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How to make Karjalanpaisti: A Finnish Dish

Karjalanpaisti is a traditional Finnish dish that is made with a variety of meats and root vegetables. It is a hearty and filling dish that is perfect for the cold winter months.


Karjalanpaisti is a classic Finnish dish that’s perfect for a warm and filling meal during the cold winter months. This dish is made with a variety of meats and root vegetables, including beef, pork, onions, carrots, parsnips, rutabaga, turnip, and potatoes.

With its rich flavour and hearty texture, Karjalanpaisti has become a popular staple in Finnish cuisine. In this guide, we will provide a step-by-step recipe on how to make this traditional Finnish dish at home.


  • 1 lb of beef or lamb stew meat
  • 1 lb of pork shoulder or butt
  • 2 onions
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 parsnips
  • 1 rutabaga
  • 1 turnip
  • 3 potatoes
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of allspice
  • 1 tablespoon of black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of butter


Step 1: Prepare the vegetables

Peel and chop the onions, carrots, parsnips, rutabaga, turnip, and potatoes into bite-sized pieces.

Step 2: Brown the meat

In a large pot, heat up the butter over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, add the beef or lamb stew meat and the pork shoulder or butt to the pot. Brown the meat on all sides until it is nicely browned.

Step 3: Add the vegetables

Add the chopped onions, carrots, parsnips, rutabaga, turnip, and potatoes to the pot with the browned meat. Stir the vegetables around so that they are coated in the meat juices.

Step 4: Add the spices

Add the salt, allspice, black peppercorns, and bay leaves to the pot. Pour in the water and stir everything together.

Step 5: Cook the Karjalanpaisti

Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and let the Karjalanpaisti simmer for 2-3 hours. Stir the pot occasionally to make sure everything is cooking evenly.

Step 6: Serve

Once the Karjalanpaisti is finished cooking, remove the bay leaves and serve it hot. You can serve it with a side of lingonberry jam or cranberry sauce.

  • If you want to make a vegetarian version of Karjalanpaisti, you can substitute the meat with mushrooms or seitan.
  • You can also add other root vegetables to the dish, such as celery root or sweet potato.
  • For a richer flavour, you can brown the meat in batches instead of all at once.
  • Make sure to check the pot occasionally to make sure there is enough water. If the water level gets too low, add more water to the pot.
Step 7: Store leftovers

If you have any leftover Karjalanpaisti, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will keep for up to 3-4 days.

Step 8: Reheat leftovers

To reheat the leftovers, you can either microwave them or reheat them on the stove. If you are reheating on the stove, add a little bit of water to the pot to help loosen up the meat and vegetables. Heat the Karjalanpaisti over medium heat until it is hot.

Step 9: Enjoy!

Karjalanpaisti is a delicious and hearty dish that is perfect for a cold winter night. Serve it with a side of lingonberry jam or cranberry sauce and enjoy!


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