Karelian Hot Pot, from Cooking with Oil

Saturday, June 03, 2006
In honor of the Stanley Cup finals beginning this week between the Edmonton Oilers and the Carolina Hurricanes, we bring you a hockey themed post.

A Canuck blog post on hockey and cooking led to a discussion of NHL team cookbooks, with titles such as Cookin' on Ice (Flyers), What's Bruin' (Bruins), Flaming Foods (Flames), Red Hot Recipes (Flames), Goal Scorers and Gourmets (Penguins), and Cooking with Oil (Oilers).

The only one of these classics that the Edmonton library has is Cooking With Oil. Thankfully this is no sport and mayhem themed cookbook like Tiger Williams' "Done Like Dinner". The book is a collection of a couple dozen recipes for some of the Oilers' favourite dishes, each with a picture of the player and the cook. Having come out in 2002, the book has a few recipes from those who have moved on such as 'Dallas Dip' from Tod Marchant and a Jiggs Dinner from Newfoundland born Daniel Cleary, now with Detroit. We do have Jason Smith's favourite lasagna, Shawn Horcoff's favourite bruschetta, and the baklava that Steve Staios' mom makes.

At first I was afraid that finding a frugal recipe to blog in a pro sports team cookbook would be like trolling a recipe collection from the Forbes list, but many of the recipes were simple and approachable and close to budget. The Laraque Ham and Cheese Bake nearly made it, but called for a cup of cream and Cheese Whiz, which I didn't have on hand. Even the Jiggs Dinner called for 3 lbs of corned beef. (Could have made it if I used less meat and cured it myself, but even here there are limits to fandom.) One recipe that worked with the budget was Karelian Hot Pot, from Finn goalie Jussi Markkanen's mom. Like many Scandinavian dishes, it has basic ingredients and an uncomplicated presentation. If you want to follow the serving suggestion but don't have lignonberries, you can use cranberries.

Cut 1 1/2 pounds pork shoulder, beef roast, or stewing lamb into generous cubes and coarsely chop 2 onions. Layer meat and onions in a large roasting pan, seasoning each layer with salt and pepper. Add a teaspoon of allspice and water to nearly cover. Bake uncovered for three hours at 350 degrees, making sure water level does not get too low. Cover near the end of cooking time if needed. Serve with boiled potatoes, boiled turnips, grated carrots, and lignonberry sauce.