New Nordic cuisine seems to be all the rage these days. Restaurants Like Noma, and Faviken have pushed traditional Scandinavian cuisine into the fore front of the culinary world. New Nordic cuisine looks nothing like the Meatballs and Lutefisk that I was introduced to growing up in a Swedish family. My Grandfather on my fathers side of the family was Swedish and celebrated everything Scandinavian. Christmas was always celebrated with Swedish Meatballs, Swedish sausage, pickled herring and Lutefisk. The usual accompaniments of boiled potatoes and lefse were always around as well as Glogg and Krumkake.
Most everything was made at home including the sausage from an old family recipe. The meatballs were always my favorite and my grandmother would make a white cream sauce that went over everything. I always sampled the Lutefisk and was never as repulsed by it as others in the family were. That is not to say that I enjoyed it, I haven't eaten any in so many years that I don't remember much about it. Perhaps in the near future I will have to try to make some and see if I can make it delicious or if it is a lost cause.
Last year for the holidays I tried to reinvent a couple of our holiday classics by giving them a face lift. Instead of plain pickled herring in a bowl with saltine crackers I made some very beautiful and delicious herring cakes with horseradish and pumpernickel crusts that were an instant hit and have been requested again for this year. The recipe came from the book Cured, by Lindy Wildsmith and is definitely worth getting. I also made some Krumkake and filled them with a Glug whipped cream that was fantastic.
Earlier in the year my wife and I had an opportunity to eat at a restaurant called The Bachelor Farmer, in Minneapolis. They serve new Nordic cuisine and I was really looking forward to seeing what they had to offer. Our dinner was insane, it was mind blowing, all these years I had been eating foods very similar to the ones we had that night but none of the foods I grew up with tasted anything like what we had that night at The Bachelor farmer. The dish that stood out the most to me was the sausage, my family has been making Swedish potato sausage for as long as I can remember. The sausage I had at The Bachelor Farmer almost made me cry, it was so good I almost didn't want to share with my wife. It instantly made me rethink the way we make it at home. I haven't made Swedish sausage in many years because I didn't enjoy it that much, but when I tasted the stuff at The Bachelor Farmer I had to make another batch and change a few things.
Our original recipe was a pork sausage but because of the way I cook now and because I was going to be changing the recipe a bit, I decided to make it with a combination of venison and pork. I also reviewed all the other ingredients and noticed that the original recipe was very light on salt. Most of the sausages I make use about 40 grams of salt per 5 pounds and my families Swedish sausage was using about 7 tablespoons of salt to make almost 20 pounds of sausage. The sausage at The Bachelor Farmer was heavy spiced with allspice so that was the next thing I was going to tweak. Growing up whenever we made sausage we would sample little bits and the only thing people ever wanted to add more of, was sage. What we ended up with was a very bland sausage and the fact that we boiled it didn't help anything.
This years sausage turned out amazing, I made just under 20 pounds and have sent out a bunch to my family to see if they approve. When I was younger I had to cover the sausage in ketchup just to eat it but my new recipe is so good even my 1 year old, Charlie ate it plain. I think after changing things up a little I might go by some lutefisk and give it a try, or maybe somethings are best left alone.
6 lbs venison
6 lbs fatty pork shoulder
2 lbs onions
3 lbs potatoes
120 grams kosher salt
8 grams fine white pepper
4 grams poultry seasoning
6 grams rubbed sage
10 grams ground allspice
1 whole nutmeg finely ground
6 cups scalded whole milk
Bring the milk to a boil stirring frequently to prevent it from burning, then set aside until cool. boil the potatoes until fork tender and allow them to cool as well. grind the potatoes and onions through a course grinding plate then grind the meat through a medium grinding plate like a 1/4 inch. It is necessary to keep the meat as cold as possible while grinding. once all the meat and potatoes and onions are ground mix in the seasonings and milk. Mix thoroughly and stuff into hog casings.
I found that the best way to cook it when you are ready is in the oven at 450 degrees for 25 minutes flipping it over after the first 15 minutes.