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Swedish dinners: Raggmunk

Swedish dinners: Raggmunk
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  • Swedish dinners: Raggmunk

    Post #1 - March 5th, 2008, 3:36 am
    Post #1 - March 5th, 2008, 3:36 am Post #1 - March 5th, 2008, 3:36 am
    After last week’s exotic and homely dish, I decided to try something that would be a little more familiar and attractive: Swedish-style potato pancakes.

    I can’t think of much to say about potato pancakes that hasn’t already been eloquently said (in, for example, hereand here). I realize, however, that potato pancakes are hallowed ground around here and I’ll therefore list the 5 Commandments for Swedish-style Potato Pancakes:

    1) Thou shall grate thine potatoes. Most recipes say “coarsely” but I prefer the fine side of my box grater.
    2) Thou shall only have potatoes (vegetable-wise) in thine pancakes. I’ve seen a few recipes that allude to “some people” adding onions but no one actually admits to doing it themselves…
    3) Thou shall serve unsmoked bacon with thine potato pancakes. Smoked bacon, traditionally, is not an acceptable substitute.
    4) Thine lingonberries shall be “rårörd” and not jam. “Rårörd” means “raw-stirred” and is simply fresh (or frozen) whole lingonberries that have been stirred together with granulated sugar until they release some of their juices. They spoil a little more quickly than lingonberry jam (although the sugar and natural preservatives in the lingonberries will keep everything edible far longer than you’ll have these in your refrigerator), but the sour, slightly bitter aggressiveness of “rårörda” lingonberries is needed to cut through the fat of this dish.
    5) Thou shall not make this dish fussy. Acceptable decorations include any of the following: a sprig of thyme. Acceptable salads include any of the following: grated carrots or shredded cabbage.

    The ingredients:

    Image

    2 pounds of potatoes, 1 ¾ pounds unsmoked bacon, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon flour, 2 tablespoons butter, (not pictured: salt and pepper, “rårörda lingon*”)

    Start by grating your potatoes.

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    I find that my potato pancakes turn out best if I squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

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    Add the flour to the egg…

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    … mix…

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    … and add the potatoes:

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    Salt and pepper to taste and mix thoroughly.

    Next, remove the rind from the unsmoked bacon and slice into thick slices. Uneven slices are fine (even preferable) as they yield both crunchy and chewy bits.

    Image

    Melt a few tablespoons of butter in a frying pan over medium-high heat:

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    Add the pork…

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    … and fry:

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    Keep the fried unsmoked bacon warm in the oven. Pour off and save most of the rendered fat. Place small (1/3 cup) amounts of the potato mixture in the pan and spread out thinly:

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    Fry until golden brown on both sides (about 5 minutes). Add butter and/or reserved pork fat as needed. Serve steaming hot with a few slices of salt pork and a mound of “rårörda lingon”.

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    * “Rårörda lingon” can be made by adding approx. 2 cups of fresh or frozen lingonberries to ¾ cup granulated sugar and mixing with a wooden spoon until it reaches a jam-like consistency.
    Last edited by Bridgestone on March 5th, 2008, 2:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.
  • Post #2 - March 5th, 2008, 3:43 am
    Post #2 - March 5th, 2008, 3:43 am Post #2 - March 5th, 2008, 3:43 am
    For the recipe index:

    Raggmunk/Swedish-style potato pancakes.

    2 pounds of potatoes
    1 egg
    1 tablespoon flour
    2 tablespoons butter
    salt and pepper
    1 ¾ pounds unsmoked bacon
    “rårörda lingon*” or lingonberry jam

    Grate the potatoes and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. In a mixing bowl, add the flour to the egg and mix. Add the grated potatoes to the egg/flour mixture and mix thoroughly. Salt and pepper to taste.

    Slice the unsmoked bacon in thick slices. Fry gently over medium until browned. Remove from pan and keep warm. Pour off and reserve most of the fat. Place 1/3 cup balls of potato mixture in frying pan, flatten and fry until golden brown (about 5 minutes). Add reserved fat and/or butter as needed. Serve the pancakes steaming hot with the fried unsmoked bacon and a mound of lingonberries.

    * "rårörda" lingonberries are made by mixing approx. 2 cups of frozen or fresh lingonberries with 3/4 cup granulated sugar. Mix the berries and the sugar together until the berries release their liquid and the mixture reaches a jam-like consistency.
    Last edited by Bridgestone on March 5th, 2008, 2:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #3 - March 5th, 2008, 7:34 am
    Post #3 - March 5th, 2008, 7:34 am Post #3 - March 5th, 2008, 7:34 am
    Alas. Bridgestone, I've never seen frozen or fresh lingonberries here. I guess the jam will have to do. Looks like dinner tonight. Thanks!
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #4 - March 5th, 2008, 7:44 am
    Post #4 - March 5th, 2008, 7:44 am Post #4 - March 5th, 2008, 7:44 am
    You are completely correct in assuming that the dish is worth doing even without the fresh or frozen lingonberries, Josephine. My 4th Commandment applies only to individuals with easy access to fresh or frozen lingonberries. I hope you enjoy your dinner!

    Someone has asked before and I can't help wonder myself as to how well cranberries would work as a lingonberry substitute. I can only assume that they would react in a similar fashion as lingonberries to being mixed and mashed with an amount of granulated sugar. Perhaps chopping the cranberries first would help?
  • Post #5 - March 5th, 2008, 9:44 am
    Post #5 - March 5th, 2008, 9:44 am Post #5 - March 5th, 2008, 9:44 am
    Bridgestone wrote:Image


    Gorgeous.
  • Post #6 - March 5th, 2008, 9:57 am
    Post #6 - March 5th, 2008, 9:57 am Post #6 - March 5th, 2008, 9:57 am
    Hi,

    Long ago in another life, I used lingonberries as a substitute for cranberries. While it was wishful thinking that was largely successfull, except lingonberries are very liquidy inside and cranberries are dense. I agree with your idea to chop them up, add sugar and let them soften a bit.

