Thursday, November 17, 2005


Hello Lapplanders!! It seems oddly fitting that my invitation to join this blog coincides with the first real breath of winter we have received here in lovely Cleveland, Ohio. When the weather gets like this, my first inclination is to stoke the hearth, make big pots of Finnish stew (yes, I have a recipe), and invite my friends to come in from the cold. So it is touching to be invited in by a friend on a cold night like this.

I hope to have more insightful posts later, but for now I will share the recipe I have for stew. It comes from the fabulous book "Real Stew," by Clifford A. Wright, whose grandmother apparently was a Finn. The stew is called palapaisti, and is very tasty. At least as importantly, it fills a house with wonderful smells on a cold winter day.


1/2 stick butter (really)
1 1/2 pounds fresh (not corned) beef brisket, cubed
1/2 pound sliced button mushrooms (though I bet you could do cremini or add other types of mushroom as well)
1 large onion, sliced
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon prepared hot mustard (use Colmans dry mustard, mixed with cold water and allowed to sit like the tin says)
1 1/2 cups beef broth (if you dare me, I'll tell you how to make your own)
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley


Melt the butter in a big stew pot or Dutch oven, at medium/medium high heat. Brown the meat, adding the onions and the mushrooms, going for about six minutes. Sprinkle the flour in and stir, then add the mustard and beef broth. Cover and cook on low heat for one hour, then remove the cover and cook for another two hours. When the meat is tender and you are ready to serve, add the sour cream, salt, pepper and parsley. Serve with noodles.


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