All posts tagged “sausage

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Den Gyldene Freden, Stockholm

Swedish meatballs

Den Gyldene Freden is a legendary place. By some measures the oldest restaurant in the world, it’s a Swedish institution that has sheltered many famous artists and poets. Frequented by Sweden’s most famous ‘troubadour’ (singer-songwriter seems like a misnomer) Carl Michael Bellman in the 18th century, it was bought by painter Anders Zorn, famous for lavish depictions of voluptuous Dalecarlian ladies, in the early 1900s.

Aqvavit

In the 20th century it was the hang-out for legendary singers Evert Taube and Cornelis Vreesvijk. Cornelis, a brilliant lyricist but notorious drunk, wrote a beautiful song about trying to stay sober by taking antabuse in this place. I used to listen to it as a child without understanding the lyrics, but one doesn’t need to speak Swedish to hear the exhausted helplessness of the song.

Toast with bleak roe

These days, Den Gyldene Freden (= the golden peace – it was named after the Swedish peace with Russia in 1721, the ‘golden’ bit being that Sweden was allowed to keep Finland) serve gourmet food. Being a Stockholm restaurant, it’s by no means cheap, but it’s a great place to sample traditional, delicious Swedish food in a beautiful setting packed with history. The service is excellent and personable.

Baby reindeer entrecote

We had some great starters, the best one being the best bleak roe toast I’ve had in my life. Fredrik had gorgeous chanterelle ‘dumplings’ called kroppkakor, and we also sampled different types of herring. All this was of course accompanied by aqvatit, the local  spirits normally eaten with fish and traditional food.

Salmon with lobster sauce

For mains, I had an entrecote of reindeer veal (yes, one of these cute creatures) which was so gamey is almost tasted livery. It was very filling. Fredrik had a steamed fillet of salmon with lobster sauce, light and perfectly seasoned. We also tried reindeer sausage, smokey and heavy – perfect in the cold winter night. It came with pears and carrot pure, which was quite refreshing. My brother had the ultimate classic – meatballs (pictured at the top), with lingonberry, cream sauce and potatoes.

Cheese board

The French cheese selection with home-made crisp bread and jams  was the only thing that wasn’t nordic. While I would have liked to stay in the Nordic region food-wise, these were a delicious end to a thoroughly enjoyable meal.

 

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Smoky sausage with dill creamed potatoes (Isterband med dillstuvad potatis)

Isterband med dillstuvad potatis

It is time for another post on traditional Swedish food – husmanskost – and this time one of my father’s absolute favourites. Isterband is a smoky, slightly acidous and grainy sausage made of heart and tongue, originally from the Småland region. It is typically served with stewed potato and pickled beetroot, and to me it tastes of autumn like few other things – it belongs with the smell of burning leaves and crisp air. It is hearty, warm and packed with flavour.

Isterband ingredienser

You need:

– 1 pack of Isterband (this will be difficult to get a hold of outside of Sweden, but could probably be substituted with some other kind of large smoked sausage).

– One heap of fresh dill, chopped

– A few tablespoons of flour

– About 100 grams of butter

– A few decilitres of milk

– 1/5 kg of potatoes, a firm variety.

– Nutmeg

– Salt and white pepper to taste

– A jar of sliced pickled beetroots

Stuvning

Dill stewed potatoes is a mild, standard side to any smoky Swedish food, and very easy to make. It relies on the usual suspects for flavouring (dill and white pepper) together with the creaminess of milk and butter. Start by peeling, slicing and boiling the potatoes. Make the slices thick so that they don’t break in the water, and be careful not to overcook them. Start frying the sausages on a low heat in a wide pan (they should fry for about 25 minutes). Then make a bechamel base by melting the butter in the pan, and carefully whisking in flour until you have a thick paste.

Stuvning

Add milk slowly to the paste, to make a thick, creamy sauce. You can choose how voluptuous you like the sauce to be – if you want the supreme, extend it with cream or a bit of creme fraiche. If you’re feeling frugal, go with milk, which is the classic way of making it.

Stuvning

One you’ve reached a thick, smooth consistency, add salt and white pepper (you can be rather generous). Add the chopped dill and some nutmeg, then pour the sauce over the potatoes. Take the sausages off the pan and serve immidiately. The heavy smokiness of the sausages is rather dominant, and the potatoes are there to provide a smooth, mild balance. By serving this with pickled beetroot you also get a sweet contrast to the rest. It’s a well-balanced, autumnal and most warming meal.

Stuvad potatis