How to Make Swedish Sylta

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Things You'll Need

  • 2 lbs. pork shoulder

  • 1 lb. veal shank

  • 4 cups water

  • 1 chopped medium onion

  • 4 cloves garlic

  • 5 allspice

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 envelop plain gelatin

  • ¼ cup water

  • 1 tbs. vinegar

  • 1 tsp. salt

  • Salt

  • Pepper

How to Make Swedish Sylta. Sylta is a traditional Swedish recipe that is often found on a Scandinavian Christmas smorgasbord. Also called head cheese or a jellied meat loaf, sylta is served alongside other meats like ham and sausages and is often eaten with mustard. If you want to create a traditional Swedish meal or just try an unfamiliar recipe, making Swedish sylta can be done with the following directions.


Step 1

Purchase the meats for this jellied loaf. The meat of the hog's head is the traditional meat for the sylta recipe but is often hard to come by these days, so most cooks prefer to substitute veal and pork shoulder. Two lbs. of pork shoulder and 1 lb. of veal shanks is adequate.

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Step 2

Remove fat from the pork. Heat the meat in 4 cups of water seasoned with one medium-diced onion, a bay leaf, 4 cloves and 6 whole allspice. Salt and pepper until boiling. Turn down the heat to a simmer after boiling and cook until the meat is tender, which should take about an hour and a half.

Step 3

Turn off the heat and let it cool a bit before handling. Take the meat off the bones. Chop the meat well or process finely with a food processor.

Step 4

Strain the broth and discard the onion and seasoning.


Step 5

Dissolve an envelope of unflavored gelatin in ½ cup of water in a saucepan over low heat.

Step 6

Combine the meat, gelatin, 2 ½ cups of broth, 1 tbs. of vinegar and 1 tsp. of salt together. Place mixture into an ungreased loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap.


Step 7

Place sylta into the refrigerator and chill for 6 hours or until firm.

Step 8

Remove the Swedish sylta from the loaf pan onto a serving dish. Garnish with pickled beets if desired.


Swedish sylta does not freeze well.


Use caution when working with the hot meat.


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