EDITORIAL | Fried Pork Top in Denmark

Editorial

StegtFlaesk-lowres
Roast Belly Pork Slices

Dan Jørgensen, Denmark’s Minister for Food, set a European precedent in the summer when he asked Danes to vote for their favourite dishes.

It is of no surprise to FE that the eight finalists from the various regions of Denmark are dishes that fall into the category of traditional food.

First, with an overwhelming percentage of the national vote, was fried pork with parsley sauce.

It was followed in second by open sandwiches, with slightly more than a quarter of the vote.

Beef burger and onions was voted third by one in eight of the participants.

Meat rissoles were fourth, mashed potatoes with bacon and onion fifth, fried apples with pork sixth, fried herring seventh and pork chops eighth.

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Danish Food Minister
Dan Jørgensen

‘The Danes chose roast pork as Denmark’s national dish,’ said Minister Jørgensen. ‘It is a dish I even like very much.’

‘Danish and Nordic food is famous around the world,’ he said. ‘But at home in our own kitchens, we often forget our food roots. This vote has helped to excite and inspire Danes to rediscover the many good Danish dishes.’

Pork featured in four of the dishes, five if meat rissoles (which are made with minced pork and veal) are counted.

‘The vote has sparked a debate about what is Danish food,’ said Minister Jørgensen, and the choice of a pork dish that is easy to make did not surprise him.

‘It is a good old traditional Danish dish that can be made super delicious, and for many symbolises something that is also important in the discussion of food – namely tradition, comfort, and enjoyment.

‘Is it healthy to eat fried pork and parsley sauce every day?

‘No, of course it is not, but if you eat a varied and otherwise healthy diet, you can easily eat something that is not so healthy once in a while.’

Of course the purpose of Minister Jørgensen’s initative has been achieved. Since the vote was announced on November 20 a lively debate has followed and intensified in the media, in the home and in the workplaces.

We will follow the debate and report accordingly.

Here are the recipes of the Top 8 dishes in Denmark.


FIRST

Stegt Flæsk med Persillesovs

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Roast Belly Pork with Parsley Sauce


It would appear that the Danes have not lost their love for roast pork. Traditionally stegt flæsk is a fried pork dish, served with parsley sauce. But it works better roasted in a medium-hot oven. The choice of belly pork is the secret.

Many cooks believe this dish should also be served with vegetables, and fennel and endive are a good accompaniment.

  • 500 g potatoes, small, peeled
  • 16 belly pork slices, 2 cm thick, dried, salted
  • 1 endive head, quartered
  • 1 fennel bulb, quartered
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 25 g butter
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 5 g sea salt, ground

Parsley Sauce

  • 300 ml milk
  • 200 ml potato water
  • 50 g parsley, chopped small
  • 40 g white wheat flour
  • 25 g butter
  • Salt, pinch

Preheat oven to 180°C with fan, 200°C without.

Boil potatoes whole in lightly salted water, drain.

Sauté endive and fennel in butter in a heavy bottomed frying pan over a medium heat.

Add lemon juice, cover, reduce heat to lowest setting, leave to steam for 20 minutes.

Place pork on a rack over a baking tray, bake for 15 minutes. The rinds should have started to crisp.

Turn heat down and look again after five, and if necessary after a further five minutes.

Make a roux with the butter and flour, add milk and whisk vigorously. Add sufficient potato water to loosen the mixture. Cook until the sauce is a creamy consistency. Season with a little salt, add parsley, as much as you like, keep warm over a low heat until ready to pour into a serving bowl.

Serve four pork slices and a quarter of the potatoes to each person with a portion of the endive/fennel mix, garnish with lemon juice and thyme.

Argue over the sauce!


SECOND

Smørrebrød

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Salmon Open Sandwich

Fox Sauce

  • 240 ml apple vinegar
  • 200 ml oil
  • 125 g Muscovado / brown sugar
  • 100 ml taffel mustard / strong mustard
  • 1 bunch dill, half whole, half finely chopped
  • Black pepper, large pinch
  • Salt, pinch

Combine mustard, sugar and vinegar in a bowl, adding oil slowly while whisking into a sauce. Stir in dill and season.

