Collops, known as Kalops in Swedish, is one of my favourite Swedish dishes to eat during fall and winter. Mainly because it is such a warm, hearty and fulfilling dish, but also because it is so simple to make. Now Collops is easiest described as a Swedish beef stew. A traditional Swedish Collops consist of; stew beef, onion, water, flour, whole allspice, bay leaves and salt. However in Skåne, a county in Southern Sweden, they also use carrots as an additional ingredient in Collops. This version of Collops is called Skånsk Kalops in Swedish. It is also the version I prefer to make.
Another difference between a traditional Swedish Collops and a Skånsk Collops is that the beef in the traditional Collops should consist of pounded collops. Like in the photo above.
Whereas in Skånsk Collops thicker pieces of beef are used instead. Like in this photo. However both versions of Collops are usually served with boiled potatoes and pickled beets.
Now this dish was first mentioned in Sweden in Cajsa Wargs 1755 Swedish cookbook "Hjelpreda I Hushållningen För Unga Fruentimber" - "Assistant in Housekeeping for Young Women". Although why this dish was named Collops - Kalops, a name taken from the English language, is unknown. But regardless of how the dish got its name, it sure is a very simple dish to make.
So I will try my best to give an idea of how I usually make Collops. However I must warn you that my spice, water and flour measurements are usually spontaneous, therefore it is a bit hard for me to give exact numbers. But here it is;
Recipe Swedish Collops (Skånsk Kalops)
600 grams of stew beef
water, flour, whole allspice, bay leaves and salt
1. Cut beef into stew size pieces.
2. Chop onion and carrots. The carrots should be chopped pretty thick.
3. Fry beef and onion in a pot with some butter/oil until beef has gotten some color.
4. Pour a thin layer of flour over the beef and onion, stir.
5. Pour in water so that it just covers the beef .
6. Season with about 1,5-2 teaspoons of salt, 10-15 whole allspice and 5-7 bay leaves. I also put in the carrots in this step, but they can be put in when about 30 minutes remain of the cooking time. It depends on how soft you want the carrots. Or how thick/thin you have chopped them.
7. Let simmer under lid for at least 1,5 hours. I prefer to let it simmer about 2-3 hours.
8. Taste stew a few times while it simmers to check if additional seasoning is needed, or extra water needs to be added.
9. Serve with boiled potatoes and pickled beets.
Enjoy! Or as we say in Swedish when we want to wish each other a good meal - Smaklig Måltid! :-)