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Lihamojakka, Beef Stew - A Finnish-American Recipe for St. Urho's Day


Finnish-American Beef Stew

Lihamojakka, Beef Stew

photo ©Kari Diehl, licensed to About.com
Lihamojakka, Finnish Stew with Beef, is a favorite meal at Finnish-American St. Urho Day celebrations.

Cook Time: 3 hours

Total Time: 3 hours


  • 11/2 to 2 pounds meaty beef short ribs
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp. whole allspice
  • 1/2 tsp. peppercorns
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 rutabaga, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. potato flour or all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tbsp. water


Place meat and 6 cups water in large soup pot and bring to a fast simmer over medium-high heat. Maintain the simmer for about twenty minutes, skimming off all of the grey scum that rises to the surface (this will ensure that the broth of the completed stew is clear, a characteristic of good lihamojakka).

When the scum has stopped forming, reduce heat to low. Stir in chopped onion and garlic, bay leaves, whole allspice, and peppercorns. Cover pot and allow to cook for 2 hours (Hint: You can tie the bay leaves, allspice, and peppercorns together in a cheesecloth packet for easy removal if you don't wish to serve them as part of the completed stew).

After two hours, stir in the potatoes, carrots, celery, rutabaga, and salt. Replace lid and simmer on medium-low until vegetables are tender (about 30 minutes).

Whisk together the flour and water and stir into the stew. Simmer for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, until the broth has thickened. Serve with rye or artisan bread.

Yield: 5-6 servings Finnish-American lihamojakka.

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