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A World War 2 Trilogy

By FRED NATH (Novelist and Neurosurgeon)

Fred's Blog


Swedish Christmas Ham

Posted on 20 December, 2018 at 3:29 Comments comments (310)
My sons asked me for this recipe so I thought I'd put it here for ease of reference and to share with anyone who wishes to try something new.

Swedish Christmas Ham

The main problem when you buy a smoked or ‘green’ ham is that when you roast it, commonly, it is very salty. This ‘recipe’ if that’s what you’d call it, allows you to get the salt out of the ham and roast it in what in my family, has always been the traditional manner.

Start by removing the rind or skin so you have a layer of fat remaining.

Put a few string ties around to keep the shape.

Place in a big saucepan in cold water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Discard the water and start again. This time once it reaches boiling point, discard the water and replace with cold water so the ham is covered.

Leave in a cool place for 24 hours or overnight at least.

Next day, dry it off and coat in Coleman’s brown French mustard (lots of it).

Roll the beast in a mixture of demerara sugar and breadcrumbs.

Roast in a hot oven, basting often. The outside is often rather carbonised, but it makes no difference to the taste. At least 2 hrs.

If the ham has little or no fat, basting is a problem. I have on occasion after half-an-hour drizzled olive oil over the oven and that eventually percolates through and you can baste with it.

Leave to stand for min ½ hr before carving.

Swedish Meatballs
Definitely not for Vegetarians.   
[You have to have a food processor for this with sharp blades that can grind meat to a fine texture] 
Ingredients: 1 onion 1 egg 1 pound of minced steak 1 pound of minced lean pork. 1 large cup of wholemeal dried breadcrumbs 2 teaspoons of ground ginger 1 chicken stock-cube. Two tablespoons of salt Pepper to taste.   
Procedure: Chop the onions (easy in the food processor) Mix the breadcrumbs, ginger, salt, pepper in a large mixing bowl. Add the onion and the meat. Mix with a wooden spoon. Add the egg.   The texture will be rough so you probably need to add a small glass of water or milk. 
When it is all mixed well, grind it thoroughly in the food processor. Thoroughly I said. Read my lips ‘thoroughly’. You may need to do that in several lots. The texture should be roughly like a firm dough and very fine after the thorough mixing. Get it?   Pick up maybe a dessertspoon sized bit of mixture and using clean wet hands roll it into a ball. 
When you’ve rolled the lot, you need to fry them really hot so the outside goes a deep brown. If it gets carbonised it’s no big deal, it just tastes better!   So, each frying-pan of meatballs is placed into a large pan containing about ¼ of a pint of water containing the stock cube. 
Empty the frying pan into the stock and quench the pan with about half a cup of water and add that water to the stock.   You should end up with enough liquid to cover the meatballs. 
Simmer for twenty minutes or so. Add cream to taste.   
If you’re a purist, you could drain the meatballs before adding cream and make a roux and use the stock to make a thicker sauce and then add cream and put the meatballs back into the sauce, but I like a thin sauce with meatballs. Serve with potatoes and peas.   
If you intend to freeze them, don’t add cream, do it when you warm them up.   The only unusual thing about this recipe is the fine texture, without which, it is just a round hamburger burger. I suppose adding ginger seems a bit odd but it really is a fantastic taste!   Merry Christmas, hope you enjoy them.   If you have a comment or you get into difficulties, email me on >[email protected]<

A Swedish Christmas Recipe

Posted on 22 December, 2016 at 1:53 Comments comments (358)
This is a typical Swedish recipe passed to me through my mum, who baked loads of stuff at Christmas. It makes really nice sweet bread that goes a treat with coffee especially on Christmas morning. The cardamom adds a hint of lemony fragrance.

Vätebröd - Swedish Buns - makes 24 buns or 2 loaves.
25 g Fresh yeast or 15 g of dried

70 g butter

2 1/2 dl of milk

1/4 tsp of salt

1 dl of sugar

1 tsp ground cardamom

425 g flour (Strong white)

(if using dried yeast use tepid water as on packet)

Break up yeast in a bowl.  Melt butter in a pan and add the milk and warm gently.  (Finger temp)

Mix yeast with a little of the liquid.  Then add the rest of the liquid.  Add salt, sugar, cardamom and nearly all the flour through a sieve in stages.  Save some flour for kneading dough.  Work dough in bowl.  Let rest to rise in bowl for 30 mins.  Covered in warm place.

Put the dough onto a floured board and knead it until smooth.  

Either divide dough into two if making loaves or plaits or make little buns. 

Leave to rise for another 30 mins.  Then brush a little beaten egg over and top with granulated sugar and finely chopped almonds or hazelnuts. 

Bake in oven (temp 180 C) for 5-7 mins.  (If loaf 15 -20 mins at 180C).

 This recipe works for me! You may wish to alter the individual quantities to ensure that the dough rises.