Sunday, April 8, 2018

Pyttipanne, or Pytt i Panna in Swedish, means "little pieces in a pan."  I made this once for my family at Christmas, when I still ate meat, and it was such a big hit.  I sometimes think of that as my first real dish that I cooked.  I have cooked plenty before that, but it was at that moment that I realized I had a gift for bringing people together with food.  I have never been very outgoing, or very warm and friendly (sorry), and I have struggled to find words to express things sometimes.  It was on Christmas day when I served pytt i panna and my brother-in-law told me I had to bring that to every dinner at their house that I realized, "wow, I can actually do something that makes people happy."

Fast forward about 4 years, and I no longer eat the beef or lamb that I once did, so making this dish again required a little finesse. This dish is rustic comfort food that was born from necessity and locale.  It features ingredients that are always typical in Scandinavian cooking (potatoes, meat, dill...) and was usually made using leftover meat from other nights.  Scandinavian cooking is one of my favorites, because it is so simple and so accessible, but is so full of flavor and life.  It is also really easy to make most dishes vegan, even though they usually have a meat or dairy ingredient.  In 2018 we are so lucky, because we have so many easy substitutions for ingredients that were once necessity. It is one of my dreams to go to Norway and cook using local ingredients.  Which may happen sooner than later...

This meal is surprisingly light even though it's hearty, as well super simple to make.  And as I've said many times before, I love Scandinavian cooking because it's so easy, but special at the same time.  Which is honestly the whole appeal of a Scandinavian lifestyle (remember what a big hit hygge in the past few years?).  Scandinavian people are among some of the happiest in the world, and it's because they life simple lives, eat simple food, and honestly probably a little because they have a adopted a 6 hour work day, they get tons of paid time off at work, and exceptionally generous maternity leave (Sweden gets 480 days at 80% normal pay and Norway gets 35 weeks at full pay). If you live in the US, you don't get nearly that much time off, but this recipe is a pretty good consolation, amiright? No, I'm not, but it is a pretty good meal.

1 yellow onion, chopped
around 4 or 5 potatoes, chopped small
3 vegan sausages (your choice, but I'm partial to field roast. I used Tofurky bratwurst in this version)
1 cup vegan beef crumples (I used Gardein)
dill, fresh or dry
salt and pepper to taste
vegan butter (around 2 tbsp)

Melt half of the butter in a pan, and add in the potatoes.  Season with salt and pepper and dill and let cook until just about done.

Meanwhile, heat the rest of the butter in a separate pan on medium heat, and add in the onions.  Cook until nearly transparent, and add in the sausage and crumbles.  Cook until the crumbles are browned (some may get crisp, but this is good! We are subbing this for bacon that is in the recipe I based it on).  Add the meat and onion mixture to the pan with the potatoes and reduce your heat, and cover. Cook until potatoes are easily pieced with a fork. Top with chopped parsley.

You can also serve with lingon berry jam, for an authentic-feeling meal.

See? Easy sneezey. 


2 comments on "Pyttipanne"
  1. Great pics! But we don’t have 6 hour workdays in Scandinavia. A few workplaces are trying it out, but most of us work 8 hour days. We do have 25 paid days off a year (in Sweden) and our parental leave is a generous as you mention. Life in Scandinavia is safe and good, the downside is the long, cold, snowy/rainy winters.

    1. Hi Jess! Thanks for reading. And thanks for pointing out the 6 hr. vs 8hr. workday. I'm actually writing a piece right now that points out this difference, and clarifies which regions/companies have been trying out the 6 hr. work day. Either way, it seems like Sweden really has it together ;)