    Frozen cranberries are easier to find closer to harvest. The further away you are, like in summer, then the harder they are to locate.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #7 - March 5th, 2008, 10:14 am
    Post #7 - March 5th, 2008, 10:14 am Post #7 - March 5th, 2008, 10:14 am
    First you cooked salt pork in butter, then you cooked potatoes in the pork fat and butter mixture, that sounds like the best thing ever. Looks delicious as always. I could really go for some potato pancakes right now.
  • Post #8 - March 5th, 2008, 10:18 am
    Post #8 - March 5th, 2008, 10:18 am Post #8 - March 5th, 2008, 10:18 am
    I believe I've seen frozen lingonberries at Marketplace on Oakton.

    Beautiful, as usual, Bridgestone!
  • Post #9 - March 5th, 2008, 1:23 pm
    Post #9 - March 5th, 2008, 1:23 pm Post #9 - March 5th, 2008, 1:23 pm
    Tnx for the trip Bridgestone, scenic and informative as always! (Not to mention enticing!)

    Now about the salt pork. That sure doesn't look like any salt pork I've seen recently. Looks more like fresh pork-belly, or unbaconned bacon. Am I just unexperienced in this aspect of porky-ness, or would I have a problem Stateside finding such an item...? LTHers?

    Geo
    PS. Another 20cm of snow overnight in Montréal; we're now over 300cm for the season... a real record-breaker. I'll *never* find my grill. :(
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #10 - March 5th, 2008, 2:11 pm
    Post #10 - March 5th, 2008, 2:11 pm Post #10 - March 5th, 2008, 2:11 pm
    Thanks everyone for the kind words!

    Geo - Great call re: salt pork! When I actually look up the definition of salt pork, it seems to be, well, much more like uncured lardo (i.e., nearly free from meat/lean). Is this what you were getting at? Perhaps I should have written "unsmoked bacon"? I've found a few references to unsmoked bacon on the net but I personally was unfamiliar with the term.

    I'll go through my post and fix this.

    Thank you, Geo!
  • Post #11 - March 5th, 2008, 2:26 pm
    Post #11 - March 5th, 2008, 2:26 pm Post #11 - March 5th, 2008, 2:26 pm
    Hi again Bridgestone! Tnx for the quick response. Here's a pic and def of what passes for salt pork on these shores--note how there's almost no lean:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salt_pork


    But I bet we could use fresh bacon (I believe it's called) which, if memory serves, at least *looks* pretty much like what you've shown us.

    Boy, does that look yummy...

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
  • Post #12 - March 5th, 2008, 6:09 pm
    Post #12 - March 5th, 2008, 6:09 pm Post #12 - March 5th, 2008, 6:09 pm
    you can get frozen lingonberries at Erikson's Swedish Deli on Clark Street in Andersonville. They are in the old painted blue reach in freezer near the door.

    bjt
    "eating is an agricultural act" wendell berry
  • Post #13 - March 5th, 2008, 6:18 pm
    Post #13 - March 5th, 2008, 6:18 pm Post #13 - March 5th, 2008, 6:18 pm
    In the second photo (of the grated potatoes), it appears that there are grated ingredients of two colors. Are you using two types of potatoes, or is that butter?
  • Post #14 - March 5th, 2008, 7:25 pm
    Post #14 - March 5th, 2008, 7:25 pm Post #14 - March 5th, 2008, 7:25 pm
    My guess is that the photo shows potatoes grated at different times. The pinker ones have been standing longer and started to oxidize.
  • Post #15 - March 6th, 2008, 2:08 am
    Post #15 - March 6th, 2008, 2:08 am Post #15 - March 6th, 2008, 2:08 am
    Geo - "fresh" bacon says uncured to me and what you want to find is bacon that has been cured but not smoked. However, the terms for various types of cured products can be a little confusing ("fresh" could, in fact, mean cured but not smoked, for all I know) so you certainly could be exactly right. One way or another, you want cured but not smoked bacon for this recipe.

    However (and don't tell the Swedes this...), I've made this with normal bacon before and the smokiness of the bacon is quite tasty. Not authentic but tasty anyway.

    chgoeditor: Not butter! Both you and LAZ are correct. Somehow, I'd gotten two different types of potatoes. The potatoes were really oxidizing fast the other day, too (they were darkening even as I was taking them out of the box grater).

    It's wonderful seeing all of your questions and comments! Thank you!
  • Post #16 - March 6th, 2008, 4:12 pm
    Post #16 - March 6th, 2008, 4:12 pm Post #16 - March 6th, 2008, 4:12 pm
    Bridgestone wrote:Someone has asked before and I can't help wonder myself as to how well cranberries would work as a lingonberry substitute. I can only assume that they would react in a similar fashion as lingonberries to being mixed and mashed with an amount of granulated sugar. Perhaps chopping the cranberries first would help?


    Never having had fresh (or even frozen) lingonberries to experiment with, I can't speak to the comparative mixing/mashing question. And I suspect that the interchangeability question is pretty much a subjective one for folks to resolve. However, as a huge fan of cranberries, I can attest that no chopping is needed. First, they're a pain in the neck to chop since they tend to roll all over the place (though I suppose one could use a food processor). More to the point, heat and sugar and time do a wonderful job of decomposing the little suckers into a deliciously yummy mass not unlike what Bridgestone's photograph of the lingonberries shows.
    Gypsy Boy

    "I am not a glutton--I am an explorer of food." (Erma Bombeck)

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