 17, 2015 | Leave a comment

Real Swedish Meatballs

There are as many recipes for meatballs in Scandinavia as there are cooks. Recipes vary regionally, too, both in ingredients and sizing. Sadly, nowadays a lot of people buy meatballs instead of making them. The homemade version is so very wholesome and worth the effort.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Swedish
Keyword: meatballs
Servings: 6 people
Author: Bronte Aurell


  • 30 g porridge oats or breadcrumbs
  • 150 ml meat stock chicken works well, too
  • 400 g minced beef
  • 250 g minced pork minimum 10% fat
  • 1 egg UK medium
  • 2 ½ tbsp plain flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp ground white pepper
  • a dash of Worcestershire sauce or soy sauce
  • 1 small onion grated
  • butter and oil for frying
  • mashed potato to serve

Stirred Lingonberries

Cream Gravy

  • meat stock
  • 1 tablespoon plain flour
  • a good glug of single cream
  • salt
  • ground black pepper


  • If using oats, soak them in the meat or chicken stock for 5 minutes.
  • Mix the minced meat with a good pinch of salt for a couple of minutes in a food processor to ensure it’s blended thoroughly.
  • Add the eggs, flour, spices and Worcestershire or soy sauce to another bowl and mix with the soaked oats or breadcrumbs and grated onion, then add this to the meat mixture. You’ll have a sticky, but moldable, mixture. Leave the mixture to rest for 20–25 minutes before using.
  • Heat up a frying pan with a small knob of butter or oil and shape one small meatball. Fry it until done and then taste it. Adjust the seasoning according to taste and fry another meatball to test it until you get it just right.
  • Shape the individual meatballs in your hands – it helps if your hands are damp. Each meatball should be around 2.5 cm/1 in. in diameter, or larger if you haven’t got time.
  • Melt a knob of butter in a frying pan with a dash of oil and carefully add a few meatballs – make sure there is plenty of room for you to swivel the pan round and help turn them so they get a uniform round shape and do not stick. You’ll most likely need to do this in several batches. Cooking time is usually around 5 minutes per batch. Keep in a warm oven until needed.
  • When your meatballs are done, keep the pan on a medium heat. Ensure you have enough fat in there, if not, add a knob of butter to the pan. Add a tablespoon of flour and whisk, then add a splash of stock and whisk again as you bring to the boil. Keep adding stock until you have a good creamy gravy, then add a good dollop of single cream and season well with salt and pepper. The colour of the gravy should be very light brown.

To prepare the Stirred Lingonberries (rårörda lingon)

  • Simply add the caster sugar and stir.
  • Leave for a while and then stir again, until the sugar dissolves and the berries have defrosted.
  • Store leftover Stirred Lingonberries in the fridge.
  • Serve with mashed potatoes.


Recipe taken from our book The Scandi Kitchen – available at all good bookshops and online and in our cafe shop. Photos by Pete Cassidy.
    Polarica Organic Lingonberries 225g (Tyttebær / Puolukka)
    The ScandiKitchen Cookbook by Bronte Aurell
    Rated 4.67 out of 5

Recipe: Creamed Rice Pudding (Ris a l’amandes)

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Risalamande/Ris à la malta/Riskrem - CHRISTMAS CREAMED RICE PUDDING

‘A loved child has many names’ is a Scandinavian saying that is apt for this dish – Danes adopted a French name meaning ‘almond rice’, while it seems Swedes misunderstood Danish pronunciation and called it ‘Maltese rice’. Norwegians rightly just call it ‘rice cream’.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Danish
Servings: 4 people
Author: Bronte Aurell


  • 50 g blanched almonds
  • 250 ml whipping cream or heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla sugar
  • ½ quantity of rice pudding chilled, see above

For Apelsinsås – Swedish Orange Sauce

  • 2-3 tbsp orange juice
  • 75 g sugar
  • 2 oranges peeled, pith and pips removed

For Rød saus – Norwegian red sauce

  • 250 g frozen berries (raspberries or strawberries are good)
  • 50-100 g sugar to taste
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice (optional_

