When I shopped for this dish today I felt kind of old. You see, this is the kind of food that my grandmother would make: traditional Swedish food, no weird ingredients, just meat and potatoes in a big pot on the stove, slowly cooking away and filling the house with a warm, comfortable smell. According to the cookbook there should be carrot slices in there too so add that if you want, but I'm not a fan of cooked carrots, so we ate them raw on the side instead. You could sprinkle the dish with some finely chopped parsley before serving (I didn't have any, so I didn't). We ate it with some black currant jelly, but pickled cucumbers would also work.
PS. No, I have no idea how this dish got its name.
Sailor's beef (Sjömansbiff)
serves 2 and leaves plenty extra for lunch boxes
500 grams beef in thin slices
1 yellow onion
2-3 tbsp butter
1 33 cl bottle of beer (preferably dark, I used the Swedish "Carnegie Porter")
3 dl water
1 bay leaf
Salt and black pepper
Peel and slice the onion thinly. Fry it very very slowly (it should not get any color) in some of the butter. Put the onions aside, pour half of the water into the pan, whisk around and save the sauce for later.
Peel and slice the potatoes.
Add butter to the pan and brown the meat in batches. Season with salt and pepper. When all the meat is browned, put the meat aside, pour the remaining half of the water into the pan, whisk around and pour it, through a strainer, into the onion sauce.
Now get out a big pot, preferably oven proof. Layer the beef, onions and potatoes in the pot, with a layer of potatoes in the bottom and at the top. Season with salt and pepper in between the layers. Put the bay leaf in the pot, and pour in the bottle of beer and the juice from the meat and the onions.
Now, you can either boil it very slowly under a lid on the stove top for about an hour. Or (if your pot is oven proof), put it in the oven - lid on - and forget about it for one hour or so on 200 degrees celsius. I like the top layer of potatoes to be a bit crispy, so I took the lid of for the last ten minutes.