Swedes eat game to the same extent as Americans eat it. You can buy it, but usually you know someone who knows someone who hunts during hunting season. Of course, it’s not to everyone’s taste; game does have a very distinct flavour. Especially bear, moose, and wild hog are really “gamy”. I, however, find game amazingly good, together with other deep flavours like port wine, Jerusalem artichokes, chanterelles, and other products commonly eaten in the North. This is my take on moose or reindeer, your choice. Both work great with this recipe! Moose with its strong flavour of game, whereas reindeer is more delicate.
Potato gratin (for 4 people, so multiply as you wish)
- 4 large potato per person
- 8 tablespoons of fresh cream
- 12 tablespoons of grated strong cheese (such as Västerbottenost if you can get a hold of it, or cheddar if you can’t)
- Some black pepper
- Some salt to taste (but probably won’t need it if you find a really salty strong cheddar or other strong cheese)
- Firstly, thinly slice the potatoes using a knife or mandolin
- In mini cocotte (to make portion sized gratins, or one big if you prefer to share) place a layer of potato slices.
- Grate the cheese and sprinkle on top.
- Now another layer of potato slices, and then cheese, and then potatoes and then cheese… you get the point.
- Top it off with more cheese. And then pour fresh cream over it.
- Into an oven on 175 degrees celsius for 40 minutes until the potatoes are really soft. Then turn ut up to 250 degrees to give the cheese on top a nice brown color.
- Let it set for a few minutes, it’s very liquid right out of the oven.
- Finish off with freshly cracked black pepper.
The sauce (again, for about 4 people)
- A whole bottle of port wine
- 1 onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- 3 tablespoons of butter
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of pepper
- A game stock (if you can get a hold of it) or beef stock
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- A teaspoon of starch (potato starch or corn starch is good)
- A teaspoon of finely chopped thyme or dried thyme
- A teaspoon of finely chopped rosemary or dried rosemary
- In a saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon of butter
- Finely chop onion and garlic and fry with the thyme and rosemary in butter until soft
- Add whole bottle of port wine and reduce to about 50%, just let it boil until half of the liquid is gone
- Sieve the sauce and make sure to get all that juice out of the soft onions, garlic and herbs. Discard onion and garlic.
- Then, add beef stock. If it’s concentrated, you don’t need to wait for the next step. If it’s not concentrated, wait until it’s reduced to the same amount of liquid as step 3.
- Now thicken the sauce a tiny bit by mixing a teaspoon of starch with some water. Take the saucepan off the stove, and beat the sauce furiously while adding the starch little at a time. Now keep beating it as you heat it up again, and it will thicken without getting lumpy
- Now add the rest of the butter and melt in in the sauce. It will get all shiny and good. Try it… If it’s a little too tart, add a teaspoon of sugar. It all depends on the type of port wine you used.
Lingonberries Swedish style (Rårörda lingon)
- 500 grams of lingonberries
- 1 dl of sugar
- Wash the lingonberries and combine them with the sugar
- Place in a jar and leave refrigerated for at least 24 hours, and you’re done
Game and stuff (4 portions)
- 4 Jerusalem artichokes (also called topinambours)
- 4 handfuls of chanterelles
- 800 grams of moose strip loin cut into 4 pieces
- A lot of butter
- Black pepper
- In a saucepan or frying pan, melt a large spoon of butter
- Wash and thinly slice the Jerusalem artichokes, and fry them in the butter together with the mushrooms
- Finish off with some salt and pepper
- In a frying pan, melt a lot of butter… trust me, a lot of butter is good for this!
- Fry the filet to give it color. Keep pouring melted butter from the pan over the meat to keep it moist and beautiful.
- Finally, add some salt and pepper
Some sauce, some lingonberries, some crispy Jerusalem artichokes and mushrooms, and a piece of elk. Serve it straightaway with a wonderful gratin on the side.