I have made beef stew before but this has a distinct flavor that I can only account for due to the use of allspice or kryddpepper. They look like black peppercorns but bigger and smells like a combination of cloves, star anise and other fragrant spices. I tried this when I went for lunch with my colleague at Finn Inn, a lunch restaurant near my office. It was on a Thursday since they were serving yellow pea soup and Swedish pancakes and this dish seems perfect for the cold autumn we have been experiencing. They served it with fried potato chunks instead of boiled potatoes and that was what I made too and seasoned them with salt, pepper and some chopped parsley. The other quite distinct feature about this is the pickled beet roots, which you can buy off the shelf or try making from fresh ones if you can't find any (I'll give you the recipe at the end). These recipes are from a book called 'Very Swedish' by Annica Triberg, Per Ranung and Tore Hagman, which we got as a wedding present from our dear friend, Lisbeth.
Ingredients (serves 2)
600g beef chunks for stewing purposes
2 medium size onions or 1 large onion, cut into large segments
1 carrot, cut into 3cm chunks
1 tablespoon or 15g butter
6-7 whole allspice
3 white peppercorns
2 small or 1 large bay leaf
1/2 cube beef stock
1.5 tablespoon cornstarch
salt, white pepper for seasoning
- Heat the butter in a pot and sear the beef chunks.
- Add the carrots and onions when the beef is browned and fry with the meat for about a minute or two.
- Add hot water just enough to cover the beef and add the spices and beef stock and boil over low heat for about 90 minutes or until beef chunks is tender.
- Just before serving, dissolve the cornstarch with a little water and stir into the stew to thicken it. Season with salt and pepper and serve with the beetroot and fried potatoes.
To pickle your own beetroots (this should make you more than 2 portions):Ingredients:12-15 small beetroots, salt, 100ml spirit vinegar (12%), 160g sugar, 300ml water, 3-4 whole allspice, 3-4 whole white peppercornsSteps: Boil the beetroots in lightly salted water until they are soft. Pour off the water and peel the beets and subsequently placed in a jar. Boil the pickling solution of the vinegar, sugar, water and spices and stir in the sugar until it dissolves. Let it cool before pouring over the beetroots and cover, store overnight before use. I haven't tried this yet so let me know if you do!