Labskovs Recipe

Here is a classic Scandinavian comfort food dish: a mash cooked with meat and wonderful flavors, typically accompanied by chives and pickled beets. This recipe is 100 years old. After the second World War, it became popular in Copenhagen restaurants, especially at Tivoli Gardens. Make plenty… it’s even better tasting the second day!

This satisfying recipe is from Scandinavian Comfort Food – Embracing the Art of Hygge by Trine Hahneman. Pickled beetroot and rye bread recipes are also in this excellent cookbook… or available (ready to eat) at Ingebretsen’s.

Serves 6


2 lb chuck steak
3 Tbsp butter
5 cups water
1 cup onion, chopped
6 bay leaves
6 thyme sprigs (¾ tsp dried)
4 cloves
1 Tbsp peppercorns, lightly crushed
1 Tbsp coarse sea salt
5 ½ lb floury potatoes (Russets are good)

To Serve

  • 6 Tbsp chopped chives
  • Pickled beets
  • Rye bread

Cut the steak into ¾ inch cubes. Heat 1 tbsp butter in a large saucepan, add the steak and brown lightly, then add the water and bring gradually to boil. Skim off any froth from the surface. Add the onions, bay leaves, thyme, cloves, peppercorns and salt and simmer for an hour.

While it is simmering, peel the potatoes and cut into ¾ inch cubes. Add the the meat and simmer for another hour, or until the meat is very tender and falls apart easily. Drain off any excess water then stir in the remaining 2 tbsp butter. Whisk or stir the meat and potatoes into a mash, with the stew remaining lumpy. Serve sprinkled with chopped chives, with the pickled beets and rye bread along side.

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