For Kirsebærsovs – Danish Cherry sauce

  • 1 tbsp corn flour or arrowroot
  • 2 x 300 g cans of black or morello cherries in syrup
  • 1 tsp orange juice
  • 2 tbsp rum


  • Roughly chop the almonds, except for one which must be kept whole.
  • Whip the cream with the sugar and vanilla until thick, then gently fold it into the chilled rice pudding. If the rice pudding is too cold and hard to fold, leave it out at room temperature for a while. Add the almonds, including the reserved whole one, and pour into your serving dish. Pop it back in the fridge until ready to serve with one of the sauces below.
  • Some people prefer a very creamy version, and some less so – you can vary the quantity of cream accordingly. The rice is served cold, while the sauce is usually hot.
  • The person who finds the whole almond wins a price, usually a marzipan piggy or a box of chocolate pralines.

The different toppings:

    Apelsinsås – Swedish Orange Sauce

    • When making the creamed rice pudding, add 2–3 tablespoons orange juice to the whipped cream before folding into the rice.
    • In a pan, bring the sugar and 100 ml/7 tablespoons water to the boil until the sugar is dissolved and slightly thickened, then take off the heat. Slice the oranges 5-mm/ 1/4 –in. thick, add to the warm sugar syrup. Add a few slices to top the ris à la malta.

    Rød saus – Norwegian red sauce

    • Place the frozen berries in a pan with 100 ml/7 tablespoons water and sugar to taste. Bring to the boil, then simmer to let the berries break up. Whizz it with a stick blender until smooth. If it needs a little something, add a few drops of lemon juice before serving with the riskrem.

    Kirsebærsovs – Danish Cherry sauce

    • Mix the cornflour/cornstarch with a small amount of syrup to make a paste. Bring the cherries and 250 ml/1 cup syrup to the boil in a pan, add the paste and stir. Boil for 1 minute to thicken, then take off the heat and add the orange juice and rum. Sweeten with sugar, if needed. Serve hot over cold risalamandes.


    Recipe from ScandiKitchen Christmas by Bronte Aurell, published by Ryland Peters and Small. Photography by Pete Cassidy. RRP £16.99

    Recipe: Jansson’s Temptation

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    Jansson's Temptation

    Making a Smorgasbord this Christmas? Then you should most certainly add Jansson's Temptation - it's so very delicious.
    This is one of the most famous dishes in Sweden – and considering it’s only really a side dish, that says something. It’s truly delicious and unlike other potato gratins. The flavour of the dish comes from the ‘Ansjovis’, which are pickled sprats (and not to be confused with anchovies). Serve as part of a traditional Swedish Smörgåsbord or with roast lamb.
    Course: Side Dish
    Cuisine: Swedish
    Keyword: potatoes
    Author: Bronte Aurell


    • 700 g potatoes such as King Edward or similar
    • 25 g butter
    • 200 g onion finely sliced
    • 125 g Abba Grebbestad Ansjovis pickled sprats in brine or small pickled herrings
    • salt
    • black pepper
    • 300 ml double cream
    • 300 ml whole milk
    • 2 tbsp dried breadcrumbs
    • 30 x 20 cm baking dish


    • Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F) Gas 6.
    • Peel the potatoes and chop them into small 0.5-cm piece sticks (a bit thinner than French fries). Put them on a baking sheet and place in the preheated oven for 20 minutes to pre-cook them. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the onion and cook until soft. Take care not to burn the onion – it should be cooked, but shouldn’t turn brown.
      Add the pre-cooked potatoes to the onion mixture and fold together. Layer half of the onion and potato mixture in the bottom of an ovenproof dish, then top with half the sprat fillets placed at even intervals. Season with salt and pepper and pour over half the cream and milk. Add another layer of onion and potato, then the remaining sprats on top. Pour the remaining sprat brine, then the remaining milk and cream over the dish. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top and season.
    • Add the pre-cooked potatoes to the onion mixture and fold together. Layer half of the onion and potato mixture in the bottom of an ovenproof dish, then top with half the sprat fillets placed at even intervals. Season with salt and pepper and pour over half the cream and milk. Add another layer of onion and potato, then the remaining sprats on top. Pour the remaining sprat brine, then the remaining milk and cream over the dish. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top and season.
    • Bake for about 45 minutes in the preheated oven, or until the potatoes are cooked. If the dish is looking dry, you can add more milk – the aim is to get a creamy consistency.

