Veal stew in a creamy dill sauce


Veal stew in a creamy dill sauce

In this recipe, the dill penetrates the whole dish with a wonderfully fresh taste that is so typical of many Swedish dishes. Dill really is the king of herbs in Sweden and is used so much that it is hard to convey or explain its popularity. John Duxbury



• As this dish is just as often made from lamb the Swedish name for it is dillkött, literally dill meat.

• Dill really is key to this dish so use the freshest dill possible. Of course it is really hard to beat garden fresh dill so do grow your own if you have space.
• In the spring you can add delicate vegetables such as spring cabbage or asparagus, but it is better to serve the vegetables as a side dish and not add them to the stew. New potatoes also go well.
• In the winter, you can add a root vegetable such as salsify, Hamburg parsley or parsnip.
• Often, only the meat is returned to the pan in stage 4, especially if some nice spring vegetables are being served as an accompaniment.  Personally I think it is better served with all the vegetables and it saves messing around fishing out all the meat!


600 g (1¼ lb) diced veal
1   onion, roughly chopped
1   carrot, sliced
1   leek or celery stick, sliced
1   bay lead
1   sprig of fresh thyme
10   white peppercorns
1 tsp   salt (Swedes would normally use 1 tbsp!)

Dill sauce

50 g (2 oz) fresh dill
120 ml (½ cup) water
5   white peppercorns
60 g (¼ cup) sugar
3 tbsp   white vinegar
120 ml (½ cup) whipping cream
1-3 tbsp   cornflour (cornstarch), mixed with a little cold water



1. Put the meat in a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Immediately turn off the heat and pour off the water. Rinse the meat under running cold water. Wipe out the pan.

2. Place the meat back in the pan and add the onion, carrot, leek or celery, bay leaf, thyme, white peppercorns and salt. Pour in just enough water to cover the ingredients. Bring to simmering point and then simmer for 45-60 minutes until tender, skimming off any surface scum at regular intervals.


3. Make the dill reduction by removing the dill fronds from the main stalks. Finely chop the fronds and set aside. Put the stalks, water, peppercorns, sugar and vinegar in a pan. Bring to the boil, then boil for 5 minutes.  Set aside for step 5.

4. When the meat is cooked, strain the meat and vegetables, returning about 450 ml (2 cups) of the broth to the pan. Add the cream and bring the mixture to the boil. Return the meat and vegetables to the mixture.

5. Add the dill reduction a tablespoon at a time until you get the right taste. (I normally add most of it.)  Add salt and pepper to taste.

6. Thicken the sauce by adding a tablespoon of the cornflour (cornstarch) mixture at a time until you get a nice consistency. (I normally add about two thirds of it.)

7. Just before serving add the reserved chopped dill. (It is best left to the last moment as the the dill loses its colour if it is added too early.)


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