Traditional cooking in Sweden is called husmanskost. The word is a little hard to translate, but the concept is home-made food of few and simple and fairly cheap ingredients. It’s basically the stuff your grandparents grew up on.
With globalization and pizza and sushi and all that, somewhere around the 90’s husmanskost became pretty outdated. It just wasn’t cool to eat meatloaf, potatoes and gravy anymore. Tacos and tapas, that’s what was cool. However, husmanskost is getting back in the game. Hot and trendy restaurants dedicated to this old style cooking has popped up here and there and celebrity chefs give out cookbooks with new takes on old dishes. All of a sudden, husmanskost has become hipster.
Rumor has it, my boyfriend’s former child minder was something of a guru when it comes to this kind of cooking, so he grew up eating things like cod in egg sauce, kroppkakor and this dish: dill meat. (I know, it sounds pretty odd in English.) One day, after a moving speech on how great this dill meat was and how much he missed it, I promised I would make it for him. The trick with this wasn’t the actual recipe (and the fact that I was competing with a dead child minder-saint) but that I have never made, tasted or even seen dill meat before, so I had no idea of how it was supposed to be.
My boyfriend gave a vague description of something “dill-y and vinegar-y, and preferably with big carrots”, so that was what I was aiming for. (He’s also the mastermind behind the camera, by the way, check out more of his work here.)
Like with most husmanskost, it’s simple but slow cooking. First, I boiled the meat and carrots, onion and leek for about an hour, then I poured out about half the broth and added cream and a reduction of dill, sugar, water and vinegar essence. Lastly, I topped it all of with fresh dill and served it with potatoes. According to expert opinion, it was good but needed more dill, salt and vinegar. I was a little disappointed, but decided that for my first try, it was acceptable. Like I said, it’s hard to compete with a saint.