Saturday, January 21, 2017

Stew from a Swedish Chef (Bork, bork, bork!)

This summer, I was lucky enough to get to visit my college friend, Jen, who lives near Stockholm, Sweden. The first night at Chez Tunehag, her husband Mats made us a wonderful meal of kalops and new potatoes. Kalops is beef stew, but the flavor is different--and slightly sweeter--because of the use of distinctly Swedish ingredients. We also watched a wonderful Swedish movie that night entitled A Man Called Ove.

Tomorrow, my book club is meeting to discuss the novel on which that film was based (incidently, it was the BEST book I've read in years--so funny and poignant), and since the main character's favorite meal is meat and potatoes, I thought it would be perfectly fitting to try to recreate Mats' kalops. The hardest part was translating it from Swedish! And of course, I wanted to try and convert his recipe to be made in the Insta-Pot. In the end, I think I managed to produce a worthy homage and a very tasty stew! I hope my book club members agree.

Tunehag Kalops (Swedish Beef Stew)

2 1/4 lbs, chuck steak
2 large yellow onions
4 carrots
6 bay leaves
15 allspice
2 juniper berries
2 tablespoons anchovy brine
1 anchovy
1/2 cup red wine
2 tablespoons beef bouillon
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2-4 tablespoons black currant jelly
2-3 tablespoons flour
salt, white pepper, black pepper

Cut the meat into chunks. Cut onion into large pieces. Cut carrots into disks. Mince anchovy.

Brown the meat with salt and pepper. Transfer to a cast iron pot. Sprinkle with flour and stir. Add the wine, soy sauce, anchovy brine, and water to almost cover, then stir. Add bay leaves, juniper berries, and black currant jelly and stir. Add onions.

Simmer 15-20 minutes. Add about half of the carrots. After another 15-20 minutes, add the rest.

Season to taste with more salt, soy sauce, bouillon, and/or jelly.

Let stew simmer a total of 90 minutes.

Instant Pot Kalops (Swedish Beef Stew)

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 1/2 lbs. chuck roast, cut into chunks
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup red wine
3 cups water
2 large yellow onions, cut into chunks, divided
4 medium bay leaves
15 allspice berries (I used 1 teaspoon ground allspice)
2 juniper berries, crushed
2 tablespoons anchovy brine, plus 1 anchovy (I used 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste)
2 tablespoons beef bouillon (I use Better Than Bouillon Roasted Beef Flavor)
2 tablespoons soy sauce (I used low-sodium)
1/4 cup flour
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into thick disks
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
2-4 tablespoons black currant jelly, to taste

Add a tablespoon of oil to both the IP liner and a large skillet. Sprinkle the pieces of roast with the salt and black pepper. Brown the meat in two batches (half in the IP and half in the skillet). Add the browned beef from the skillet to the browned meat in the IP. 

Deglaze the skillet with the red wine, scraping up the yummy browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Pour into the IP. Add the water, one of the cut onions, bay leaves, allspice, juniper berries, anchovy, beef bouillon, and soy sauce. Cook on meat/stew mode for 25 minutes. Do an instant release. Remove the bay leaves and discard.

Whisk the flour with a cup or so of the beef stew liquid until smooth. Stir back into the pot, and add the carrots and the other cut-up onions. Cook on manual for four minutes. Instantly release, and stir in the white pepper and up to 1/4 cup of black currant jelly (to taste).

Serve with steamed new potatoes on the side.

I steamed the potatoes in a basket over a cup of water for ten minutes, then let the pressure release on its own. I sliced a half stick of butter, and tossed that into the potatoes with a couple of punches of salt and some fresh dill.

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