It is time to talk about julskinka. The star of the Swedish julbord has to be the Christmas Ham.
It’s been a tradition since the nineteenth century for farmers to start fattening their pigs for Christmas in the summer. The whole pig, once slaughtered, was utilised and, with limited refrigeration, the old methods such as preserving with salt were popular. Sausages, meatballs even blood pudding came from the Christmas pig.
Aside from the ham there are a few dated delicacies that still show up on julbord today.
- Pigs’ feet (grisfötter) are salted pigs’ trotters are simmered for several hours until tender and eaten off the bone. If that doesn’t appeal you can try them served in aspic or how about jellied pigs’ feet?
- Dopp I grytan is the broth in which the meat is cooked. Dipping bread in the pot was a tradition so widespread that Christmas Eve was often called “dopparedagen” or dipping day!!
- Ribs were readily available and were a tasty addition to the Christmas table, sometimes still are today.
These days julskinka is considered an indispensable part of the julsmorgasbord. Delicious, moist and tender, the ham is coated in mustard, egg yolks and breadcrumbs and oven baked to perfection. Check out this julskinka recipe
It’s possible to buy these cooked from any Swedish supermarket. But we suggest cooking your own and filling your home with the unmistakable aroma of warm spices. Undeniably Christmassy.