    Useful Norwegian Expressions

    December 15, 2015 | Leave a comment

    Norwegian is a useful language. Spoken by around 5 million in a country you’re unlikely to visit unless a special someone in your life has ties there, these 5 phrases are bound to come in handy.

    Let us present, 5 very random Norwegian expressions:


    Som hakka møkk – As chopped shit (pardon us) – Selling like chopped shit!
    Hakka mokk - spraying manure


    Klar som et egg – Ready as an egg – Ready to go, get started


    Ha det som plommen i egget – Feel like an egg yolk – Being very comfortable


    Silkeføre – silky conditions – relating to snow conditions when cross country skiing – it means things are going really well/easy.


    Prikken over i-en; the dot above the I – meaning the thing that made the day – ‘the meal was great all over, and the dessert was just the dot over the i!’


    Any others? Let us know in the comments.

    Recipe: Flæskesteg – Danish Christmas roast pork

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    Danish Roast Pork (Flæskesteg) with Caramelised potatoes (Brunkartofler)

    This is the classic Christmas meal in Denmark.
    Course: christmas
    Cuisine: Danish
    Keyword: christmas
    Servings: 4 people


    For the Pork:

    • 2 kg loin of pork with the skin on and scored all the way down to just before the flesh in lines 1cm apart (ask the butcher to do this if necessary)
    • 1 carrot
    • 1 onion
    • 1 or 2 bay leaves
    • 400-500 ml boiling water
    • few sprigs of thyme

    For the Potatoes:

    • 85 g sugar
    • 25 g butter
    • 1kg small new potatoes peeled and cooked, (don’t be afraid to use tinned potatoes for this) - must be COLD


    The Pork

    • Preheat your oven to 250°C.
    • Place the pork joint skin side down (yes, ‘upside-down’) into a roasting tray. Add just enough boiling water to the tray so that the skin is submerged.
    • Put the pork in the oven for 20 minutes.
    • Use a clean tea towel to hold the pork in the roasting tray so you don’t burn yourself while you carefully pour away the water.
    • Turn the oven down to 160°C, then flip the pork over so it’s the right way up (skin up), and coat the skin with a generous amount of salt and pepper, making sure you get into the crevices created by the scoring. Be careful of your hands at this point, the pork will be hot! Stick the bay leaves into the crevices as well, then add the carrot, onion and thyme to the roasting tin, and pour 400-500ml fresh, cold water in.
    • Put the pork back in the oven for about an hour or until it is done. Check about halfway through to see if you need to top up the water if it’s starting to evaporate too much.
    • Using a meat thermometer, check the temperature of the pork after the hour. It should be somewhere between 68-70°C. Pour out the fatty residue into a bowl to use as stock for the gravy.
    • Increase the oven temperature back up to 250°C and put the roast pork back in to make the crackling. This can take a good 15 minutes, so use the grill if you want to kickstart the process (but keep a close eye on it, or else you could end up with a burnt crackling).
    • Remove the roast from the oven and check the temperature again. It should be between 70-75°C. This should mean it isn’t overcooked - pork can be terribly boring if you have to gnaw your way through it.
    • Let the roast rest uncovered for about 10 minutes. While that’s happening, make the gravy from the fat and stock - use gravy browning if required.

