Järpar – Bird without bird!

The bird Tetras bonasia (Hazel grouse) has given the name to this Swedish dish. The dish does not contain poultry meat at all! In fact, despite extensive investigations, I have not been able to find why this dish has a bird name. 😊
What I have found is that Gustav II Adolf ate fried Hazel grouse on February 8, 1623 (a dish among 30 other dishes. (source)

It is basically minced meat filled with herbs, shaped like a mini-kebab or a long meatball. There are several different types of “Järpar”, such as “Kalvjärpar” (Kalv=veal), which means that the meat used in the dish is veal. The most common is ox-järpar with is minced beef stuffed with parsley, salt, and pepper. In most restaurants, you probably see Järpar – without a prefix.

The dish is usually served with sauce (gravy), boiled or pressed potatoes and lingonberry jam or pressed cucumber, of course.

I had some minced meat at home and decided to make “järpar”. Sometimes I must have mercy towards my husband and cook some old-fashioned Swedish meal!


0.5 dl breadcrumbs
1 dl milk (100 grams)
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons of salt
0.5 tsp black pepper
500 grams of minced meat (beef, veal, lamb, etc.)
1 dl or 15 grams of chopped parsley
Butter and oil for frying


1 yellow onion
5 cups of cream (2 cups)
2 – 3 tsp soya sauce
1-2 tablespoons of flour
1 – 2 tablespoons onion powder
1 – 2 tbsp Dijon mustard (can be excluded)
1-piece bullion of your choice or Fond de Chef


  1. Finely chop the onion and set aside.
  2. Measure out the other ingredients and have it ready.
  3. Combine bread crumbs, milk, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper in a large bowl, mix well and let it swell for 10-15 minutes.
  4. After 10–15 minutes, add the meat and knead until the meat becomes “stringy”.
  5. Add the herbs of your choice – here I used well-chopped parsley.
  6. Allow marinating in the refrigerator while making the sauce/gravy.
  7. Fry the well-chopped onion 5 – 7 minutes or until the onion gets a lovely golden color.
  8. Add flour and fry for an additional 1 minute.
  9. Add cream, soya sauce, bullion, and mustard, mix until thickened. Taste and adjust the seasoning to suit you and your family. Set aside.
  10. Wet your hands with some water and shape the meat as small kebabs or sausages.
  11. Fry them until the internal temperature is 70 degrees Celsius (158 Fahrenheit).

Serve with boiled or pressed potatoes, sauce, green salad, and lingonberry jam or pressed cucumber.


  • Replace the beef with ground lamb, or game.
  • Fill the meat with feta cheese
  • Serve with pressed cucumbers instead of lingonberry jam.
  • Wrap the meat with bacon slices
  • Chop 4 – 5 sun-dried tomatoes and mix in the minced meat.

Be creative, your imagination is the limit 😊


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