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Beef stew – a Swedish classic for houndreds of years

Stew is a Swedish and Finnish dish made from chuck steak. Here is a version from Skåne, full of flavour, with a rich, dark gravy with carrots in it.
Östra Göinge • Publicerad 4 november 2021

In Finnish the dish is called kalopsi, or vatkuli. The recipe was familiar in Sweden in 1775, when appeared in Cajsa Warg´s cookery-book. The name of the dish is derived from the English ”collops”, slices of meat.

There's no doubt about it - beef stew is a classic Swedish recipe. But there are different opinions as to how the word should be pronounced, if the emphasis should be on the first or the second syllable . But pronounciation is no great issue – it´s the taste that matters.

Chuck steak can be replaced by a cheaper art of meat, but then it must be cooked longer to become tender. This recipe is taken from the book ”Världens mat i Östra Göinge” (Food from all over the world in Östra Göinge).

Pickled beetroot is the proper accompaniment to beef stew.
Pickled beetroot is the proper accompaniment to beef stew.Foto: Janerik Henriksson/TT

Beef stew from Skåne


800 gr chuck steak

3 onions

4 carrots

6 1/2 tbsp veal stock

2 bay leaves

10 allspice berries

1/2 tsp salt

Black pepper

Butter or oil for frying



1. Cut the beef into 3-4 cm pieces. Brown in the butter/oil in a frying-pan. Do a few pieces at a time so that the meat does not begin to boil.

2.Transfer the meat to a pan. Add the veal stock. Bring to the boil and skim if necessary.

3. Crush the allspice coarsely in a mortar and add to the pan, along with the bay-leaves, salt and pepper.

4. Peel and slice the onions and carrots and add to the pan. Let everything simmer over a low heat for 1-1,5 hours (or to the meat is tender).

5. Season to taste with salt and pepper. You can thicken the stew with a little Maizena mixed with water. This gives the stew a better consistency.

Serve with boiled potatoes, pickled beetroot, carrots and jelly.

Beetroot.Foto: Shutterstock.com
Inga-Lill BengtssonSkicka e-post
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