Kalops, a classic Swedish autumn dish
A solid meat stew that fills you with energy to ward off the autumn chill.
Serve with potatoes, pickled root beets and a tall glass of beer.
Photo: Cheryl Marie Cordeiro for CMC © 2009
Living in Sweden, in Northern Europe makes you change your habits with the seasons and when the days get shorter and the leaves turn yellow, orange and brown and start dressing up the grass lawn in all kinds of colours, you start thinking about more hearty foods that warms the core of your body. Autumn is also harvest time for all kinds of vegetable roots and the livestock that had been grassing outdoors all summer are also now starting to fill up the meat counters in the supermarkets.
A traditional autumn dish in Sweden that is rather simple to make is kalops. Its a full flavoured, meaty beef stew that would feel completely at home in an Indian restaurant if it wasn’t for the spices that are different in Sweden.
Here are the ingredients if you feel like trying. Serves four persons as a single dish.
Heat up a large and deep pot with a dollop of butter and let two diced and sliced onions simmer.
Cut up about 1 kg (2 lbs) beef (marrowbone) in comfortable bite sized cubes.
Add about 10 allspice seeds and 2-3 bay leafs.
Add 1 meat cube if you like and if so, no extra salt in needed.
Add 1/2 liter of water mixed with 3 tbs wheat flower to thicken the sauce. Halfway through the cooking time, add two carrots cut up in thick slices.
Simmer under lid on slow heat. When the onions are mostly dissolved the stew is ready (about 1-1,5 hour).
This old fashioned dish just gets richer and better with longer cooking time. In many Swedish cookbooks, they also recommend that you let this dish sit for a few hours before serving. Overnight sitting is best.