Written by a gal from NYC living in Sweden, this blog dabbles in Swedish food and culture!
I thought Americans were known for their hot dog consumption, but Sweden has their fair share of sausage love. In the States, though a hot dog is a type of sausage, we differentiate between sausages and hot dogs. Sausages tend to contain a higher percentage of meat and are usually cured dried, or smoked. Hot dogs are made from cheap meats, ground up lips and ass, that are sold in packages of 10.
Sausage culture here in Sweden is a bit strange. Korv, the word for sausage, encompasses all ground meats encased in a skin. However, most Swedish sausages taste and look like variations of hotdogs. Looking for Chorizo in Sweden? You’ll get a package of finely ground meat “sausages” with a little bit of “ethnic” flavor. Kielbasa? You get a fairly spciy version of hot dog flavored with garlic and onion. Needless to say, there have been many a sausage debate at home! And the thing is, Swedish “sausages” are not too bad, as long as you’re not expecting the type of sausages that you may find in countries like Spain or Italy.
One sausage that deserves special attention is Falukorv. It’s nothing like I’ve ever seen in the States. It’s strictly Swedish, I would say. If you can picture a hotdog on steroids, that’s what Falukorv is. Though it’s referred to as a sausage here, it’s actually just a BIG hotdog. A big hot dog that tastes a little like bologna, and even a little like SPAM.
Falukorv originated in the famous copper mines of Falun, a city in Dalarna County. In the 1500-1600s, miners used oxhide as ropes to lift the copper out. Left with an overabundance of meat, they were taught by fellow German miners how sausages were made and hence, Falukorv. It is name-protected in Sweden, which means it has to contain at least 40 percent beef and/or pork.
Since the mass production of this…ehem…”hot dog”, it has been incorporated into many dishes. For example, Korv Stroganoff is basically Beef Stroganoff with Falukorv instead of beef. But now, we’re going to concentrate on a classic dish, Oven-baked Falukorv. It’s…interesting. Really!
1 ring Falukorv, 800 g (in the US: Ring Bologna by Wikstrom’s)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 cup heavy cream
½ cup grated cheese
chopped parsley for garnish
Side dish: mashed potatoes or boiled potatoes
1. Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C) and begin boiling some potatoes if you want a side dish.
2. Remove the skin from the Falukorv. Cut slits about three quarters of the way into the sausage, about ½-inch apart. Do not cut all the way through, the sausage should still be connected in one piece.
3. Drizzle olive oil onto the bottom of a baking dish or heat-resistant pan.
4. Set the Falukorv on the baking dish.
5. Cut the apple into thin slices, remove seeds, and carefully stick them into every other slit.
6. Peel and chop the onion into thin slices and stick them into the remaining slits .
7. Chop the tomato into thin slices and add them to whichever slits you can.
8. If you can’t fit all the apples, onions and tomatoes, just spread them around the sausage and spoon them up with each serving later.
9. Mix the mustard and heavy cream together and drizzle over the sausage.
10. Top the Falukorv with grated cheese.
11. Set the Falukorv in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until it is nicely browned and cooked through. Meanwhile, make your mashed potatoes or just serve potatoes boiled whole.
12. Remove from oven and garnish with chopped parsley. Serve and enjoy!