My favourite winter stew from childhood: labskovs

My favourite winter stew from childhood: labskovs

By
From
Scandinavian Comfort Food
Serves
6
Photographer
Columbus Leth

Here is a classic Scandinavian comfort food dish, and probably my favourite: a mash cooked with meat and flavourings, served with chives and pickled beetroot. I always cook enough for two days, because it is even better the second day. This recipe is 100 years old and originally it was made with leftovers. Later, after the Second World War, it became popular in restaurants in Copenhagen, especially in the restaurant in Tivoli Gardens.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1kg chuck steak
50g butter
1.2 litres water
250g onions, chopped
6 bay leaves
6 thyme sprigs
4 cloves
1 tablespoon peppercorns, lightly crushed
1 tablespoon coarse sea salt
2.5kg floury potatoes

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
6 tablespoons chopped chives
Pickled beetroot
slices rye bread

Method

  1. Cut the steak into 2-cm cubes. Heat 1 Tbsp of the butter in a large saucepan, add the steak and brown lightly, then add the water and bring gradually to the boil, skimming off any froth from the surface. Add the onions, bay leaves, thyme sprigs, cloves, peppercorns and salt and let it simmer for 1 hour.
  2. While it is simmering, peel the potatoes and cut into 2-cm cubes. Add to the meat and let it simmer for another hour, or until the meat is very tender and falls apart easily. Drain off any excess water then stir in the remaining 2 Tbsp butter. Use a balloon whisk to mix the potatoes and meat together into a mash, with the stew remaining lumpy. Serve sprinkled with chopped chives, with the pickled beetroot and slices of rye bread alongside it.
Tags:
Scandinavian
Danish
Swedish
comfort food
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