Citizens, few things in life are as immensely satisfying as a good hamburger – but did you know there are international variants to this perceived “American” classic (FYI, hamburgers are in fact originally a German recipe)?
This one from Sweden via Russia is one of my all-time favorites and it bears a noble pedigree indeed!
Biff à la Lindström is a Swedish dish made from onion, pickled red beets, capers, and ground beef, which is made into patties and fried. It is almost always served with a fried egg on top and a pan gravy is frequently served as well.
Although the name Lindström sounds Swedish, the inclusion of beets and capers makes it likely that the dish originates in Russia. A common story is that the dish was invented by Henrik Lindström (1831–1910), who was born and raised in Saint Petersburg.
He supposedly visited Hotel Witt in Kalmar on May 4, 1862, where he wanted to treat his friends to a meal he used to eat in Russia. He ordered the ingredients needed from the kitchen, and the guests were instructed by Lindström on how to make the patties. The patties were then brought back to the kitchen, where they were fried, and then served. The dish was promptly added to the dinner menu and the dish remains to this on the hotel’s bill of fare.
Another story attributes the dish to Adolf Henrik Lindstrøm, the chef that accompanied both Fridtjof Nansen and Roald Amundsen on their missions to the poles and through the Northwest Passage.
My version of this classic recipe adds cornichon pickles, uses ghee for frying and a touch of anchovy – I am quite confident you will love this dish, my Citizens! 🙂
Battle on – The Generalissimo