I'm sharing a very special family recipe with you today. My mother is Swedish and as long as I can remember, we have celebrated Christmas Eve the Swedish way. Growing up we either attended a family gathering with or put together our own Smorgasbord.
Now as we've all grown up, we celebrate a bit before Christmas Eve so everyone can hopefully attend. There are so many delicious dishes, after all it's a smorgasbord, but today I'm sharing, my current favorite: Dop-i-Grytan.
Dop-i-Grytan means "dip in the pot." I believe the dish began as a way to use up the leftovers drippings of the Christmas ham. There is a lot of history to this dish but I'll let you google it. My family recipe consists of several types of meat combined with aromatics and butter. Yum. We serve it with the traditional Swedish limpa bread that is spiced with molasses, anise and orange peel. (One day I'll make my own limpa, I've found some great recipes, but for now one of my brother's usually picks it up from Mrs. Backer's Pastry Shop in Salt Lake City.)
The beauty of Dopi, as we call it, is the social aspect. It's always eaten before our meal. The family gathers around the stove, bumping elbows and laughing as we dip our limpa bread into the stock. I love it! I plan to carry this tradition on with my own family. Dop-i-Grytan is truly is delicious. The flavorful drippings paired with the spicy, soft limpa bread is the perfect way to start your Christmas Eve festivities.
by My Grandmother Edith Johnson (and Eleanor Nalder with variations from Lorraine Johnson and Vicki Woolwine)
2-2 1/2 lb. pork shoulder
2 lb. ham bones
2 1/2 lb. beef pot roast
1 sq. butter
Salt and Pepper
1 handful of allspice
12 bay leaves
1 large onion, cut in half
Brown meat in butter. Add seasoning and onion. Simmer on low heat with pan covered for a few hours.
Variation: Add 1 can beef consomme.
A few notes from yours truly:
When I made this recipe in 2010, I added 4 large onions. I couldn't resist. I also did not add beef consomme. I seared the meat really well and used kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper.
And now for more Swedish fun. I've been pouring over our family cookbooks. I have to laugh at the giant smorgasbord menu. Get hungry!
Swedish Smorgasbord - Christmas Eve Buffet
(Edith Johnson & Eleanor Nalder)
Breads: Limpa*, rye, white, etc.
Anchovies, Pickled Herring
Jellied Veal (Head Cheese)
Svea Ost Nat'l Cheese
Sost Caraway Cheese
Relish Tray: Pickles, Olives, Tomatoes, etc.
Vegetable Tray with Dip*
Swedish Christmas Rice*
My mother has memories of all these dishes. I honestly can't imagine enjoying head cheese! One day I would like to eat all these traditional dishes. For records sake, I have put an asterisk by the dishes my family continues to serve. (Instead of potato salad we serve au gratin potatoes. And the punch is a virgin Shirley temple made of sprite and grenadine syrup. :) )
More Swedish stuff you'll like:
Swedish Hostess Gift: Lingonberry Jam & Glogg
St. Lucia Day (A Preview)
Happy Birthday, Utah IKEA! (Swedish Meatball Cake)