Introduction to the Swedish Classic: Jansson’s Frestelse
by Anna Brones
Translating Janssons frestelse is always a funny thing. It doesn’t quite have the same ring to it in English. But if anything, this dish sticks true to it’s name: tempted you will be.
Commonly part of the Swedish Christmas table it’s a classic dish that also makes its way onto the menu at Easter. In true Swedish fashion, the gratin-style potato dish is full of cream and butter; there’s no better way to eat potatoes. A traditional dish that’s sure to tempt everyone at the table.
serves about 4
8 big potatoes
1-2 yellow onions
about 20 Swedish cured sprats*
1 ¼ cream or half and half
salt (but just if necessary the sprats can be very salty)
handful bread crumbs
Peel the potatoes and cut them in thin strips. Slice the onion thinly. Saute the onion in a little butter until they soften. Layer the potatoes and the onions in a baking dish. Open the tins of anchovies and poor the juice over the potatoes. If you want the anchovies in smaller pieces cut them into halves and divide them over the potatoes. Pour half of the cream over. Sprinkle some bread crumbs and divide small lumps of butter over the dish. Bake in the oven at 440°F (200°C) for about 45 min. Just before it’s finished baking, poor over the rest of the cream.
In Sweden they serve it with beer or milk!
* In Sweden they call this fish type of cured fish ansjovis but its not real anchovies (which is called sardeller in Swedish). I, Johanna have cooked Jansson’s with anchovies without knowing it wasn’t correct. Its tasty and flavor full BUT but doesn’t get the correct flavor. We really recommend to get get hold of some Swedish cured sprats. IKEA sells them as skarpsill at IKEA.
(the recipe was adapted by Johanna Kindvall from the Swedish cook book Vår KokBok)
This article was originally published on Foodie underground on 29 March 2013.
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
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
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).
This is a popular traditional dish in Sweden. Often people serve it as ‘night food’ at big parties, as no one should go home hungry. This dish is also common on a Swedish traditional Smörgårdsbord (smorgasbord).
8 big potatoes
1-2 yellow onions
one (or maybe two) small can of anchovy fillets
300 ml (1.2 cup) cream or half and half
a little salt (be careful as the anchovies can be very salty)
Peel the potatoes and cut them in thin strips. Slice the onion thinly. Saute the onion in a little butter until they soften. Layer the potatoes and the onions in a baking dish. Open the tins of anchovies and poor the juice over the potatoes. If you want the anchovies in smaller pieces cut them into halves and divide them over the potatoes. Pour half of the cream over. Sprinkle some bread crumbs and divide small lumps of butter over the dish. Bake in the oven at 225°C (440F) for about 45 min. Just before its finished baking poor over the rest of the cream.
In Sweden they serve it with beer and vodka. Children drink milk!