Category Archives: meat

Lamb Patties for BBQ


This summer we went to a great barbecue in one of our friend’s lovely garden. We all (about 60 people) brought our favorites to have on the grill and the hosts served us with lots of joy and a great bean salad. The evening started with some drops of rain but that didn’t really bothered anyone. Everyone was busy making fires and preparing for their treats. Eventually the sun showed up, just in time for us to sit down in the grass and be able to really enjoy the evening.

for the patties

0.4 kg (almost 1 lb) minced lamb or beef
1 egg
1-2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
¼ cup (50 ml) milk
salt and pepper
10 black olives
one or two shallots
2 gloves garlic
1 tablespoon brown mustard seeds
chili flakes
some rosemary
feta cheese

Mix together the minced meat together with the egg yolk, breadcrumbs and milk. Slice the olives in small pieces and add them to the mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Let the mixture rest for at least an hour in the fridge. Chop the shallots fine. Sauté with butter on low heat until soft. Heat up a frying pan with some olive oil and sauté the mustard seeds with some chili flakes. When they start to pop, lower the heat and add squeezed garlic and rosemary. When they start to get color its done. Let the shallots and the mustard mixture cool before adding them to the patties batter. Cut up the feta cheese in pieces. Start to form the patties and place some feta in the middle. Wet your hands in between each pattie, that will make them easier to form!

Now they are ready for a barbecue with a fine mesh. Please don’t grill them over too high a heat, that will only make them dry and boring instead of juicy and tasty.

These patties also work with brown rice and sautéed bok choy (Chinese cabbage).

Lamb Stew

In the middle of cooking I realized that white wine wouldn’t be the best for this meal. I turned off the heat and ran down to the wine shop asking for an earthy and hearty red for my lamb stew with anchovies. We started to discuss different options when the wine guy suddenly asked me if I had already started cooking. Until then I hadn’t realized that my clothes had a very strong smell of cooking!

for the stew
1 lb lamb (shoulder or any other piece with bone)
2-4 gloves of garlic
red chilies, fresh or dried
3-5 anchovies
1 big onion
rosemary (dried or fresh)
some warm stock (I used my own stock made from lamb bones )

for the stock
bones and the parts you don’t want to be in the stew
2-3 garlic, chopped
chili, fresh or dried, chopped
bay leaves
herbs (rosemary,thyme or sage)
half an onion
whole pepper corns

Trim any excess fat and bones from the meat. Cut the rest of the meat into mouth size cubes. You will only use the bones and the fat for the stock. Keep the rest of the meat cool for later.

It’s a little hard for me to describe how I make a stock as it always end up different. Its really depends on what I have at home. Sometimes I add carrots, parsnips, dried and soaked shiitake mushrooms, dill or wine, etc etc. So what I will describe here is my basic recipe…
To make the stock, start by heating up a pan with olive oil. On high heat sauté the bones with chili, chopped garlic and onion. Sprinkle herbs before covering with water. Add salt, pepper and bay leaves. Bring to boil on high heat, then reduce heat and cover partially. Let it simmer for about an hour until the stock is reduced and flavorful. Strain stock into a bowl. Keep warm for use in the stew, otherwise cool and store in a refrigerator.

Now its time to make the stew. Heat up a sauté pan with some butter and sauté the lamb cubes on high heat on all sides for about 3-5 minutes. Lower the heat and start feeding the meat with chopped garlic, chili, anchovies and rosemary. The anchovies will melt completely in the pan and give the meat and sauce an excellent taste. Spoon over some warm stock now and again. The meat should not be bathing in stock, just make sure it never gets too dry.
Chop the onion into rings. In a separate pan, sauté the onions in butter (I use a lot) on very low heat until soft. Put aside.
When the lamb is ready (between1-2 hours) feed with more garlic and rosemary and add the onions and the rest of the stock. If necessary season with salt and pepper. (This is also a good time to let the stew rest while you go get the wine.) Before serving, let it cook for about 5 minutes. I normally serve the stew together with sautéed collard greens, baked potatoes and parsnips (and of course with a matching red wine).

Pannbiff med Lök (patties with onion) and Lingonberry Sauce


In Sweden I once lived next to a lovely girl. We weren’t only neighbors, we also shared the toilet that was out on the staircase. After a while we became really good friends and started to share other things. I only had a black and white TV, so we spent many evenings on her sofa watching color TV. I had a freezer and she had a toaster. One day when I was frying bacon for my Sunday breakfast, she banged on my door. I thought I had upset her with the bacon odor, as she is a vegetarian (who eats fish!). But she just wanted to stop by and say how wonderful the smell was coming from my apartment. So without any regrets I continued flavoring the staircase with my cooking. Another day she came again and told me she couldn’t take it any more. My dear neighbor wanted meat. I suggested pannbiff med lök (flat meatball or rather patties with onions).

the patties

0.7 kg (1.5 lb) ground beef (or half pork and half beef)
one onion
three cloves of garlic
3 tablespoons bread crumbs
150 ml (2/3 cups) half and half or milk
1 eggs
salt and pepper
some fresh or dried herbs, such as oregano, thyme, sage, rosemary and/or parsley

