First of all I think I need to try and explain what tjälknul is.

It’s a dish traditional to  northern Sweden. Tjälknul is normally made with meat from elk (roast), but a roast from beef cattle can be used, which is what I had this time, you’d use the same part as you’d use to cook a roast beef. Tjälknul is actually rather similar to roast beef. It’s to be eaten cold, cut in thin slices.

This dish takes it’s time to get done, so it is highly recommended to do it as an overnight cooking. But I promise you all, it’s worth it, and it is really easy to do as it requires virtually no work effort at all. Tjälknul get it’s flavoring from a spiced brine in which it is placed when cooked.


You need about 1.5 kilogram of deep frozen roast. It can be made with fresh roast as well, just isn’t really the same, and of course the cooking time would be reduced with a fresh roast.

Place the roast in a tin suitable for being in the oven. Turn on the oven at 75 degrees Celsius. Place the tin with the roast in the bottom part of the oven.

And before someone asks, I didn’t forget about seasoning, it’s just not supposed to be done at this step, and frankly I doubt that any salt or pepper would stick to the frozen meat 🙂

When the meat has thawed, after 2-4 hours you can place a meat thermometer in the thicker part of the roast. Depending on how red/pink you want it to be when ready it should say between 60 and 75 degrees Celsius when it is done. At 60 it’s more red then pink, and at 75 it’s fully cooked through. This would take 10-12 hours.

When the meat is near done, it’s time to make the spiced brine.

You need:

  • 1 liter of water
  • 1 deciliter of salt (you can reduce this a little if you want, but in the end it really isn’t gonna get very salty other then on the surface.
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • half a teaspoon of crushed black pepper.
  • 1 laurel leaf, crush it up a little
  • 15 dried and slightly crushed juniper berries

The how to:

The tjälknul marinating in the spiced brine

The tjälknul marinating in the spiced brine

  1. Bring the brine to the boil and let it boil a few minutes. Take it of the stove and let it cool just a little.
  2. When the roast is done, place it in a bowl or a plastic bag together with the brine. The brine should cover the whole roast.
  3. Place it in the refrigerator for 5 hours.
  4. Now it’s all done. Just remember that from this point store it without the brine until you plan on eating it.

Enjoy 🙂

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