Wednesday, April 11, 2007

[DANSK] Pariserbøf for the people



Mmh. That's one big lump o' meat we've got there (underneith all the colorful stuff - yes, that's right, there!). Actually, it's not that big a lump - I think this one was just shy of 120 grams. But I'm going too fast here - let me tell you a little about Pariserbøf.

Or actually, let me not. Because to be honest, I have no idea as to where this thing originated. I did try a Google search which came up with both England and France as countries of origin, but I've never had anything like this outside Danish borders. Sure, it must have some sort of sandwich-y ancestor. I suppose you could even call it the Danish version of the hamburger. But the true story, I don't know. I just know that it's good, and that Pariserbøf is what I often turn to when the protein-and-no-fresh-vegetables-in-sight-pangs strike me.

The last couple of years, it's been on a revival trip in some of the hip restaurants and café's around Copenhagen. Being a traditional Danish thing, something a lot of chef's try to incorporate into their menus and be proud of these days (and they should, too!) and being something a lot of the chef's I know love, how could they not let the goodness from the staff dinners flow out onto the menu?

But really, I like it best when it's made at home. Maybe because the man that, without discussion, makes the best Pariserbøf in the world is my Man - Martin - yes, I am counting my blessings, every single day - and maybe because at home, you're not stuck with waaaay too little beet and a plethora of raw onions when you want it the other way around. At home, you're the boss - at least in the topping department, heh!

What it is, when it all comes down to it, is a piece of toast (that white, cardboardy stuff, but it's all good here - you need it to suck up the juices) with a hamburger made from minced beef. You squish the hamburger onto the bread, salt and pepper generously and then fry it all in a liberal amount of butter - meat side first, then breadside. I never said it was healthy, did I?:-) I take mine on the medium-rare side, thank you.

And then, ooooh, then, comes all the good stuff - stuff that the dreams of at least some pregnant women I know are made of: pickled beets, raw onions, capers, pickles (our word for a concoction of different vegetables pickled in a mustardy sauce - I'll hopefully try making my own soon and will of course supply you with the recipe) fresh horseradish - and egg yolks. All piled on top of the still warm meat, the egg yolks melting out onto everything, making for a vinegary, smooth, crunchy, pungent topping. And, and...

Oh dear. I'm sure this most sound sooo weird. Writing it all down, I'm thinking... Oh well. I can't help it. I just love really, really like my Pariserbøf. And when food can make a girl feel like that, you just have to indulge, no matter how weird it may sound - don't you?:-)

12 comments:

Alanna said...

Love it!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Nothing beats being in love! Enthusiasm is a wonderful thing'!

chris said...

i think it totally sounds yum!!

jules said...

I've never tried Pariserbof...but it looks just like my kind of thing..beef, beets and raw eggs... will have to give it a go

Eva said...

Hey, with beetroot and egg it sounds like the Danish relative of the true Aussie Burger! But this one is definitely better looking - such a beautiful, colourful picture!

ann said...

oh my lord, bestill my beating heart! I think I'm in love. I must track down those mustardy pickles... The sound amazing!

Judith said...

How about the raw egg? What happens to it? Does it just oozes off from the top? Also, any concerns over raw eggs...?

Kate said...

i am relatively new to the blogger universe, having been introduced to it by friends who i think were tired of me talking so much about food. I just started a blog and have been busy reading others. I found your's from a link on 'Orangette'and felt a kinship when i read your bio. I am a bit older with four children, but just started the process of going back to med school to become a pediatrician about two years ago. Medicine and cooking don't seem to go together too often. Most everyone i know, when they are done staring at their textbooks just want their meal set in front of them. They seem to think i am a bit cracked to want to spend my free hours cooking. I am glad to know i am not the only 'crazy' one out there. Happy cooking.
Cheers,
Kate

Michellene said...

http://www.smuckers.com/fg/pds/prod_info.asp?brandID=8&catID=255&prodID=483

could this be like the mustard stuff?

This is a staple in my house.

Zarah Maria said...

Oh I'm so happy you haven't dismissed me, all of you!:-)

Eva - I did think about the Aussie Burger when I was writing this - I remember seeing those when I was in Australia a couple years back, thinking: weird... And then remembering the Danish version - heh!

Ann - will try and test the recipe I have asap, then get it up - otherwise, have a look at Michellene (below)'s link - you might be able to find something similar!

Judith - the egg does just ooze of the top. And I use raw egg yolks, scalding the egg itself before I divide them. I know, salmonella and what have you - but using pasteurized yolks just isn't the same. If I were in a position were I didn't dare eat the raw egg yolk, I'd just go without - it's all up to what you feel comfortable with!

Kate - nice to meet you! You're definitely not the only crazy person out there, tee-hee ,-)

Michellene - that is exactly it, except ours is a coarser cut than that one - but you could most definitely substitute!

Anonymous said...

Pariserbøf is also one of the foods I crave from time to time (in the Danish newspaper, Børsen, the restaurant critic actually uses the Pariserbøf as a benchmark food to describe the quality of the lunch menus - I want his job!). My personal theory is that the recipe may be a descendant of a variety of Russian bitki, as the myth goes about biff lindstrom, a Swedish classic, with some of the same ingredients (beet, onion and pickled cucumbers) incorporated into the meat. There were closer bonds between Denmark and Russia around the time (last half of the 19th century) minced meat became a »household item«: The Empress Consort, Maria Feodorovna, was the daughter of the Danish King Christian IX. Just a theory - but the pickled beets are typical Russian. Mogens, madkultur.

Pidde Andersson said...

Pariserbøf is called Parisare or Parisersmörgås in Sweden, but it's actually a French dish, originally called Risolette.