Danish Food Culture and Cooking Recipes - Ham & Kale Stew

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Danish Specialities and Recipes

Ham & Kale Stew (Curly Cabbage)
with caramelised potatoes
Old National and Everyday Pork Dish

"Kogt skinke og grønlangkål"

Ham & Kale Stew with Caramelised Potatoes. "Kogt skinke og grønlangkål". Kale or borecole - “Grønkål - is used to make “Grønlangkål” - which is a Danish vegetable stew that has been eaten in Denmark and Nordic countries for several centuries - mainly in the wintertime. Until the end of the Middle Ages - kale was one of the most common green vegetables in Europe - because kale lutes - with its important nutrients - is easy to grow and harvest all year round. The dish is originated from the rural regions - and old country kitchens - and had slowly spread its way to the city areas - as an everyday meal for the working class. But it is an obligatory and traditional dish for Christmas together with pork related supplements like heavy pork sausages "Medisterpølse" - "Danish "Sylte" - head cheese or brawn - “Kogt flæsk” - slices of juicy cooked pork on the bone plus strong mustard. The “Grønlangkål” stew can vary widely from region to region - and is one of the Danes most favourite dishes and recipes. The picture shows delicious “Grønlangkål” stew with cooked Ham and Caramelised Potatoes.

"Skinke med Grønlangkål" - Ham with Kale Stew
"Skinke med Grønlangkål"
(Ham with Kale stew and caramelised potatoes)
The dish is over 500 years old and has been a traditional everyday meal for generations of Danes in the wintertime - and a must at Christmas with various pork meats. This recipe is from Lolland - an isle in the southern part of Denmark.

2 kg
1 kg
75 g
2 dl
2 tablespoon
2 teaspoon
Ham with Kale stew

Slightly smoked Ham saddle
Kale or borecole
Salted butter
Whipping cream 38%
Sugar (to yor taste)


1 kg

50 g

Caramelised potatoes

Small potatoes
Granulated sugar

Kale - (Curly Cabbage)

Kale is filled with all types of healthy vitamins like iron - calcium - vitamin C - vitamin K and vitamin A. Kale is one of the healthiest vegetables around and one way to be sure to enjoy the maximum nutrition and flavour from kale is to cook it properly - by healthy steaming for at least 10 minutes - and then make it into a delicious kale stew.

Caramelised Potatoes
Caramelised potatoes (brunede kartofler) is a must and a great tradition to eat with roasted duck - cooked ham - roasted pork especially at Christmas - and has been a custom for generations.

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Ham with Kale stew and caramelised potatoes

Slightly smoked ham

Place the ham in a frying bag for the oven - or wrap it in a large piece of foil for cooking. Roast in oven at 200 degrees C for approx. 2 hours - or boil it for 1 hour.

is often called "borecole" - and in America collards are sometimes called "sprouts."

Kale recipe - from Lolland - an isle in the southern part of Denmark.

Rinse kale well in large bowl of warm water - place in colander - then drain. Discard any discoloured leaves. To trim away tough stem ends - make "V-shaped" cut at stem end - discard tough stems.

Slice the rolled leaves crosswise into ½ inch thick slices with a sharp knife - then separate the kale into strips and small pieces. 50 gram of butter is melted and stirred together in a big pot with the flour into a consistent layer - then ad the kale and heat it up with some water. Stir regularly - and ad the whipping cream - more butter - sugar - salt and pepper.

Boil for 10-15 minutes until the kale stew has reached a solid consistency - and to your taste.

Caramelised potatoes (brunede kartofler)
Boil the potatoes in their skins for 15-20 minutes or until cooked. When cool enough to handle - peel off the skins with a small knife.

Heat the sugar in a frying pan over a medium-low heat for 2-3 minutes - then add the butter. When it starts foaming - add the potatoes and turn to coat in the mixture.

Cook for a further 4-5 minutes until nicely golden and browned - then serve.

Serve with all the pork supplements
Serve the "grønlangkål" - kale stew - with cooked smoke ham - cooked pork sausages and pork on the bone together with the cold head cheese or brawn.

Supplement: Marinated beetroot - pickled gherkins -
strong mustard and warm rustic rye bread.

Christmas traditions
Kale stew with cooked ham "Grønlangkål med skinke" is a must and a tradition to serve at Christmas in Denmark.

Ready-made "Grønlangkål" - Kale stew

You can also buy various ready-made "Grønlangkål" - in supermarkets and grocery stores.

See Eating and traditional Danish food culture

Velbekomme - Enjoy your meal!

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