Rebecca’s Recipe of the Week: Swedish Christmas

December 14, 2017 by General Administrator

I’d heard of ‘Jansson’s Temptation’—the traditional Swedish Christmas dish of potatoes, onions and fish baked in cream—but I’d not tasted it until today.  It’s so good!  So here is a recipe. The trick is getting the right sort of fish. What you really want is something like Grebbestad’s Anchovy-Style Sprats Fillets, which you can apparently acquire at Ocado.  I think you could also use matjes herring, but don’t use anchovies, which are a different kettle of fish altogether.

This dish doesn’t sound like much, but it’s famous in Sweden for a reason. I recommend it enormously.

Janssons Frestelse (Jansson’s Temptation)
Serves 6-8.

400g onions
2-3 tablespoons butter
1.2kg potatoes
375g of ‘Swedish anchovies’ (aka sprat filets), drained
salt and pepper
600ml whipping cream
4 tablespoons breadcrumbs

Heat the oven to 250C.

Peel the onions and slice into thin slices. Melt the butter in a sauté pan and add the onions. Sauté them gently until they are soft but not brown, which will take 15-20 minutes. Season them with some salt and pepper.

Meanwhile, peel the potatoes and cut them into thick matchsticks.

Butter an ovenproof baking dish. Spread a third of the potatoes evenly over the bottom. Spread half the onions over them, and then lay half the sprat filets on top of the onions. Repeat with another layer of potatoes, onions and sprats, and then finish with a final layer of potatoes.

Season with more salt and pepper. Pour the cream over the assemblage. It should nearly cover the potatoes. Sprinkle some breadcrumbs over the top and bake for about an hour.

Serve with salad, if you’d like to balance out the richness of the cream, or with smoked salmon and aquavit if you’re feeling festive.

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