Rachel Khoo: Swedish beef stew (Skånsk kalops)

This stew is supposedly from the Swedish county of Skåne, which is known as the garden of Sweden as it produces most of the country’s produce (partly due to the fact that it lies in the south). However, the stew is so popular that pretty much the whole of Sweden has a version of it, called simply kalops. Some people compare it to the French boeuf bourguignon, although it doesn’t rely on the richness of red wine, rather on some fragrant allspice, which gives the stew a lovely warmth.

Swedish beef stew (Skånsk kalops)

Foodies Rachel Khoo: Swedish beef stew (Skånsk kalops) Rachel Khoo: Swedish beef stew (Skånsk kalops) Print This
Serves: 6-8
Nutrition facts: calories fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 3 voted )


  • 4 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 4 onions, peeled and sliced
  • 6 Swedish anchovies (see top tip)
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 1kg chuck steak or stewing beef, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 8 thin carrots, peeled
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 litre beef stock
  • 1kg potatoes (Désirée work well)
  • A knob of butter
  • A small handful of fresh parsley leaves
  • Picked beetroot, to serve
  • Pink pickled onions, to serve


Heat 2 tbsp of the rapeseed oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and add the onions and anchovies. Fry, stirring occasionally, for about 10–15 min, until the onion begins to turn golden brown. Meanwhile, mix the flour with the allspice and 1 tsp each of black pepper and salt, then toss the cubed beef in it.

Once the onion is golden brown, remove from the pan and add another 2 tbsp of oil. When hot, add the meat (you may have to fry it in two or three batches if your pan is too small) and brown all over. Once the meat is brown, put the onion back in, along with the carrots, vinegar and beef stock. Half cover with a lid and leave to simmer gently for 1–1½ hours or until the meat is tender.

Thirty minutes before the stew is ready, peel the potatoes, chop into large chunks and cook in boiling water until tender. Drain and toss in the butter and parsley.

Taste the stew and add more salt and pepper if desired. Serve with the boiled potatoes, the pickled beetroot and pickled onions.

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