Thursday, January 13, 2011

Karjalanpaisti (Finnish Stew)

Few days ago a friend of mine suggested that I tried making the Karjalanpaisti.  So I did some research. 

Karjalanpaisti (Finnish name) is also known as Karelian hotpot or Karelian Stew, It's a traditional meat stew originating from the region of Karelia (now split between Finland & Russia).  It is commonly prepared with pork and beef but lamb can also be used.  In 2007, it was selected as the national dish of Finland by the readers of Finnish newspaper Iltalehti

I have substitute some items for my stew as I could not find All Spice nor Bay leaves.  I used tarragon instead. 

Ingredients (Serves 2)

300gm pork* - Cubed (Pork shoulder meat)
300gm beef* - Cubed (Beef shin)
(300gm lamb, if you wish)
2 - 3 onions
Some carrots
2 Bay leaves
All Spice
2 tsp ground black pepper 
2 tsp salt
approximately 1-liter water or till it covers the ingredients

How to cook.

Roughly chop onions.

Melt butter in a pot, preferably the kind that goes from stove to oven.  Sauteed the onions. I added my tarragon in as well to get the fragrance of the herb into the butter as well.

Add cubed meat into pot and let it cook till slightly browned.  Add carrots, just stir around and get it well coated with the butter.

Add water just enough to cover the ingredients, add salt and black pepper.  Put the herbs in, bring it to a boil.  
Transfer pot into oven.  Bake it with lid on for 3hours at 150-175 degree celcius stirring occasionally.  If it's too wet, bake it with lid open for another 1/2 hour.  Meat should be tender and not dry.
After 3 hours in the oven @ 150 degree celsius

After 4 hours in the oven (4th hour at 170 degree celsius)

Serve with baked potatoes or mashed potatoes and lingonberry jam.  But I felt like having rice today.  So I'm serving mine with good old Jasmine rice.  

I had a sudden craving the cold tofu so I made a little side dish of Cold green tea tofu,
Stir fry garlic and shallots till golden brown with oil and 2 drops of sesame oil.  Pour some dark soy sauce on cold tofu.  Top it with garlic and shallots and some of it's remaining oil.  Garnish with crispy pork floss.

Bon Appetit
Monica Eng

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