Sweden - Meatballs
Recipe from https://www.scandikitchen.co.uk/recipe-real-swedish-meatballs/
Sweden's iconic meatballs, known to many of us Brits due to our deepseated love of IKEA have a very distinctive taste, one perfectly recreated by following scandikitchen.co.uk's recipe. The meatballs themselves are an 8:5 ratio of beef to pork, bound with egg, flour and breadcrumbs (or oats if you'd prefer), and flavoured with beef stock, onion, allspice, pepper and Worcestershire sauce. Allspice is still a spice that I'm not 100% certain how to use, but works very well in these to give the meatballs a slightly more aromatic taste. Traditionally, the meatballs are served with a cream gravy and sweetened lingonberries. The cream gravy I made here was very simple, deglazing the pan used to cook the meatballs with some stock, thickening it with flour and stirring in single cream. Unfortunately, I could not source lingonberries, and so substituted with cranberry sauce, as well as adding some green to the plate in the form of peas.
Cape Verde - Cachupa
Cape Verde's Cachupa is a stew which varies considerably on the region it is cooked in, with different ingredients depending on exactly what can be sourced. The variation I cooked here would be classed as Cachupa Rich, due to the inclusion of meat in the stew. The base of the meal is corn and beans: stone, favona, red, congo and black beans. Additionally, I added onion, garlic, savoy cabbage, sweet potato, squash, bacon and chorizo, opting not to include pork spare ribs to an already very crowded pot.
Norway - Fårikål
Recipe from https://northwildkitchen.com/farikal-norwegian-lamb-cabbage-stew/
Fårikål is a very simple dish of mutton (or lamb) on the bone and cabbage, stewed down very slowly in a slightly lasagna style layered approach, where the water that is emitted from the cabbage is used to boil and steam the stew. The meat is rolled in flour before cooking, which helps to thicken the stew whilst cooking. The meal was predominantly flavoured by salt and black peppercorns, which let the flavour of the mutton really be the star of the show. I served the stew with the traditional accompaniment of freshly boiled potatoes.
Mali - Tiga dégué
Recipe from https://www.culinaemundi.com/recipe/tigua-degue-aka-mafe-chicken-peanut-butter-sauce/
Tiga dégué is (another) West African stew of chicken and peanut butter, though in fairness to it, I think this has been my favourite so far, due to the addition of a variety of vegetables: carrot, potato, sweet potato, cabbage, green pepper and chilli. The recipe at culinaemundi.com also suggested that green beans would be an acceptable addition. I think what put this stew slightly above other similar dishes was the variety of flavours in it; I have found the other chicken and peanut stews to be fairly monotone in flavour. As per usual, the stew was served with a side of white rice.
Cyprus - Fasolada
Recipe from https://www.justaboutcyprus.com/fasolada/
On the hunt for a vegetarian-friendly national dish for dinner, I came across Cyprus' national dish, Fasolada, which has the additional bonus of being fully plant-based, making it perfect for the 89% of the population who identify as Orthodox Christians during the period of Lent. The meal is predominantly bean-based (Faso translates to bean) in a stew of tomatoes, celery, carrot, and bay, simmered down for over an hour, and finished off tableside with olive oil.