Poronkäristys / Sautéed reindeer
One of the most traditional Lappish foods is sautéed reindeer. Whilst we definitely recommend trying the reindeer in one of the Levi’s restaurants, nothing stops you to try cooking it yourself, too! Food is rather simple.
Firstly head to the shops to buy “Poron paistikäristys”. It is frozen product. Another option is to buy it from local producers, for example NiliPoro restaurant sells also meat products.
You will need around 150-200g meat per person. Melt the reindeer until it’s frosty but not fully frozen (around -6 celsius). Use real butter for frying (in Finnish “voi”). Just make sure that whilst frying, you don’t fry too much at the same time, so the meat gets brown (fried not boiled). If there is a lot of liquid coming out of the meat, poor them in a pan where you also put the fried meat. Add salt according to your taste, around 2 teaspoons / 1 kg. Add water, around 2,5 dl per 1 kg. Turn the heat down, use the lid and let it brew for 10-30 minutes.
This type of reindeer’s meat is pretreated and doesn’t require long time to stew.
Butter potatoes / pottuvoi
Sautéed reindeer is served with mashed potatoes. You can either do normal mashed potatoes or more traditional “pottuvoi”.
For this you need again around 150-200g Lappish potatoes, “Lapin puikula” per person. You can either boil the potatoes with skin or peel them before boiling. It is OK to leave the skin and enjoy the mashed potatoes with bits of skin. Should you wish to leave the skin, wash the potatoes well before boiling. All up to your taste and wishes. Boil the potatoes in water until very soft (usually minimum 30 minutes).
For 500 g of potatoes, use 1-2 onions. Mince the onions small and saute them in 2-3 tablespoons of butter. Add 1,5 dl of milk (maito, full milk is the best option) and bring to boil. Mush the potatoes and add the milk mixing the same time.
Serve “pottuvoi” and “poronkäristys” with lingonberries and garlic pickle (we recommend brand called “Myrttisen valkosipulisuolakurkku” that you can get from Levimarket). When possible, get the fresh lingonberries right at the backyard of Levi Log Cabin, but frozen ones will do well, too.
Cheesebread / leipäjuusto
One of the easiest ways to enjoy Lappish taste at the cabin is to buy “leipäjuusto” from the shop. There are many ways to enjoy this traditional, squeaky treat but we recommend to have it with another not-to-miss taste of cloudberry jam. Should you wish, show it the microwave for 20-30 seconds to melt it a bit. And what could go better with this than coffee?