One-Pot Steak and Potato Stew

This is classic Scandinavian comfort food, and probably my favourite: a mash cooked with meat and flavourings, served with chives and pickled beetroot. I always make double quantity because it tastes even better the second day. This recipe is 100 years old and was originally made with leftovers. Later, after World War II, it became popular in restaurants in Copenhagen, especially in the restaurant in Tivoli Gardens.

Serves: 5


  • 500g chuck steak, or cut of your choice
  • 30g butter
  • 600ml water
  • 125g onions, chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 2 cloves
  • 1/2 tablespoon peppercorns, lightly crushed
  • 1/2 tablespoon coarse sea salt
  • 1kg potatoes


To serve (optional)

  • 3 tablespoons chopped chives
  • pickled beetroot
  • slices rye bread



Cut the steak into 2cm cubes. Heat one tablespoon of the butter in a large saucepan, add the steak and brown lightly, then add the water and bring gradually to the boil, skimming off any froth from the surface. Add the onions, bay leaves, thyme sprigs, cloves, peppercorns and salt and let it simmer for one hour.

While it is simmering, peel the potatoes and cut into 2cm cubes. Add to the meat and let it simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until the meat is very tender and falls apart easily. Drain off any excess water then stir in the remaining two tablespoons of butter. Mix the potatoes and meat together into a mash, with the stew remaining lumpy. Serve sprinkled with chopped chives and, if you wish, the pickled beetroot and rye bread.

Recipe taken from Scandinavian Comfort Food by Trine Hahnemann

The Scandinavians excel at comfort around family and friends, in a good atmosphere, with long meals, and an emphasis on relaxation and the simple pleasures. They even have a word for this kind of cosiness that comes with spending quality time in hearth and home when the days are short: hygge. Trine Hahnemann is the doyenne of Scandinavian cooking, and loves nothing more than spending time in her kitchen cooking up comforting food in good company. This is her collection of recipes that will warm you up and teach you to embrace the art of hygge, no matter where you live.

You can purchase Scandinavian Comfort Food at

Published by Quadrille Publishing.  

Related articles:
Hearty Beef Stew
Potato and Leek Soup
The Great Aussie Meat Pie

Written by Amelia Theodorakis

A writer and communications specialist with eight years’ in startups, SMEs, not-for-profits and corporates. Interests and expertise in gender studies, history, finance, banking, human interest, literature and poetry.

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