Kal pudding

My older brother was in town and he often has an interesting recipe up his sleeve. So far, he hasn’t failed me.

This recipe has the strangest name: Kalpudding. It’s a Swedish dish (and we come from Jewish Swedes so I felt doubly compelled). I read it and was kind of curious. I’m not really a person who makes casseroles but my brother seemed pretty sure it would be delicious so I decided to make it immediately.

Although I only had a bite of the meat part, the caramelized cabbage was really good as was the lingonberry sauce. My family loved the entire experience of the Kalpudding including that it was a casserole – not a normal part of my repertoire. I give this one high marks – my brother was right.

Kalpudding (meatloaf with caramelized cabbage) (-Sam Sifton, The New York Times)

Heat oven to 350°

Ingredients for Meatloaf:

2 Tbsp butter plus 1 tsp (unsalted)

1 head green cabbage, about 3 pounds, cored and shredded

3 Tbsp Golden Syrup (molasses will do)

Salt and pepper

¾ pound ground beef

¾ pound ground pork

1 small yellow onion, peeled and chopped

1 cup heavy cream

4 Tbsp breadcrumbs

1/3 cup stock (chicken, beef, veggie)

Ingredients for the Sauce

1/3 lingonberry preserves

1 Tbsp red-wine vinegar

1 Tbsp butter

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce or more to taste


Put a large pan over medium-high heat and add butter. When it starts to foam, add the cabbage and Golden Syrup. Lower the heat to medium and sprinkle with kosher salt. Cook slowly, stirring often until all the liquid has evaporated and the cabbage is caramelized, about 20-25 minutes.

While the cabbage is cooking, lightly mix the meats in a large bowl, add the onion, cream, and breadcrumbs and mix again to combine.

When the cabbage is done, add about 1/3 of it to the meat mixture and mix to combine.

Use the remaining butter to grease an 8” square baking pan, and transfer the meat mixture to it, spreading it out to cover the whole surface evenly. Spread the remaining cabbage over the meat, pour the stock over the top and place in the oven on a baking sheet, to cook for approximately 40-45 minutes or until the cabbage is very, very caramelized, almost dry and crunchy at the edges.

Allow the meat to sit for about 10-minutes or so before serving.

While the meat and cabbage cooks, make the sauce. Heat the lingonberry preserves, vinegar and butter in a small pot set over medium heat, then add Worcestershire sauce to taste. Serve alongside the Kalpudding. My family loved the sauce so I doubled it. We served this with potatoes. Everyone was happy.

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