Långkål (Creamed Kale)
In Sweden a good side dish is as important as the main course and when it comes to the Christmas dinner, you’ll be hard pressed to find the traditional julskinka (Christmas ham) without a generous side of långkål.
Creamy, delicious and not to mention nutritious, this lovely side dish is perfect with just about any kind of meat – from sausages to roasts and everything in between. You’ll want to make it outside of the holiday season so give it a try!
Långkål (Creamed Kale)
- 600 g kale leaves fresh, not frozen
- 1 tsp salt for boiling +more to season to taste
- 1 l cooking liquid from ham ham stock or water
- 50 g butter
- 180 ml whipping cream
- white pepper freshly ground, to taste
- ¼ tsp ground mace optional
- Wash and drain the kale well and cut off or tear away the tough stems.
- Chop the leaves coarsely and place them in a large saucepan. Add 1 teaspoon of salt on top and pour in enough water to just about cover the kale.
- Bring to a boil and simmer to cook the kale for about 2-3 minutes. Drain away the water, squeezing the excess water from the leaves lightly.
- Now pour in your ham stock or water and bring to a boil once again. Turn the heat down to medium-low and cook for 10 – 15 minutes until tender. Stir regularly.
- Once cooked, drain once again, squeezing the kale carefully.
- If you plan to finish the recipe later this is the point when you want to cover it with film and place it in the fridge.
- To finish up the recipe now, melt the butter in a pan and add the kale. Fry it for a couple of minutes, stirring thoroughly then pour in the 3/4 cup cream in the pan. Let it cook for 5 minutes or so.
- Taste the creamed kale and adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper if necessary.
- Simmer for a further 5 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and enjoy the långkål while piping hot!
- Ideally långkål should be made using the cooking liquid from the ham, but it can be made using just water or ham stock made using a bouillon cube.
- Don’t be tempted to replace the cream with milk and flour as it really doesn’t taste as good, even if it might be healthier.
- Some Swedes like to add a tablespoon or two of sugar and a touch of mace. After the kale has been simmering in the cream for about 5 minutes, have a taste and then, if you like, add some sugar and mace if you think it would improve the dish.