    The Potatoes

    • Add the sugar to a cold frying pan and spread it evenly across the bottom. Melt it on a high heat while you stir for about 2 minutes, then turn the heat down to medium while you add the butter. Turn up the heat to high again. 
    • Put the potatoes in a colander or sieve and run them under a cold tap, then add to the pan. As you can imagine, it’s going to splutter and spit a bit, so be careful. 
    • Get the potatoes covered in caramel and brown them for between 4-6 minutes, turning them carefully. If it looks like they’re getting a bit too dry, add a drop of water (again, take care doing this). 
    • Serve the caramelised potatoes along with normal boiled potatoes - as these are very sweet, they’re more of an extra side dish for the pork rather than a replacement for potatoes altogether.


    NOTE: Always use potatoes that are completely cold. If you’re preparing them yourself, peel and cook them the day before. Each potato should be about 3-4cm in size - think salad potatoes. Tinned really is a good option for this dish.
    Serve with warm, red cabbage.
    Leftovers? Make Pytt-i-Panna.

    Recipe: Pinnekjøtt – Traditional Norwegian Christmas Dinner

    December 3, 2015 | 3 Comments

    Pinnekjøtt - Traditional Norwegian Christmas Dinner

    Pinnekjøtt is one of many Christmas dinners eaten in Norway. Traditionally eaten on the west coast of the country, but it is gaining popularity elsewhere too. In many places in the west of Norway, you'll know it is Christmas when the church bells chime in the afternoon of the 24th and the air has a faint smell of pinnekjøtt cooking. As the sun sets and people move inside and out of the cold, julefreden senker seg.  Christmas peace descends across the country.
    Pinnekjøtt is ribs from lamb that have been salted, and sometimes also smoked, to preserve it. For preparation, the meat needs to be soaked in water to remove most of the salt. The result is an intensely delicious and savoury piece of lamb - quite unlike anything else, and very very good (why yes, the writer of this recipe is Norwegian - but strictly objective, of course).
    Side dishes vary between families, but a type of swede mash is always present. The natural sweetness of swedes works really well with the meat – finish off your plate with a dollop of lingonberry jam and have a shot of aquavit to drink. Some people also serve plain boilt potatoes and green beans, although this is not part of the traditional meal.
    Course: Dinner
    Cuisine: Norwegian
    Servings: 5 people


    For the meat

    • 2 kg Pinnekjøtt
    • Big bowls for soaking the meat in

    For the Swede Mash - Rotmos

    • 1.5 kg swede peeled and chopped
    • 3 medium carrots washed and chopped
    • 2 medium potatoes peeled and chopped
    • 50 ml double cream
    • 50 ml single cream
    • 4 tbsp salted butter
    • 75 ml cooking stock from the pinnekjott
    • pinch of ground nutmeg (optional)
    • salt
    • ground black pepper


    For the meat

      The day before eating:

      • Place the meat in casseroles or big bowls (or a pyrex dish – anything will do) and cover with plenty of water. Leave in room temperature for approx. 30 hours.
      • Why do we do this? Pinnekjøtt is meat that has been salted and dried, soaking it ensures it regains its consistency – as well as making it palatable by removing most of the salt. How long this takes depends on the thickness of the meat, as well as the temperature of the water. Tepid water will speed up the process.

      On the day of eating, 3 hours before you plan to eat:

      • Pour off the water and place the meat to one side.
      • In your biggest casserole(s), place a metal rack or birch branches in the bottom. Add water until it covers the rack or your branches. Place your meat on top and cover with a lid. Leave to gently steam cook at low heat for approximately 3 hours. Sausage can be added to the casserole for cooking for the last 15-20 minutes; chop into chunks of 2-3 inches to ensure they cook through. It is done when the meat falls easily off the bone.

      For the Swede Mash - Rotmos

      • Peel your vegetables and chop coarsely into even-sized pieces. Boil until tender in lightly salted water. Leave for 3 minutes to dry, then mash by hand. Add cream and butter and give it a good stir. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add a pinch (not too much – this has a very strong flavour) of ground nutmeg if liked – the slight sweetness goes really well with the salty meat. If you think the mash is too thick, loosen it with some of the pinnekjøtt cooking water.
      • Serve with pinnekjøtt, lingonberry jam, perhaps some freshly boiled potatoes and a good shot of aquavit.
        Lysholm Linie Aquavit 41.5% 700ml

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