Beef à la Lindström

Biff a la Lindstrøm the Swedish Way

Adolf Lindstrøm (1866 – 1933) from Hammerfest was the chef at the polar expeditions of Fridtjof Nansen, Otto Sverderup and Roald Amundsen.

Lindstrøm grew up in Hammerfest, and already at age fifteen he signed up as a polar ship’s cook. Later, he worked for a time as a machinist, and from 1894 to 1898, he was ship’s cook working for coastal shipping companies. In 1896, when Fridtjof Nansen came to Tromsø after the first nautical crossing of the Arctic Ocean, Lindstrøm signed up as chef for the last stage to Kristiania (now Oslo). This is how he became acquainted with the two great polar explorers of the time, Nansen and the captain of Fram, Otto Sverdrup.

Adolf LindstrømLindstrøm’s experience as a chef on whaling vessels in the Arctic Ocean enabled him to exploit local ingredients such as musk oxen, reindeer, seabirds and fish. His masterly cooking and social behavior encouraged the men on board Fram through four long winters in the Arctic. Lindstrøm’s use of fresh raw materials and frozen cloudberries, prevented scurvy due to lack of vitamin C, on this journey and later expeditions that he participated in.

Adolf Lindstrøm was also the chef for Roald Amundsen on the polar ship “Gjoa” which was the first to sail through the Northwest Passage, and Amundsen’s famous expedition to the South Pole.

The original “Beef à la Lindstrøm” was made of bear meat and served on all Grand Hotels in Northern Europe. There is also a Swedish “Beef à la Lindström”, made of minced beef mixed with beets.



400 g minced beef (from cattle, alternatively from bear or musk ox – “the original way”)

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 egg

1/2 cup of milk

2 boiled potatoes, diced

2 tablespoons finely chopped onion

2 tablespoons finely chopped pickled beets

2 tablespoons chopped gherkins

1 tablespoon capers

2 tablespoons butter or oil for frying



Mix the minced beef with salt and pepper. Stir in milk and whisked egg. Stir potatoes, onions, beets and cucumbers into the mince. Form the mince into eight, a bit high steaks.

Brown the butter in a frying pan and fry the steaks over medium heat, 2-3 minutes on each side. Put into the oven at 356°F (180°C) for ten minutes.

Goes well with mustard, capers, boiled potatoes and gravy. Swedes also use a little grated horseradish to give it an extra edge.


Text by: Thor Lanesskog, ThorNews

Photo on top by:

Sources: Store Norske Leksikon, NRK

Categories: Culinary Surprises, Recipes

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