I’m putting tonight’s dinner in the oven… thought I’d share!
In the Karelian region, this long-cooking braised meat kind of stew is usually referred to as merely ‘oven stew’ (uunipaisti). In the rest of Finland, its known as Karjalanpaisti (Karelian Stew), and is very popular. The stew was traditionally prepared with wood-burning ovens after bread had been baked, the leftover oven heat utilized to slowly cook the contents of the hot pot…
Unfortunately, I haven’t baked fresh rye bread today, but this dish could not be more straightforward on its own. I’m using a tall sided, large oven-ready skillet and planning to just let it take its time. That’s pretty much it. Toss your crock pots, your instant pots, your internal temperature probes, this recipe is back to basics.
I’ve wanted to try making Karjalanpaisti for a while, since I’ve seen Finnish cooking videos reference it, and I regularly see the eponymous meat packs at the grocery store. They sell ready-to-use packages of cubed beef / pork mix to make it easy for busy home cooks. If you wanted, though, you could certainly use game meats and/or lamb. I picked up these packs at store yesterday after my first Finnish hair cut at Tälläämö, a salon on the 2nd floor of our Prisma Limingantulli shopping center.
Karjalanpaisti (Karelian Stew)
- Karelian stew meat (700g mix of cubed beef & pork)
- Butter / Oil
- 2 medium onions, chunked or sliced
- 10-15 peppercorns
- 3-4 medium carrots, chunked
- 2-3 medium parsnips, chunked
- hot water, from the kettle (optionally use beer)
- Salt, to taste
- 1 tsp allspice
- 3 bay leaves
• Heat a good chunk of butter or oil in a frying pan and allow to melt. Brown the meat cubes on the outsides
• Place meat & veg in an oven-proof dish. I used the same skillet I browned the meat in (oven-ready handle)
• Salt, and add the peppercorns, allspice, and bay leaves.
• Boil some water in a kettle, and pour over the meat-vegetable mixture, just to cover
• Cook in the oven at 175 degrees Celsius for roughly three hours+ til very tender (it looks like I might have to add a bit more water as it cooks)
Serve with boiled or mashed potatoes.
UPDATE 7-May: This was really yummy! Think Finnish pot roast. I had to add liquid twice as it cooked. I think I let it go for a little over 3 hours. I put a blob of Better than Bouillon stock base in the water at first, and with the last batch of water I added about 1/2 cup of red wine and several small button mushrooms. I did not serve it with potatoes, there were enough vegetables in the stew. Served with a crisp green salad.