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Swedish dinners: Kalops

Swedish dinners: Kalops
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  • Swedish dinners: Kalops

    Post #1 - August 29th, 2007, 11:21 am
    Post #1 - August 29th, 2007, 11:21 am Post #1 - August 29th, 2007, 11:21 am
    The weather in Stockholm has suddenly turned decidedly chilly this week. And, in doing so, my thoughts have turned to autumn's dishes.

    I decided to take a few pictures from this evening's batch of "Kalops". Kalops is a very, very basic beef stew but I thought that it could be of interest as the seasoning is somewhat (for American tastes) unusual.

    The ingredients:

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    1 small tin of Swedish "ansjovis"/sardines (needed only optionally for a few tablespoons of the brine), 2 onions, about 1.5 quarts of beef stock, 4.5 pounds beef chuck, 2 carrots, 1 tbls flour and the spices: about 15 allspice berries, 5 cloves and about 8 small bay leaves.

    Start by browning the beef:

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    While the beef is browning, roughly chop your onions and slice your carrots. Turn down the heat and add the vegetables to the pot after the last of the beef has been browned.

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    When the vegetables have slightly softened, sprinkle over the flour:

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    ... and stir.

    When the flour has thickened the mixture, return the browned beef to the pot and add the stock as well as the optional few tablespoons of sardine brine.

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    Finally, add the spices:

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    Simmer partially covered for a few hours or until the meat is tender.

    Serve with boiled potatoes (although, if I'd have had a nice bag of frozen egg noodles in the freezer, I'd probably have boiled them up...), a vegetable and a decent helping of pickled beets.

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    The flavors of the allspice, the bay leaves and the cloves shine through and make this dish "kalops" instead of normal beef stew. I'd recommend this dish to anyone looking for a slight change of pace from their normal beef stew recipe.

    One way or another (and I'm honestly not sure how hot it is in Chicago right now...), autumn is right around the corner!
    Last edited by Bridgestone on August 29th, 2007, 12:45 pm, edited 2 times in total.
  • Post #2 - August 29th, 2007, 11:49 am
    Post #2 - August 29th, 2007, 11:49 am Post #2 - August 29th, 2007, 11:49 am
    What did you use for the brine?

    Kit
    duck fat rules
  • Post #3 - August 29th, 2007, 11:54 am
    Post #3 - August 29th, 2007, 11:54 am Post #3 - August 29th, 2007, 11:54 am
    Thanks for the question, kit. I've edited my post to reflect that I meant the few tablespoons of brine from the anjovis/sardines.

    Swedish-style anchovies are really much more similar to American sardines than American anchovies. The brine is salty, fishy and has seasonings including cloves, sandelwood, allspice and a few other flavors. The flavors compliment and reflect the flavors already in the stew which is why I've written that the brine is optional. I've/we've discussed Swedish-style anchovies before and I honestly cannot remember if it was reported that they could be purchased at IKEA in Chicago or not. If not, I suppose that they would be pretty tough to get hold of.
  • Post #4 - August 29th, 2007, 2:00 pm
    Post #4 - August 29th, 2007, 2:00 pm Post #4 - August 29th, 2007, 2:00 pm
    Wow. That looks delicious. It's not really stew weather here in Chicago right now, but I may just have to make it tonight, anyway. I've tried several of your posted recipes, and they've always turned out great. The Scandinavian use of allspice has particularly opened up my eyes and tastebuds to possibilities beyond jerk chicken, sweet desserts, and the occassional soup stock. I never knew much about this type of cuisine beyond popular culture (read: meatballs and fish), and I'm quite pleased to learn I like the simplicity yet subtle exoticness (given the palette of herbs and spices used) of Swedish food. Keep posting those recipes!
  • Post #5 - August 29th, 2007, 7:38 pm
    Post #5 - August 29th, 2007, 7:38 pm Post #5 - August 29th, 2007, 7:38 pm
    Bridgestone, I wonder if nam pla might make a decent replacement for the saltiness + fishiness of the Swedish sardines? I know that your fishies have some seasoning, but seems to me that the fishy brine is what you're trying to accomplish...

    Lovely pix, as always. What photoaparat are you using?

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #6 - August 30th, 2007, 12:53 am
    Post #6 - August 30th, 2007, 12:53 am Post #6 - August 30th, 2007, 12:53 am
    Geo wrote:Bridgestone, I wonder if nam pla might make a decent replacement for the saltiness + fishiness of the Swedish sardines?


    That's what I used today (specifically, some Filipino fish sauce made of anchovies, sardines, and mackerel) and, authenticity issues aside, it tasted perfectly fine in the stew. It didn't taste fishy in the amounts added, but it did seem to amplify flavors.
  • Post #7 - August 30th, 2007, 2:28 am
    Post #7 - August 30th, 2007, 2:28 am Post #7 - August 30th, 2007, 2:28 am
    Binko, Geo - thanks for the kind words!

    As Binko has confirmed, a SE Asian-style fish sauce would be a fine substitute even though I may add a pinch of sugar to it if using it. As Binko has also noted, the amount is too small to make for any identifiable flavoring in the finished dish.

    For photos, I'm using a Kodak EasyShare DX7440 but I'm starting to think about replacing it. It's been an excellent camera but seems better suited to outdoor and activity shots. My father's Canon (perhaps an Ixus 850 IS?) seems to accomplish close-up results with one shot that inevitably take 5 or 6 attempts with my Kodak.

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