Cookbook:Vorschmack (Finnish Ground Meat)

Vorschmack (Finnish Ground Meat)
CategoryFinnish recipes

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Vorschmack has long traditions in Finnish cuisine. It can be served as an everyday meal, as well as a festive speciality. To be served heated, with pickled beetroot in vinegar, pickled cucumber and sour cream.




  1. Let the herring fillets soak in cold water over night. Dry the fillets on paper towels.
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F (220°C). Arrange the meat and onion in a greased baking dish and roast on the medium shelf until golden brown (about 15–20 minutes).
  3. Let the dish cool, and then grind the contents with the herring and anchovy using a meat grinder. In a large bowl, add some water to the mixture to give it the consistency of thick porridge. Season with white pepper and garlic.
  4. Place the contents in a baking dish. Spread out some tomato paste over the surface of the mixture. Bake at 350°F (175°C) for 2 hours. Add water if the Vorschmack looks dry. If the consistency is too light, continue baking to evaporate excess water. The consistency should resemble thick hot porridge.
  5. Serve hot with baked potatoes, smetana, and a shot of ice cold vodka, filled to the rim.

Notes, tips, and variations

  • The saltiness of the Vorschmack is regulated by the time used to soak the herring fillets. For high saltiness, let the herring soak 2 hours, for low saltiness let them soak 8 hours.