Swede and Sour Kitchen

Written by a gal from NYC living in Sweden, this blog dabbles in Swedish food and culture!

Swedish Sailor’s Beef

swedish sailor's beef

Hello, hello and Happy New Year!

We have survived our trip to the U.S. and it feels really great to be back in Sweden again . I’ve been here for about three and a half years and it has really begun to feel more and more like home. It’s good I guess!

Also, we’ve realized that when we’re away, it’s hard on the kids and it’s harder on us. It makes me wonder why we would even consider traveling anywhere in the next five years. In any case, we can’t possibly just stay home. That would be absolutely tragic! So we must go on and just lose that fear of traveling with children. Right? RIGHT?

So this year, I hope I’ll get to spend more time with this blog, as (I know!!!!)it’s been neglected the last eighteen months.  I really appreciate you all who appreciate Swedish food culture, so I promise that I’ll do my bestest!

So let’s start with Sailor’s Beef, or translated literally, Seaman’s Beef. I do skew towards calling it Seaman’s Beef because it sounds a little “funny” and a little ridiculous, but Aron assures me that it’s Sailor’s Beef.  Anyway, it’s the real deal Swedish comfort food, that’s warm and satisfying when the nippy winter wind blows outside. Meat, potatoes, and BEER. It feels like a “man’s” dish. Grrrrr…..

There isn’t much information about its origin but I’m guessing that it comes from the coastal areas of the country… where…sailors… lived (?!?!?). According to one site, “Sailor’s Beef shows up in Swedish cookbooks at the beginning of last century.  Allegedly, Sailor’s Beef was previously called Beef Nelson“.  And another states that “However, what is established is that it is derived from the Flemish sailors who wanted a hearty and simple stew at sea .

This dish is fairly simple to make and quite a necessity when it’s snowy and blustery out, just as it is in Malmö right now!

swedish sailor's beef 2

Swedish Sailor’s Beef

recipe from http://www.alltommat.se/recept/Sjomansbiff-2713

6 servings

2 yellow onions
1 tablespoon butter
about 1¼ pounds bottom round steak
¼ cup flour
1 teaspoon black pepper, coarsely ground
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter
2½ pounds potatoes
2 bay leaves
½ teaspoon dried thyme
1½ cups water
1 cube beef bouillon
1 can beer
fresh parsley, finely chopped
dill pickles (optional)
mustard (optional)

1. Thinly slice the onions and fry them on medium heat in a skillet with butter until golden. Set aside.

2. Chop the beef into about ½-inch thick slices. Pound the meat using a meat tenderizer. If you don’t have this tool, place the slabs of meat in a plastic bag and flatten it with the bottom of a frying pan.

3. Combine the flour, pepper, and salt in a bowl and add the meat . Mix thoroughly. Brown each side in a hot frying pan with butter- about 30 seconds on each side is enough.

4. Peel and thinly slice the potatoes.

5. Layer the potatoes, browned onions, browned pieces of meat, bay leaves, and thyme in a deep pan. Both the bottom and top layers should be potatoes. Dissolve the bouillon cube in boiling water and pour over the layers. Pour the beer into the pan and simmer, covered, for  about 1½ hours ( I let it cook for about 3 hours so that the meat was very tender) on low heat.

6. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with pickled cucumbers and mustard.

5 comments on “Swedish Sailor’s Beef

  1. Kate
    January 17, 2014

    This looks delicious! I just got a dutch oven for Christmas and this looks like a great way to break it in.

    • Gypsee
      January 17, 2014

      Hi Kate,

      oooohhhhh! A dutch oven, I wish I had one of those. I think the meat would turn out so so lovely in that. We had it for dinner last night and it was YUMMMMMMYYYYY!!!! Let me know how it turns out.


      • Kate
        February 5, 2014

        It was great! I loved the suggestion of eating it with pickles and mustard, too… I can never eat enough of those foods.😉

  2. Gypsee
    January 19, 2014

    I love goat meat, especially when stewed. I’d imagine it would taste slightly heartier and richer! Think I’ll have to try that out in the future.

    Great idea!


  3. Melaine
    May 22, 2014

    It is not my first time to pay a quick visit this web page, i am visiting this web
    page dailly and get nice information from here everyday.


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This entry was posted on January 16, 2014 by in Dinner, English, Lunch, Main Dish, Meat, Recipes and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , .
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