Chop the onion and the clove of garlic very thinly. Sauté them in some olive oil until soft. In the meantime mix together the breadcrumbs, half and half and the egg with the ground meat. When the onions are ready mix them with the meat mixture and season with herbs, salt and pepper. Let the mixture rest for awihle. I always start by sauté-ing only one piece of the mixture, to make sure I have the right amount of spices. When the meat mixture has the taste you want, start rolling and flattening the patties. Take one tablespoon full, roll it in your hands and flatten it a little. Sauté them on quite high temperature. You can lower the temperature when they start to get some color. Take out the finished patties and keep them on the side. When you have done all of the patties, pour some water into the pan. Let it cook a bit and take the pan off the heat. This gravy will be used in the sauce.

lingonberry sauce

3 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoon flour
100-200 ml (1/2 to 1 cup) gravy from the meatballs
400 ml (1 2/3 cups) milk
100-200 ml (1/2 to 1 cup) cream
3-4 tablespoons lingonberry or cranberry jam
salt and pepper
oregano or thyme
a little soy sauce

Melt some butter in a saucepan and mix in the flour. Add the gravy and let it boil. Pour in the milk followed by the cream and let the sauce boil for 2-3 minutes. Add the lingonberry jam and season with salt, pepper, herbs and a little soy sauce. Sometimes I even drop some red wine into the sauce.

caramelized onions

2 yellow onions
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Chop the onions in rings. Heat up some butter and sauté the onions. Add the sugar and cook until onions are soft and golden brown.


Heat up the frying pan again together with some oil or butter. Place the patties in the pan and pour over the sauce. When the sauce starts to boil it’s done. Serve the dish with boiled potatoes, lingonberry jam and some pickled gherkins.

When I moved, my friend went back to being a fish-eating vegetarian…

Note: There are many ways to make your patties or meatballs. For example some say eggs are not needed and some say it makes the mixture more porous and easier to sauté. Most recipes tell you to soak the breadcrumbs in the milk for 5-10 minutes to avoid a bread taste in your meatballs. That may be a good idea, but I have never done that and my meatballs have never ever tasted of bread.

Apple and Prune Stuffed Chicken


I am not used to celebrate Thanksgiving with all that goes with it. But as many people leave town to be with their families, we nearly always arrange something for those friends who are still here. I am not a turkey fan; I prefer goose, duck or even chicken. Last year our dear friend Russel brought two gorgeous chickens. The chickens came from Iowa, where they were brought up in a tree. Not really true, but as they were always outside, they flew up into the tree during the night so the fox couldn’t reach them. Anyway, Russel got them and the dinner was absolutely delicious.

one organic chicken
one apple
dried prunes
salt and some pepper

Clean the chicken and rub it with a piece of lemon, both inside and outside. Rub also the chicken with a mixture of salt and pepper. Fill the stomach with thyme, apple pieces and prunes. Take an oven safe string and bind the legs of the chicken. Grease an oven tin with butter and bake the chicken in the oven at 175° (350 F) for 1-2 hours. The time depends on the size of the chicken, I always count 1 hour per kilo (about 2 pounds), but with the filling it can take even longer. The chicken is done when you can easily loosen the legs. To give the chicken a great golden brown color, poor the fat over it from the bottom of the tin. Let the chicken cool down a little before cutting it.

Heat up some of the fat from the chicken. I always let some of the apples and prunes cook in the fat for a greater taste. Filter the sauce before adding some milk or cream. Heat it up again and when it starts to boil lower the temperature and season with salt, pepper and some lingonberries or cranberries. Serve with boiled potatoes, the sauce, sour pickled gherkins, lingonberries and a salad.

This recipe is from my mother, its how she would prepare a goose. I think many prepare their Thanksgiving turkey in a similar way. This year I will do duck.

Body Cakes (Kroppkakor)


I have never participated in a Body Cake competition; I don’t think I have the body for it. It’s not about how well or pretty you make them, the winner is the one who eats the most! They are heavy but still one of my favorites of the Swedish traditional comfort foods. There are many different variations of it; some areas do it with raw potatoes and some like them as I do below.

6-7 big potatoes
one egg
300 ml (1.2 cups) flour
one tea spoon salt
200 g (0.45 lb) bacon or salted pork
one teaspoon salt and some pepper

Peel the potatoes and boil them until they are done. Mash the potatoes and mix with the egg and flour. Season with salt. Cut the bacon and the onion in small pieces. Start to sauté the onions. Add the bacon and sauté them together until the bacon is crispy. Season with some pepper.

Form the potatoes mixture into a big roll. Slice the roll in pieces. Press your thumb in the middle and fill it with some of the bacon mixture. Cover the filling and make a ball of it. The size can be a little bit smaller than a tennis ball. Repeat the procedure until you are done.

Heat up water with salt and when it’s boiling, drop some of the body cakes into the water. When the body cakes floats up, boil them for about five minutes.

Serve with lingonberry jam or cranberry jam, melted butter, grated carrots and a glass of beer. I also always have extra bacon pieces on the side. Leftover Body Cakes are great to slice and sauté the day after.

By the way I am now back in East Village from my lovely stay in Sweden, with some great stops in Copenhagen and London.

(This kind of Body Cake you can call Småländska Kroppkakor. This recipe is rewritten from a recipe in the Swedish cookbook Vår Kok Bok, 1975)