A classic Swedish dish for cooler months, Kalops (or Swedish Beef Stew) is proof that you don’t need tons of ingredients to make a delicious serving of comfort food. Try and judge for yourself!
This Swedish beef stew is hands-down, the simplest stew that I have ever come across.
No wine, no tomato sauce, no tomato paste, no garlic — and kalops is cooked on the stovetop the entire time.
Don’t think it skimps on flavor, though.
Nope, quite the opposite; it absolutely packs a punch when it comes to taste.
Do you know what the secret is? It’s allspice.
So, if you have not used allspice before, you are in for a treat!
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- Beef – cut your stewing beef into chunks, when preparing kalops.
- Flour – you need this for coating the beef, and that same coating makes the sauce of your Swedish beef stew thicker.
- Carrots – peeled and chopped at about half an inch.
- Onions – you can either cut it into quarters or eight parts for making kalops.
- Olive oil – extra virgin olive oil, if possible.
- Stock – I use beef stock to give more depth to the stew’s sauce.
- Bay leaf – you will need a couple for this Swedish stew recipe.
- Allspice – whole, not powdered or ground.
- Salt & pepper – for seasoning both the meat and the sauce for kalops.
Start preparing your Swedish stew by generously seasoning the beef with salt and pepper, then dust them with flour.
Roll the pieces of beef on the flour to make sure that they’re adequately coated.
Pour oil into a large saucepan and set over medium-high heat.
Once the oil is ready, slowly add the chunks of beef into the pan. Do not overcrowd the pan.
Turn the beef on all sides to ensure that they’re evenly browned — adjusting the heat to medium if needed.
Depending on the size of your pan, you might need to cook the meat in batches.
Place all the browned beef back into the pan and pour the stock into it.
Add salt, pepper, allspice, and bay leaf; then mix to combine.
Cover with a lid, then bring your kalops a boil.
Adjust the heat to low and simmer for at least an hour, occasionally stirring to check that nothing sticks at the bottom of the pan.
Remove the lid, taste your Swedish stew, and adjust the seasoning, if needed.
Add the chopped onions and carrots, then mix.
Place the lid back on and continue simmering for forty to sixty minutes or until the beef becomes tender.
Transfer your Swedish stew into plates and serve.
- Shake off any excess flour in the meat before adding them to the oil for browning.
- Do not hesitate to lower the heat when frying the beef, especially if you see that they are getting dark too soon.
- If you think you need more oil when browning the meat in batches, add a tablespoon of oil at a time.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning of your Swedish stew before adding the vegetables AND before turning the heat off.
- Water. Stock is not used traditionally for kalops — instead, only water is added to the meat.
So don’t worry if you don’t have any stock on hand. I just feel that there’s more depth in ‘beef flavor’ when beef stock is used.
- Cornstarch. If you think the sauce is not thick enough, mix a couple of teaspoons of cornstarch with a bit of water and add it during the last cooking stage.
Although it’s not traditional, I have some friends who prepare kalops this way. I don’t, though. I think the flour at the start of the cooking is enough to thicken the stew’s sauce.
As you can in the images, we serve kalops with boiled potatoes and pickled beets.
So, if you want to keep it authentic, do not add the potatoes to the stew. Serve it separately instead.
So, give this Swedish stew a try one of these days — it’s the perfect time of the year for it!
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Swedish Beef Stew Recipe (Kalops)
- 1/2 kg beef (about 1 pound)
- 2 tbsp flour
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 & 1/2 cups stock
- 1/2 tsp allspice, whole
- 2 pcs bay leaf
- 2 medium onions, (chopped into 8 parts)
- 2 medium carrots, (chopped at about 1/2-inch)
- salt and pepper, to season
- Season beef with salt (generously) and pepper.
- Dust them with flour and try to coat them evenly with it.
- Pour oil into a large saucepan and set the pan over medium-high heat.
- Once the oil is ready, slowly add the pieces of beef while leaving some space in between — do not overcrowd the pan.
- Brown the beef on all sides, adjusting the heat to medium if needed.
- Depending on the size of your pan, you might need to cook the meat in batches.
- Place all the browned beef back into the pan and pour the stock.
- Add salt, pepper, allspice, and bay leaf; then mix to combine.
- Cover your Swedish beef stew with a lid and bring to a boil.
- Adjust the heat to low and simmer for at least 60 minutes, occasionally stirring to make sure nothing will stick at the bottom of the pan.
- Remove the lid, taste, and adjust the seasoning of your kalops, if needed.
- Add the chopped onions and carrots, then mix.
- Place the lid back on and continue simmering for 40 to 60 minutes or until the beef becomes tender.
- Transfer your Swedish stew into serving plates and enjoy!
- Cook’s Tip #1: Shake off any excess flour in the meat before adding them to the oil for browning.
- Cook’s Tip #2: Do not hesitate to lower the heat when frying the beef, especially if you see that they are getting dark too soon.
- Cook’s Tip #3: If you think you need more oil when browning the meat in batches, add a tablespoon of oil at a time.
- Cook’s Tip #4: Remember to taste and adjust the seasoning of your kalops, before adding the vegetables and again before turning the heat off.
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