  • 300 g salmon slices
  • 2 x 25 g butter
  • 2 pickled green tomatoes, cut into thin wedges
  • 4 slices toasted sourdough bread

Heat butter in a heavy bottomed frying pan over a medium heat.

Place two slices of bread into 25 g of butter, fry until golden. Turn over and brown in residual fat.

Repeat with remaining bread and butter.

Put bread on absorbent paper.

Arrange salmon on bread, garnish with tomatoes, dress with spoonfuls of fox sauce between the tomatoes.


Potato Open Sandwich

Creamed Potato

  • 200 g potatoes, peeled, boiled in lightly salted water
  • 100 g butter
  • 30 ml cream
  • 5 g lovage, chopped small
  • Black pepper, large pinch
  • Salt, pinch

Mash potatoes with butter, add cream, lovage and seasoning.

Green Mayo

  • 30 g mayonnaise
  • Watercress

Blend mayo and cress in a food processor until the mixture turns to a smooth green.

Onions

  • 2 onions, sliced thickly
  • 15 g butter
  • 15 g sunflower oil

Fry onions in butter and oil until golden and crispy. Remove from pan to absorbent paper.

Potatoes

  • 250 g potatoes, whole, small, unpeeled

Boil potatoes in lightly salted water. Leave to cool. Slice thin.

Rye Bread

  • 4 slices of dark rye bread
  • Butter, for spreading
  • Cress, for garnish

Spread creamed potatoes thickly on bread. Place potato slices on top of the butter. Using a teaspoon heap dollops of green mayo on top of sliced potatoes. Top with onions. Garnish with cress.


Sol over Gudhjem

Smoked Herring Open Sandwich

One of the most majestic members of the Smørrebrød family is Sun Over Gudhjem, after the Bornholm island town where the silvery-white herrings of the Baltic sea are transformed into golden fish by the smoking process, ‘the gold from the sea’.

Sun Over Gudhjem is made with a slice of rye bread, two smoked herrings, chives, radish and a fresh raw egg yolk on top, the aforementioned sun.

But there is only one place to taste this delicious treat and that is on Bornholm. Despite its location midway between Poland and Sweden in the Baltic sea it is relatively easy to get there, two and a half hours by bus from Copenhagen.


Liver Pâté with Anchovy

The secret ingredient in leverpostej, the Danish liver pâté, is anchovy. Eaten daily by the majority of Danes, usually as leverpostejmad – the open faced liver paste sandwich, there are countless variations. A Frenchman called Beauvais, who set up a charcuterie in a Copenhagen street basement in the early 19th century, minced fatty pork belly, pork liver, onions and seasonings to produce an expensive liver pâté that was adored by the bourgeoisie. A generation later every pork butcher in Denmark produced and sold leverpostej. A tradition born.

  • 500 g pork liver, chopped
  • 480 ml whole milk
  • 375 g fatty belly pork, chopped
  • 150 g shallots, chopped, pureéd
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 100 g anchovies
  • 30 g butter
  • 30 g white spelt flour / white wheat flour
  • 25 g pork fat
  • 15 g salt
  • 10 g black pepper, crushed
  • 5 g allspice, ground
  • Cloves, ground, large pinch
  • Water, for bain-marie

Melt butter, add flour, then milk, cook gently for five minutes, leave to cool.

Put pork belly through a meat grinder twice, put the pork liver through the grinder three twice, then combine the two meats and grind once. Add the anchovies and shallot pureé to the mixture and run through the grinder twice.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Beat eggs and spices into the roux. Fold into meat mixture to form a thick batter.

Liberally grease a loaf tin with the pork fat, pour in the batter.

Place the tin in a deep baking tray, half fill the tray with boiling water and bake for 90 minutes, until the surface is golden-brown.

For a smooth paste, blend the liver and shallots, then the belly, add to the batter.

For an aromatic pâté, add 25 grams of coarsely ground black peppercorns to the meat during the combined meat grinding.


THIRD

Hakkebøf med Bløde Løg, Spejlæg Og, Stegte Rodfrugter

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Beef Burger with Potatoes, Fried Egg and Baked Vegetables


This is how beef burgers should be made, with lean meat and lashings of seasonings.

