2 December 2012

Biff à la Lindström

It's Friday and the last day of November and Lundulph has had a nasty cold all week, so I thought I'd make a nice dinner. I have a feeling that Friday dinner tends to be fancier in Sweden, but I may well be wrong, it may be something we've had in my family as a celebratory start of the week-end of sorts.


So I finally made biff á la Lindström, a Swedish classic. There are several variations on the story behind, but they all seem to have in common that this recipe originates from Russia and was brought back to Sweden almost 200 years ago by a man called Henrik Lindström and put on the menu of his restaurant.

I didn't spend too much time on researching, as I came across a recipe (in Swedish) that seemed reasonable and I did it. However, it does require some tweaking as it was a bit on the salty side and I would like some of the flavours to come through stronger. I've tried to adjust the amounts below, but I've not confirmed them yet. The amounts are enough for 4 portions. I served with roast potato wedges with paprika and I added fried funnel chanterelles to the "jus".

4 tbsp fine breadcrumbs
1.5 dl water
1 onion
butter for frying
5 tbsp finely chopped gherkins
2 tbsp finely chopped capers
5 tbsp finely chopped pickled beetroot
400 g beef mince meat
1 egg
0.5 tsp salt
0.25 tsp black pepper
butter for frying
2 dl beef stock


  1. Place the breadcrumbs and the water in a large bowl, stir around and let stand and swell up for 10 minutes.
  2. Peel and dice the onion finely, then fry for a couple of minutes in a little butter, then let them cool down a little.
  3. Finely chop the gherkins, capers and beetroot.
  4. Add the chopped vegetables, the mince meat, the onion, the egg, salt and pepper into the breadcrumb mixture and mix well.
  5. Keep a bowl with water next to you and wet your hands and shape 8 patties/hamburgers from the mixture and place on a wet chopping board or on a piece of cling film.
  6. Pre-heat the oven and place an oven safe dish in it. Heat up a little butter in a large frying pan on medium heat and fry the patties for 3 - 4 minutes on each side, taking care not to crowd them. When done, transfer to the oven safe dish and keep warm.
  7. Once done, de-glaze the frying pan with the beef stock.

As I said, I added fried funnel chanterelles to the de-glazing jus, which was nice.

For the potatoes, it is a variation of my Mum's trusted recipe - it works either with paprika or garlic. Lundulph made the choice of paprika this time, I quite fancied garlic possibly with rosemary, but in hindsight, it wouldn't have worked, so I'm glad I went for Lundulph's choice. I've made them before, but I made some changes this time, so I'm writing down the recipe here as well.

4 large baking potatoes
1.5 tsp sweet paprika
1.5 tsp salt
0.5 dl grapeseed oil


  1. Peel the potatoes and cut into wedges.
  2. Steam the potato wedges for 5 - minutes.
  3. In the mean time, pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C and grease up a deep roasting tin.
  4. Transfer the potatoes to the roasting tin and sprinkle paprika and salt over. Drizzle more grapeseed oil and stir around to get the spices and oil spread around.
  5. Bake for about an hour, stirring a couple of times.

Actually I started with the potatoes and baked them in the main oven, while I made the beef patties, which I kept warm in the grill oven of my cooker.

So on the whole, it was quite nice, but I expected stronger flavour of beetroot and gherkin and not as much salt. Lundulph liked it too, even though he's not a big fan of capers. And the potatoes are so lovely, it's hard to stop eating them. I probably should have used 5 baking potatoes, though the amounts above should do fine for 4 persons.

Sadly I didn't measure how many funnel chanterelles I used, it was an emergency de-frost in a bowl of hot water, because I forgot to take them out of the freezer this morning. I'm guessing it was around 500 - 600 g.

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