Nordic food

I like Nordic cooking. The reason is quite long.

If Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s Scandimania and The Hairy Biker’s Northern Exposure are to be believed, there is something very exciting about Nordic cooking. But there really isn’t. That in itself is novel.

You see, I’m from Britain. A country not known for its spicy food. As the timeless Good Gracious Me sketch ably demonstrates.

But it goes further. When Fearnley made his show TV Dinners he searched the country for people who really went all out for their dinner parties. However, when he floated his boat up as far as Yorkshire, he went ot see a man who did an amazing Sunday roast. The conversation went sometime like this:

Hugh: “That is a beautiful piece of beef. What are you going to do with it?”

Yorkshireman: “Just roast it.”

Hugh: “Just roast it?”

Yorkshireman: “That’s right.”

Hugh: “Are you going to season it with anything?”

Yorkshireman: “No, I’m just going to roast it.”

In a country known for its bland food, I live in the county that thinks the rest of the country goes a bit too crazy with all that fancy seasoning nonsense.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because when I tell you that Nordic food is fucking bland, I want you to appreciate the true enormity of that statement. They are not messing about here. Traditional Nordic dishes have taken bland to a whole new level.

Check out this photo of me preparing a Nordic stew:


Normally, a stew would consist of some meat, with some vegetables, and seasoned with some salt and pepper, and a bay leaf or two. Not this recipe. You put a much of red meat in a pot, and you boil it for five hours.

Most dishes are served with boiled potatoes, but I like to go wild, so I whipped up some traditional root vegetable mash to go with it. It is like regular mash, except it comes with bits of swede and carrot in it that in no way make it look exactly like sick.


Or, if that doesn’t float your boat, why not fry up some potato cakes?


If you really want to go big, why not make a meatloaf? Simply get as much mince meat as you can, shape it into a bread loaf, wrap it in bacon, and cook it for a few hours.


Every mouthful wiped about a week off my life expectancy. It was totally worth it. If you want to add some variety of your diet, you could add some fish. However, even in that case, the Nordic recipe turns it brown.


Unfortunately, even my sauté pan was not big enough to fit the breaded sea bass in.

Whether these Nordic classics will make it onto our regular rotation remains to be seen. I do like these recipes however. They are simple. Most of them involve piling ingredients into a pot and leaving it for ages. There are odd parallels between having to build a fire pit to stay alive in a frozen forest and the stress of modern day life: both greatly benefit from recipes that can be slow-cooked with almost no interaction.


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This entry was posted on Friday, April 8th, 2016 at 10:17 am and is filed under Food. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.