Firstly let me tell you about my midsommar or midsummer – the day we Swedes celebrate the start of summer and the season of fertility. As expected we celebrated outside Jönköping, it feels like everyone leave town to go to the countryside the day before midsummer leaving all the streets empty in town. This year I missed all of the traditional part where we dance along the may-pole, eat pickled herring and new potatoes for lunch and making flower wreaths to have in our hair because of work. However, I still got to celebrate in the evening with friends drinking snaps, eating a pretty awesome BBQ buffet and host a music quiz containing Finish covers of famous songs like Fields of gold and Like a virgin (hint, it sounds awful!).
The recipe today is a true traditional Swedish dish called ‘kroppkakor’. If you would directly translate it to English it would be ‘body-cookies’. The dish origins from the island ‘Öland’ in the East of Sweden and the name comes from the way the women there made these dumplings. Since they take while to make and you used to make them in big batches the women had leather aprons where they put the dumplings in before they went into the pot. This way they could keep their hands free to make new dumplings.
To me, these dumplings capture the essence of Swedish food. Filling and homely with simple flavors. The combination of the salty pork and sweet onion in the filling together with the soft potato outside are just so incredible satisfying. Add the flavorful nutty butter together with the chives and lingonberries for freshness and you got yourself a meal worthy a king.
1000 g potatoes
120-180 g plain flour
150 g streaky bacon or salted pork belly
1 yellow onion
1 pinch allspice
1 pinch white pepper powdered
1 stick of butter
Peel and rinse the potatoes thoroughly. Boil in salted water until soft, then drain off the water and let it dry for a while before continuing. Use a potato masher or a electric beater to carefully mash the potatoes until soft and creamy. Continue with the filling and let the potato-mash cool down.
Filling; Cut the pork/bacon and yellow onion in small cubes. Start to brown the pork/bacon in a pan with a shot of oil. Add in the yellow onion to soften before taking the pan of the heat, adding the allspice and white pepper and then let the filling cool down.
Bring a large pot with salted water up to a boil.
Add flour, egg and salt in the potato-mash without working it too much. Start with the smaller amount of flour and add in more if the mixture is too wet. It should hold its form without being too sticky, but not as dry as a bread-dough.
Form the dough to a roll and cut it into 12 equal pieces, rolling them into a ball. press your thumb into the bal making a indentation, add in a teaspoon of filling and then pinch them to close the gap. Make sure none of the filling is poking through.
Add the dumplings into the salted water. Cook until they float up to the surface and 5 min more. Serve with browned butter, lingonberries and chives.