Sweet • Sour • Savory

Food blog on scandinavian style food done right.


Chili Con Carne a la me

Beef, Dinner, Simmer FoodTove Balle-PedersenComment
Chili Con Carne a la me.

Chili Con Carne a la me.

This chili con carne is my version of a chili. You will find more original recipes out there. But this is the way I like it. Years ago I started out with the recipe my mom used, not spicy at all. Through the years my version became more spicy, more smokey and got more colors and beans. And one thing is for sure, we never had any toppings on my moms chili.

Serves 8-10.


  • 2 pounds ground beef 
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 4 cans (15 oz) diced tomatoes
  • 1 can chipotle in adobo sauce, chop the chipotles, use less if you do not like it spicy
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, I use Valrhona 
  • 4-6 bell peppers, bite-sized diced
  • 6 cans beans, rinsed, I used black beans white beans, and red kidney beans
  • salt & pepper


  • sour cream
  • jalapeno, sliced
  • scallions, sliced
  • cheddar cheese
  • cilantro


Heat olive oil in a large pot. I use my large slow cooker, where the insert goes on the stovetop.  Sauté the onions until they are golden brown. Take the onions out and into a little bowl. 

Add a little more oil to the pot and brown the ground beef, crumbling the meat with a wooden spoon. Try not to stir it to much, the more you move the meat around, the more you cool down the pan. And you want the meat to get some searing and color. When the meat is browned, add the tomato paste, letting it get some heat, to get a sweeter and deeper tomato flavor. Then add the garlic, onions, diced tomatoes, cocoa and the chipotle with the sauce. Season with salt and pepper. 
Here you can add more spices like paprika, cayenne, cumin or chili powder. Before I fell in love with chipotle, I used fresh jalapeños and some smoked paprika in my chilies.
Let the chili cook covered at a low simmer for 2-4 hours, stirring occasionally. I set my slow cooker to 8 hours on low.  

After 2-4 hours, (6 hours in slow cooker), add the bell peppers and after another 30 minutes add the rinsed beans, and let it simmer for yet another 30 minutes, before it is ready for the final seasoning and serving. 

Serve the chili with toppings to your likings and a few slices of good baguette.


Danish Hamburger - Dansk Hakkebøf

Beef, Dinner, MeatsTove Balle-PedersenComment

Danish hamburger or Hakkebøf med bløde løg, is a traditional danish dish. Normally it is served with a brown gravy made with the dripping from the frying of the hamburger and onions. I rarely make brown gravy, but my mom always made it, she put the onions in the gravy, making it extra yummy. But if you want to indulge you can serve the hamburger with béarnaise sauce.

A hamburger/hakkebøf is a cheaper take on a steak dinner, great for a weeknight.

Serves 3-4.


  • 1 Ib (450 g) ground beef (7-10% fat)
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2 large onions
  • oil for frying


Form 3-4 round hamburgers season with salt freshly ground pepper. Fry them in a little oil or butter on a large frying pan for 5-7 minutes on each side.

Peel the onion and slices them thinly. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat, Fry the onions until they get soft, translucent and get some golden caramelizing. Season with salt. Add a splash of water to prevent to much browning.

Serve the hamburgers with boiled potatoes, the soft onions and petit green peas. 


How to Cook the Perfect Steak

Beef, Dinner, Meats, techniqueTove Balle-PedersenComment
The Perfect Steak

The Perfect Steak

In my family we like a good steak. We have been trying to find the best technique to get the perfect prepared steak every time. We have been sous vide-ing steaks, the nerdy way to getting a  steak with the same color and temperature all the way trough the steak. But not all people have the equipment to cook sous vide, even though it's become more affordable the last couple of years.

I think it's a lot of work and effort, making a water bath and vacuuming the steak, for just ONE steak. The time aspect is another thing. Sous vide 2 hours at 131℉/55℃, or 8 minutes in a skillet at high heat. If we were having company, I would make it sous vide for making more than 3 steaks.

A few years ago we started to slice up the cooked steak, and sharing just one steak. Somehow I think a steak is more enjoyable thinly sliced. I know some people likes a large steak for themselves, go ahead and indulge. But I find less is more, when you get a good quality meat.

I alway buy grass-fed boneless ribeye steaks at Whole Foods Market. They are about an inch (3 cm) thick, with a good marbling. 

