With the weather gettin' colder (and believe me, it's getting there in Northern MN), my mind turns to soups & stews... so here's a couple recipes that I grew up eating.
Now Mojakka isn't a traditional Finnish food, but it's traditional among the Finns who settled in Minnesota. I would assume some other parts of the USA as well, but I don't know for sure. These are my 3 favorite ways to make it. 1st is my Great Grandma's traditional recipe, the second is my Aunt's spin on it... more of a stew than the traditional. The 3rd is a recipe I found in a cookbook. It's a fish version, which I didn't get to eat often as a kid, but when we did, it was something special.
Traditional Finnish Mojakka (MOY-a-kah)
- 3 pounds boneless beef roast
- 2 tablespoons margarine
- 4 1/2 cups water
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 whole allspice
- 3 whole peppercorn (optional)
- 4 carrots, chopped
- 1 cup rutabgaga
- 2 stalks celery, chopped
- 4 potatoes, cubed
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1. In a large pot over medium high heat, brown the meat on all sides in the butter or margarine. Add 4 cups of the water and bring to a boil. Add the onion, salt and ground black pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer for one hour.
2. Add the carrots, celery and potatoes and simmer for another 1 1/2 hours. Then combine the flour and remaining 1/2 cup water in a separate small bowl, forming a thin paste. Add this to the soup, stirring well and simmer for 15 more minutes.
My Aunt’s Version…. A bit thicker
1 ¼ lb. beef sirloin tip 2 T oil
4 ½ c. water 3 whole allspice
3 whole peppercorn 1 c. carrots
1 c. rutabaga 1 c. onion
1 c celery 3 c potatoes
Brown meat, add water, onion, celery and spices. Cook 1 hour. Add carrots first, cook, then add rutabaga, cook, then potatoes. Cook until tender.
2 lb Fresh or frozen salmon (Northern also works great)
1 1/4 tb Salt
1/2 ts Pepper
2 Bay leaves
6 Whole allspice
4 md Potatoes
2 md Carrots
3 sm Onions, divided
1 c Red cabbage, sliced
1 Handful fresh celery leaves, chopped
5 sl Bacon
1 1/2 tb Butter
1 c Celery, diced fine
1 qt Water
1 qt Milk
1 tb Butter
Use any cut salmon or steelhead, leaving skin on. In 1 quart water, with salt and pepper, simmer on low heat in 5- or 6-quart pot. When skin comes off easily, set aside on plate and remove skin and bones. Cut or break into 1- and 2-inch pieces.
In liquid stock, place bay leaves and whole allspice. Add potatoes, cut in 1- or 1 1/2-inch pieces; carrots, cut lengthwise and into half circles about 1/4-inch thick; and 2 onions cubed coarsely (not chopped fine). Cook over low heat.
After a short while, add celery leaves. Stir. Cook until carrots are almost tender and potatoes don't disintegrate.
While this is cooking, dice bacon and cook in fry pan over low heat. Pour almost all fat off. Add butter (or margarine) and diced celery, remaining onion (diced fine). Saute' until onions are yellow.
Now back to your pot. Add salmon pieces, (they should be not quite cooked). From now on everything is simmered on low to preserve body. Add 1 quart water. Put in stuff from fry pan. Stir in milk a cup at a time. Add butter and let whole bit simmer for at least one hour. Serve with tossed salad and a crusty bread. Can be frozen.
Makes 6 servings.