On Chad’s first trip to Sweden, the first meal that Emma’s family made for him was Swedish pancakes (pannkakor) and pea soup (ärtsoppa), but the second meal I had was pyttipanna.
Pyttipanna translates loosely as “shit in a pan” or simply “hash.” Writ large, this dish is simply a combination of whatever leftovers you might have–which, for the average Swede, would entail boiled potatoes and some form of meat (ham, korv, and/or or beef).
I must admit the idea behind this reminds me of what my grandpa would call “shit on a shingle,” more commonly known as chipped beef on toast. If you haven’t heard of this (probably because you’re not from the midwest/south), you can read about it here. In short, it was a very common meal for U.S. military members during World War II and is often compared to Swedish pea soup because of this.
Anyways, pyttipanna is essentially a hash made of onion, potatoes, and some form of ham, korv, and/or steak (if you’re being fancy). It’s nearly always served with a fried egg on top and pickled beets to the side. The runny yolk from the egg provides an extra burst of flavor and brings the dish together while the pickled beets give a necessary tang for such a starch-heavy dish. If you’re not a pickled beets person, a little ketchup works well.
You can, of course, add in whatever you have in the fridge that might be tasty, but this is a dish best left simple. Let us know what you think or what additions you might make to your own pyttipanna below in the comments. Smaklig måltid!
Pyttipanna is a classic Swedish weeknight dish and super easy to make. It's essentially a hash made up of potatoes, onion, ham, korv, and/or beef--but you can add whatever sounds delicious! Serve with a fried egg and pickled beets.
- 1 medium onion
- ~6 large boiled potatoes
- 1 cup diced ham or korv
- 1/2 lb. diced steak
- 4 eggs
- Parsley, for garnishing
- Pickled beets, for serving
- Chill potatoes so they are easier to cut (I stick mine in the freezer for 5-10 minutes), then cut into small pieces, ~ 1/4″ or 1 cm cubes.
- If you don’t have boiled potatoes ready to go, you can dice uncooked potatoes and cook in the skillet over medium heat until soft and brown. Be careful not to make them too crispy: pyttipanna should always be fairly soft but not mushy.
- Cut ham and steak into similarly sized pieces. Salt & pepper to taste. Dice onion and set aside.
- Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. I love my Lodge enamel casserole oven. It rarely leaves my stove. You want it nice and hot so the potatoes don’t overcook and become mushy.
- Add ~2 tbsp. of olive oil to the skillet and then add diced potatoes. Cook for about 10 minutes or until potatoes are browned. Remove potatoes from skillet.
- Drizzle a bit more olive oil in the skillet and add the onion. Cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
- Add meat to the skillet and cook until browned, about 5 more minutes.
- Once meat is cooked, add potatoes back into the skillet. Turn down heat to medium-low and let cook for a few minutes while you make the eggs.
- Fry the eggs in a separate skillet. To achieve a proper sunny-side up egg, warm a non-stick skillet on medium-low. Crack the eggs into the skillet, cover, and let cook uninterrupted for about 5-6 minutes. You want the whites cooked, but the yolk still runny.
- Place cooked eggs atop the potato-meat mixture and garnish which chopped parsley
- Serve with pickled beets or ketchup. We like the pickled beets from Trader Joes!