A warming soup for winter
Meat stew with root vegetables oand oatmail makes for a heary one-pot meal
Christy Olsen Field
Taste of Norway Editor
Winter is here for a few more weeks (at least on the calendar), so tucking into a bowl of beef stew with root vegetables is a perfect antidote to ward off the chill.
I recently came across a recipe for drengsuppe, a traditional Sámi stew.
At its simplest, drengsuppe is made with fresh reindeer meat, water, and a fistful of oatmeal. It can be enhanced with cold-weather vegetables: onions, carrots, cabbage, celery root, potatoes, and everything can be thrown into a single pot and simmer away.
I made a couple changes for my rendition of the recipe. I used beef, but feel free to substitute venison or other game meat if you have it.
All the recipes I found called for adding all the ingredients to the pot and bringing to a boil. Authenticity is important to me, but so is building flavor. Therefore, I took a few extra minutes to sear the beef chunks and sauté the vegetables.
If you’re doubtful about the oatmeal, I recommend that you try it! I was doubtful at first, with visions of sludgy oats in my mind, but I found the rolled oats added a lovely thickness to the stew but a much shorter cooking time than other grains.
I won’t claim that this is a quick recipe for a weeknight supper, but it comes together in about two hours and is and satisfying with every bite. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family did!
Have you made drengsuppe before? I’d love to hear from you! Write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kjøttsuppe med havregryn
(Meat stew with oatmeal)
Adapted by Christy Olsen Field for The Norwegian American
3 strips bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 lbs. beef chuck or venison, cut into 2-inch chunks
1 large onion, chopped
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 small celery root, peeled and chopped
6 cups beef stock or water
2-3 medium russet potatoes
½ cup rolled oats
1 cup frozen green peas
A few hours before cooking, cut the meat into 2-inch chunks and season generously with salt, and refrigerate. About 30 minutes before cooking, set out meat at room temperature to warm up a bit.
In a 5-quart pot or Dutch oven, cook bacon until the fat renders and the bacon becomes crispy. Remove the bacon to a paper-towel lined plate and leave the bacon fat in the pot (add vegetable oil if you need more fat).
In two or three batches, sear the beef cubes until browned on all sides, in two or three batches. Set aside. Sauté the onion, carrots, and celery root until the onions turn translucent. Add the beef chunks back into the pot, and add 6 cups of beef stock or water. Cover, bring to a boil, and reduce to simmer. Cook for 1.5 hours or so. Add the potatoes and oatmeal, and cook for another 20 minutes or so, until the potatoes are fork-tender, and the meat is fully cooked.
Garnish with reserved bacon and green peas for a bit of color. Serve with flatbread or lefse, if desired.
Like all good things, this stew tastes even better with a day of rest in the fridge.
This article originally appeared in the February 21, 2020, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.