28 March 2011

Beef Rydberg – Recipe

For dinner recently I decided to take a little excursion to Sweden. Not literally of course, but culinarily. As much as I love cooking, sometimes you need to make something that provides maximum impact with minimal effort, and this is one such dish. Biff Rydberg is a Swedish classic and its name is said to originate from the now defunct, but once opulent, Hotel Rydberg in Stockholm, where it was probably first served.

In this dish, beef, potatoes and onions are cooked simply to remarkable effect. The original dish was also thought to include kidney from lamb, veal or pig, but this seems to have been dropped over the years. I like to add a dash of Worcestershire sauce to the beef to add a pleasing umami kick, while some people prefer to add a dollop of mustard- or horseradish-cream.

The only question left though is where to place that raw egg yolk you see in the picture above. Personally, I love squishing the yolk all over the potatoes, coating them in an unctuously smooth 'sauce.' Alternatively you can also mix everything together into a great big unholy mess. If raw egg yolk is not your thing then you can of course do as my wife, Mrs. Nibbler, does and place a fried egg on top instead. I promise I won't call you a wimp if you do. Honestly (ahem).
If you ever find yourself in Stockholm and have a craving for the real deal, then you'd be hard pressed to find a better example of Beef Rydberg than at Prinsen restaurant, which has been a Stockholm institution for over 100 years.

Ingredients (serves 4)
  • 600g beef fillet, cut into ¾ inch cubes
  • 800g potatoes, peeled and cut into ¾ inch cubes
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 4 egg yolks served in the shell (you can trim the edges of the shell with scissors to make it neater)
  • 50g butter (and some oil) for frying
  • A handful of chopped parsley
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Salt and pepper to season
  1. Parboil the potatoes for 5 mins
  2. Melt 25g of butter in a frying pan and fry the potatoes over a low/medium heat for 15-20 mins. Season with salt. Don't move the potatoes around too much, you want a nice crisp crust to form. You may want to add a touch of oil too to stop the butter burning.
  3. While the potatoes are cooking, gently fry the onions with the remaining butter in another pan over a low/medium heat for 15 mins and season with a touch of salt. The onions should be soft and golden and just starting to caramelise.
  4. After the onions have been cooking for 7 mins, drizzle the beef with a touch of oil, season with salt and pepper and sear in (yet another) hot pan for 3-4 mins until cooked medium-rare. Let the beef rest for 5 mins on a warm plate.
  5. To serve, place separate mounds of beef, onions and potatoes on a warmed plate. Sprinkle with chopped parsley (don't leave this out, it adds a crisp freshness to the dish), and place an egg yolk in the middle. I also like to add a few splashes of Worcestershire sauce over the beef. Serve with an ice cold beer or a glass of Pinot Noir.


  1. I live in Sweden but have never tried this. Pytt i panna is more common, similar concept

  2. Hi Three-Cookies. You're missing out, you should try it! Biff Rydberg is a bit like a posh pytt i panna, although the fact that is uses beef fillet (expensive) means it's probably eaten less often.

  3. Classic stuff and a lovely photo. I've grown quite partial to Biff Ryberg and am super keen to try it in an old school rustic Swedish restaurant. So far I've only cooked it for myself with a twist - once with elk and the other time with venison.

  4. I am thinking of doing this for dinner this weekend. It looks fantastic and with a few simple ingredients you have an awesome meal. Thanks!

  5. Hi Jonathan. Ooh, I love the sound of using elk or venison, might try that next time. Prinsen in Stockholm serves a mean Biff Rydberg and it's pretty old school - all dark wood paneling, mirrors and stained glass.

    Hi Meeta, hope you do give it a go. Let me know how you get on if you do.

  6. Aine Maire Anam20 July 2011 at 18:07

    I have just returned from a vacation in Stockholm - I personally love the Prinzen Restaurant version with mustard creme. I will be serving up Biff Rydberg this week for friends and will be using your recipe and the mustard creme (Creme Fraiche, Dijon Mustard, Salt + Pepper mixed together) Wish me Luck!