One of the trickiest things about being an Englishman in Sweden is knowing what to do with meat. I know, who would have thought? It’s not taxes, language barriers or cold, dark winters after all, but how to cook Fransyska.
What’s Fransyska you may ask? My point exactly. Fransyska is a cut of beef here in Sweden. But what you are supposed to do with it is anybody’s guess. Rather like in France and the US (and probably elsewhere if I cared to check) when they cut up animals in Sweden, they do it differently from the way they do it in England.
After 10 years in Sweden I’m still not really sure what to do with the Fransyska, bringa, rostbiff or, for that matter, bog that is on sale in Sweden’s food shops.
Time to take the matter in hand I decided the other day. I did a little research and with the help of Google translate and an old butcher’s-picture of a cow that hangs in my kitchen, I managed to pin down the entire beast. Almost.
One cut evaded me: inanlår. Literally translated as inner thigh (because that’s where it comes from) it is sold in long, thin slices across the nation. I’m not really sure what it is, but I did find a recipe for it. Time to put an end to my decade of uncertainty and dive in.
Oxrulader (beef rolls) are a classic Swedish dish made from inner-thigh, apparently, and, as luck would have it, one of my favorites. I plumped for Swedish chef Leif Mannerström’s version (partly because he is an authority on all things gastronomic, partly because he reminds me of Santa Claus), which I set about altering a little.
Here then, is mine and Leif’s (although he doesn’t know it) Swedish beef rolls. If you can find long, thin slices of beef inner-thigh I urge you to try it.
- 800 g thinly sliced inner thigh of beef
- 100g pancetta or cold-smoked bacon
- 1 large onion
- Couple of teaspoons sun-dried tomato
- 2 tlblsp Dijon mustard
- 1 cooking apple
- 1 glass red wine
- 1.5 liters beef stock
Set your oven to 180C
Cut the pancetta and apple into matchstick-sized pieces.
Cut the onion into rings, then half the rings to make semi-circles.
Finely chop the tomatoes.
Lay out the slices of meat and spread over a little of the mustard, like butter on a sandwich.
Spread out the apple, pancetta and tomato on the meat.
Roll the meat into tight tubes, securing each with a toothpick.
Brown the meat over a high heat in a frying pan, transferring to a ovenproof dish with a lid, when done. Reduce the heat and cook the onions for a few minutes. Add them to the meat.
Pour the wine into the frying pan and scrape up any residue.
Empty the pan contents over the meat and add enough stock to cover it.
Cook in the oven, with lid, for about 1 hour.