After a lot of trials, I perfected my steak-cooking-skills, and this is how I cook the perfect steak.

Serves 1-2.


  • 1 ribeye steak
  • olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 1-2 teaspoons butter, cold and salted
  • 1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 sprigs of thyme


Let the Steak get to room temperature. 

Pad the steak dry with a paper towel, and season it with a good amount of salt and some cracked pepper.

Heat oil in a skillet over high heat. Sear the steak on both sides, and keep turning the steak every 20-30 second, still over high heat. This will cook the steak faster than just flipping the steak just once. 

By flipping just once, the steak won't cook faster or more evenly, it's just easier. Generally you can say, that the more you turn the steak, the faster and more uniformly it will cook. Of cause within limits. When you sear food the surface touching the skillet, will quickly get hot, dehydrate, caramelize and get well done and overcooked. The overcooked part will act as an insulation layer between the heat source and the rest of the food. Resulting in longer cooking time and sometimes even burn food. By flipping the steak more often, you get a cooling of the searing surface, helping to heat up the center of the steak, and getting less of an insulating layer. 

Keep cooking and turning until just under the preferred doneness. (Rare: 130℉/54℃, Medium-Rare: 135℉/57℃, Medium:  146℉/63℃, Well done:  155℉/68℃.)  Generally I cook the steak until it has a dark sear, and the steak has some give to it, about 8 minutes in total, this will result in a medium to medium rare steak.

Turn off the heat, add butter, thyme and garlic. Baste or turn the steak in the now seasoned butter, and let it rest for a few minutes.

Slice the steak in thin slices, and serve immediately.




Lemon Marinated Skirt Steak

Beef, Dinner, Meats, BBQTove Balle-PedersenComment
Lemon Marinated Skirt Steak

Lemon Marinated Skirt Steak

I love grilling skirt steak. You can marinate the meat to make it fit the cuisine you are aiming for. The beef flavors are pretty intense and the it is not as pricy as regular steaks. Here I marinated the skirt steak in a soy-lemon marinate, giving the meat a clean bright flavor. 

Serves 3-4.


  • 700 g (1 ½  pounds) skirt steak
  • coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1 lemon, for serving
  • fresh coriander, for serving


  • 60 ml (¼  cup) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 60 ml (¼  cup) soy sauce 
  • 2 lemons, the juice from 
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed


Place the skirt steak in a ziplock bag, and add the ingredients for the marinade. Rub the marinade into the meat. Let the meat marinate for at least 1 hour at room temperature, or up to 6 hours in refrigerator.

Heat grill to medium-high. Remove meat from marinade and pat off excess juices with some paper towel. Grill the meat, just turning once, until  medium/medium rare about 5 minutes on each side. Transfer the meat to a cutting board, cover with some aluminum foil and let stand to rest for about 5 minutes.

Thinly slice meat against the grain (muscle fibers) and serve it with some cilantro on top, and lemon slices on the side. I served the warm Asian-style slaw on the side, but you can easily serve the meat in tacos.


Halloween Meatloaf

Beef, Dinner, Halloween, MeatsTove Balle-Pedersen2 Comments
Halloween Meatloaf before cremation

Halloween Meatloaf before cremation

One scary meal, fit for halloween.



  • 1 kg (2 lb.) ground beef

  • 1 onion, grated,

  • 1 egg

  • 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs

  • 2 cloves of garlic

  • 1 sprig of rosemary, leaves chopped

  • salt & pepper


  • ketchup mixed with hot hot sauce

  • 2 yellow tomatoes (eyes)

  • blanched almonds

  • 1 package bacon


Preheat oven to 400℉ (200℃).

Mix the meats with the rest of the ingredients. Form a round loaf  with indents for eyes and an open mouth in an ovenproof pan. Place the almonds like teeth in the mouth. Brush the loaf with ketchup mixture. Wrap the bacon around the meatloaf. Use yellow tomatoes for eyes.

Cook the meatloaf in the oven for about 20 minutes. Add about a cup of warm water to the pan, this will later be used for the sauce. Cook for 10-15 minutes more until it reaches a center temperature of about 167℉ (75℃).

The cremated halloween meatloaf

The cremated halloween meatloaf

Pour the pan drippings into a sauce pan and heat it. Add milk and red currant jelly and thicken the sauce with milk and flour. Season with red currant jelly and salt.

Serve the meatloaf with mashed potatoes.