Did you know that Reindeer is the name that was given to caribou in Scandinavia and Russia? Did you also know that caribou is delicious to eat?
In the Scandinavian culture they make a dish called Labskovs. I know, it sounds like a piece of Ikea furniture, right? Well Labskovs is the stew you never knew you needed in your life. Traditionally stews here in the U.S. are broth based and filled with veggies and meat. But Labskovs is a different take on stew. It’s more of a meat and potatoes mash, and it is delightful.
Discover the Scandinavian comfort food you are missing out on
Since Nordic cuisine tends to be a bit bland, I spiced it up a bit and put my take on the dish. I add Guinness beer to the mix for the meat to simmer in to impart more flavor. And I add a few more warming spices like clove into the mix. It is simple to make and simply delicious! If you don’t have caribou on hand, you can definitely substitute venison, beef, or even bear. I also had to impart just a dash of wilder game flavor and add a bit more depth by adding some butter and duck fat right at the end. If you are in a rush, you can also throw everything except the butter, duck fat, and chives into a crockpot and let it do its thing. So hopefully you can get out there and harvest a caribou, but if not, use up some wild game you have on hand, and get a taste of Scandinavian culture!
Caribou Labskovs Recipe
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Yield: 8 servings
2 lbs. cubed Caribou meat
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups Guinness beer
4 bay leaves
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
3 sprigs fresh thyme
1 whole clove
1 tsp. black peppercorns, smashed
4 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 Tbsp. salted butter
2 Tbsp. duck fat
1/4 cup fresh chopped chives
1. In a Dutch oven, add about 1 tablespoon of avocado oil (or vegetable oil) to the pot, and place pot over high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the cubed meat. Sear the meat on all sides until golden brown.
2. Add chicken stock, Guinness, bay leaves, garlic, thyme, clove, and black peppercorns to the pot. Lower the heat to low and simmer covered for 1 hour.
3. Add potatoes to the pot, cover, and let simmer for 1 more hour.
4. After the stew has cooked, train off all the liquid and return the meat and potatoes to the pot. Use a balloon whisk to gently mash everything together. Make sure you don’t mash too much as you want small chunks of meat and potatoes. Gently fold butter and duck fat in to the stew. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Serve immediately garnished with fresh chopped chives.