Kalops stew

Kalops stew

The New Nordic
Simon Bajada

This traditional stew is believed to have been developed during the 1800s, when Sweden was heavily influenced by British cuisine. The name comes from the old English word ‘collops’, referring to ‘pieces of meat’. Hailing from Skane in south Sweden, its distinct aromatic flavour is due to the combination of white pepper and allspice, a popular import in the region. Allspice is not a mix of spices, as most people think; it is actually a very aromatic berry with flavour notes similar to cloves, cinnamon and nutmeg. Traditionally served with pickled beetroot – yes, another one! – here, I have topped the stew with some meltingly soft leeks, pickled parsnip and chopped toasted hazelnuts for a texture contrast.


Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
2 tablespoons salted butter
1kg stewing beef pieces, such as chuck
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon plain flour
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
2 tomatoes, chopped
2 onions, chopped
4 carrots, roughly chopped into 2 cm pieces
2 teaspoons caster sugar
8 dried allspice berries
3 bay leaves
1 parsnip
Heavy pickling solution
600g potatoes, peeled
25g toasted hazelnuts, chopped, to garnish


Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons salted butter
1/2 leek, halved lengthways, green part only


  1. Heat half the rapeseed oil and half the butter in a large heavy-based saucepan. Season the beef with salt and white pepper and brown for about 4 minutes in the hot fat. When coloured all over, sprinkle with the flour and cook, stirring the meat around until the pan becomes dry.
  2. Add the vinegar and 2 tablespoons water and use these to deglaze the pan, scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom. Transfer to a flameproof casserole dish and add the tomatoes.
  3. Clean the original pan and sauté the onions and carrots in the remaining oil and butter until the onions are soft and translucent. Tip into the casserole with the sugar, allspice and bay leaves. Pour in enough water to just cover the meat.
  4. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook with the lid on for about 1 hour.
  5. Stir the stew occasionally and halfway through cooking check the liquid level to see it has not dried out; top up if needed.
  6. Slice the parsnip into thin rounds, put in a non-metallic bowl, pour over the pickling solution and leave to pickle for at least 20 minutes.
  7. After the stew has been cooking for 35 minutes, get the potatoes on to boil and while they are cooking prepare the leek. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Rub the butter on a sheet of foil and place the leek, cut side down, on top. Wrap in the foil, place on a baking tray and cook in the oven for 15 minutes until deliciously soft.
  8. Serve the stew with the boiled potatoes and the leeks, garnished with the chopped hazelnuts and drained parsnip slices.
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