For a truly Danish Christmas, you have to serve Roast Pork - also known as Flæskesteg.
At Scandi Kitchen, we use a pork loin cut, scored across at 1 cm sections. Ask your butcher to do this as it is quite hard ot get right at home and the cut of the pork is really important to get the right type of crackling.
If you want to be super sure to get it right, we sell frozen pork loins from Denmark (Svinekam) already scored - just defrost and cook. There's a link here to the shop where you can buy these (limited stock).
Flæskesteg - Danish Christmas roast pork
This is the classic Christmas meal in Denmark. This
recipe serves four people, at least.
of pork with the skin on, and scored all the way down to just before the flesh
in lines 1cm apart (ask the butcher to do this if necessary)
1 or 2 bay
- few strigs of
your oven to 250°C.
pork joint skin side down (yes, ‘upside-down’) into a roasting tray. Add just
enough boiling water to the tray so that the skin is submerged.
pork in the oven for 20 minutes.
clean tea towel to hold the pork in the roasting tray so you don’t burn
yourself while you carefully pour away the water.
oven down to 160°C, then flip the pork over so it’s the right way up (skin up),
and coat the skin with a generous amount of salt and pepper, making sure you
get into the crevices created by the scoring. Be careful of your hands at this
point, the pork will be hot! Stick the bay leaves into the crevices as well,
then add the carrot, onion and thyme to the roasting tin, and pour 400-500ml
fresh, cold water in.
pork back in the oven for about an hour or until it is done. Check about halfway through to see if
you need to top up the water if it’s starting to evaporate too much.
meat thermometer, check the temperature of the pork after the hour. It should
be somewhere between 68-70°C. Pour out the fatty residue into a bowl to use as
stock for the gravy.
the oven temperature back up to 250°C and put the roast pork back in to make
the crackling. This can take a good 15 minutes, so use the grill if you want to
kickstart the process (but keep a close eye on it, or else you could end up
with a burnt crackling).
roast from the oven and check the temperature again. It should be between
70-75°C. This should mean it isn’t overcooked - pork can be terribly boring if
you have to gnaw your way through it.
roast rest uncovered for about 10 minutes. While that’s happening, make the
gravy from the fat and stock - use gravy browning if required.
Brunkartofler - Caramelised potatoes
A traditional accompaniment to Danish roast pork. It's a bit sweet so we only eat these once a year.
and cooked small new potatoes (don’t be afraid to use tinned potatoes for this) - must be COLD.
sugar to a cold frying pan and spread it evenly across the bottom. Melt it on a
high heat while you stir for about 2 minutes, then turn the heat down to medium
while you add the butter. Turn up the heat to high again.
potatoes in a colander or sieve and run them under a cold tap, then add to the
pan. As you can imagine, it’s going to splutter and spit a bit, so be careful.
potatoes covered in caramel and brown them for between 4-6 minutes, turning
them carefully. If it looks like they’re getting a bit too dry, add a drop of
water (again, take care doing this).
caramelised potatoes along with normal boiled potatoes - as these are very
sweet, they’re more of an extra side dish for the pork rather than a
replacement for potatoes altogether.
NOTE: Always use potatoes that are completely cold. If you’re preparing
them yourself, peel and cook them the day before. Each potato should be about
3-4cm in size - think salad potatoes. Tinned really is a good option for this
Serve with warm, red cabbage.
Leftovers? Make Pyt-i-Panna.