The accompaniments follow the fried theme to a logical conclusion.

Potatoes are obligatory with burgers, not chips or French fries.

Vegetables

  • 500 g root vegetables (beets, carrots, parsley), peeled, cut into chunks
  • 120 ml apple vinegar
  • 30 g rapeseed oil
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • Black pepper, pinch
  • Sea Salt, large pinch

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Toss vegetables in the oil, thyme, vinegar and seasonings.

Bake for 25 minutes.

Potatoes

  • 500 g potatoes, whole, small, boiled in lightly salted water
  • 15 g parsley, chopped
  • Salt, large pinch

Peel potatoes, toss in a bowl with parsley.

Onions

  • 2 onions, halved, sliced
  • 30 ml soy
  • 15 g butter
  • 15 g sugar
  • 15 ml water
  • Black pepper, pinch
  • Salt, pinch

Sauté onions in butter in a frying pan over a high heat for three minutes, constantly turning.

Add soy, sugar and water and simmer for 15 minutes. stirring occasionally. Season, remove from pan and keep warm.

Meat

  • 500 g beef, minced, maximum 10% fat
  • Black pepper, large pinch
  • Sea salt, pinch
  • Oil, for frying

Form the meat into four burgers, about 2 cm thick, season.

In a heavy bottomed frying pan sauté burgers in oil, four minutes each sides until crispy brown.

Remove burgers from pan.

Toss onions in the juices.

Accessories

  • 4 eggs
  • 10 g butter

Fry eggs in butter for a few minutes in a frying pan over medium heat.


FOURTH

Karbonader

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Meat Rissoles


Traditionally coated with flour, egg and breadcrumbs, this version omits the flour and egg for a crust that is remarkably crispy.

Vegetables

  • 250 g carrots, peeled, cut into pea-sized cubes
  • 250 g peas
  • 200 ml milk
  • 30 g butter, cut small
  • 15 g parsley, finely chopped
  • Nutmeg, pinch
  • Black pepper, large pinch
  • 5 g sea salt

Boil carrots in milk for ten minutes, add nutmeg and peas. Reheat gradually with butter over low heat. Season and finish with parsley.

  • 1 kg potatoes, medium, unpeeled, washed boiled in lightly salted water
  • 300 g pork, minced, maximum 8% fat
  • 300 g veal, minced, maximum 8% fat
  • 200 g coarse breadcrumbs
  • 125 g butter
  • Black pepper, large pinch
  • Salt, large pinch

Work the minced meat in a bowl until the fat comes off on your fingers, divide into four equal portions, shape into balls.

Spread breadcrumbs on a plate, and coat the meat balls.

Heat butter in heavy bottomed frying pan. Reduce heat to low and fry balls slowly until the crumbs take on colour, about seven minutes each side. Season.


FIFTH

Brændende Kærlighed

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Burning Love! Potato Mash with Bacon and Onions


What Elvis thought of this rendition of Burning Love is not known, but the Danes adore it. A simple dish of mashed potatoes with diced meat and fried onions, and traditionally served with local produce.

  • 1.5 kg potatoes, peeled, cut into equal pieces
  • 400 g onions, finely chopped
  • 300 ml whole milk, heated
  • 250 g fatty meat from lamb, pork, turkey or veal, diced
  • 5 g salt
  • Butter, for potatoes
  • Black pepper, pinch
  • Nutmeg, pinch
  • Local Ingredients

Cook potatoes until tender, drain and allow to dry over the heat.

Mash potatoes, add milk and blend into a creamy purée. Season with a small piece of butter, nutmeg and seasonings.

Fry meat in a pan without fat or oil. Remove when the meat has browned. Sauté onions in the fat in the pan until golden brown. Return meat to pan, and heat through with onions.

Serve with meat and onions on top of the mash surrounded by items of your choice.


SIXTH

Æbleflæsk

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Apple Pork


SEVENTH

Stegte Sild

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Fried Herring with Potato Compot


EIGHTH

Svinekotelet

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Pork Cutlet