Trine Hahnemann’s favourite winter stew recipe – labskovs

This is classic Scandinavian comfort food, a mash cooked with meat and lots of flavour, served with chives and pickled beetroot. I always cook enough for two days, because it is even better on the second day. Probably my favourite classic Scandinavian comfort food.

Serves 4-6
chuck steak 500g
butter 2 tbsp
water 800ml
bay leaves 2
yellow onion 1 medium, chopped
garlic 2 cloves, chopped
whole peppercorns 1 tsp, lightly crushed
thyme 3 sprigs
coarse salt 1 tbsp
floury potatoes 1kg
parsnips 200g

For serving
pickled beetroot
chives 6 tbsp, chopped
slices of rye bread

Cut the pieces of meat into 2cm x 2cm chunks, brown lightly in half of the butter in a large saucepan, then add the water and bring gradually to a boil. Skim any froth from the surface. Add the bay leaves, onion, garlic, whole peppercorns, thyme and salt. Let it simmer for 1 hour.

While the meat is simmering, peel the potatoes and parsnips and cut into chunks 2cm x 2cm. After 1 hour, add the potatoes and parsnips to the meat and simmer for another 45 minutes, or until the meat is very tender and falls apart easily. Check if any water needs to be drained off, then stir in the rest of the butter.

Use a balloon whisk to mash the potatoes and parsnips and meat all together – but note that the stew must remain lumpy. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

Serve with pickled beetroot, chopped chives and slices of rye bread.