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Swedish Beef Stew

Swedish beef stew (kalops)

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Sometimes you just want something comforting, hearty and filling, and this ticks all three boxes. The thing that sets this Scandinavian recipe apart from other stews is the distinctive flavour of allspice.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • 450g (1lb) of beef chuck, cut into cubes
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 3 tbsp of flour
  • 2 cubes of beef stock
  • 2 large carrots
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 10 whole allspices berries
  • 10 white peppercorns
  • Water
  • Salt to taste

Directions

  1. Cut your meat into cubes.
  2. Using a stockpot or dutch oven, melt the butter.
  3. Add the meat to the pot and cook it on a medium-high heat until it browns.
  4. Sprinkle in your flour and stir so it combines with the meat.
  5. Dice the onion, then add it to the pot and cook until tender.
  6. Dice and add the carrots, as well as the beef stock and some water (make sure it submerges the meat) and stir.
  7. Add the bay leaves, allspice, some salt and peppercorns for seasoning.
  8. Bring it to the boil for a minute or so.
  9. Reduce to a low heat and let it simmer for an hour with the lid on the pot — if you want a thicker sauce, you may need to remove the lid and let it simmer for another 30 minutes or so.
  10. Serve it with pickled beets and potatoes.

Background: Swedish beef stew (kalops)

Swedish beef stew has been a favourite in Sweden since around the 1800s, so it’s well entrenched as a traditional recipe. Although it’s alleged to have originated in the Swedish county of Skåne, the stew is a favourite all around the country. 

As for the name, it’s believed that the name ‘kalops’ may have links to the English word ‘collops’, which means “slices of meat”. 

Some people prefer to use reindeer or elk instead of beef, which is a great variation on the recipe.

You’ll also notice that some international recreations of the recipe include garlic and red wine in the stew — they’re definitely a great addition if you like those ingredients, but be prepared for some debate from your Swedish friends who may deem it an unnecessary add-on to their traditional dish!

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