Swedish Potato Sausage (Potatis Korv)
Made by Leo Cooper for over 40 years


For years our family in Odebolt has been enjoying the Swedish Potato Sausage that appears at the Odebolt Locker (712-668-2246) and in the Jamboree Foods grocery store meat case around Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons. The man behind the sausage is Leo Cooper, a neighbor of ours who lives on North Main Street. Leo worked for the old Kalin's Grocery and then for Bill's IGA, when Bill and Helen Johnson ran the grocery store. Leo gave me the following history of how the sausage came to be made.

One day in 1962, Florence Salmonson (Mrs. Sydney Salmonson) and Florence Hedberg were in the grocery store and the conversation turned to their potato sausage recipe. Helen Johnson copied down the recipe and later asked Leo if he could put some together to sell. Leo made that first batch and has been making the sausage every year since, for over 40 years. At first it was made at the IGA store, but later the operation was moved to the Odebolt Locker.

The recipe calls for simple ingredients: beef, pork, potatoes, onion, salt and pepper, I was surprised at the ingredients, because I thought it might contain a special spice, but perhaps it is the pepper that makes it taste so good. Leo said they usually make one 300-pound batch in October and a similar batch in December. It is ground and stuffed into casings that they buy from a supplier. The freshest sausage can be bought at the Odebolt Locker, because they freeze it immediately.

Leo said that people have told him he should not give out the recipe, but his idea is that it is a traditional recipe that should be shared, and not disappear with time. He cautioned several times that it doesn't turn out right unless you weigh and measure everything precisely. He willingly gave me the recipe to share with you all.

Swedish Potato Sausage (Potatis Korv)

6 pounds beef (not too lean)
5 pounds potatoes (No.10 can Irish whole potatoes with liquid drained)
4 pounds pork (not too lean)
2 large onions, chopped
2 ounce of salt (or 5 Tablespoons)
ounce black pepper (or 1 Tablespoon)

Cut beef and pork into medium size chunks. (It should not be too lean because the fat in it soaks up the potato starch). Leave potatoes whole. Put these ingredients in a large pan. Then add seasoning and mix. Add onions and mix. Then grind everything at once. Stuff in casings (or make in patties or use as a meat loaf - very good!)

Leo says that he puts the sausage in a skillet with water to cover, brings it to a boil, and then turns the heat to a simmer and covers it. The sausage will be cooked after 20 minutes of simmering.

Potatis Korv has become a tradition for our family during the holiday season and when one of us is in Odebolt around Thanksgiving or Christmas, we buy enough to pass around to other members of the family, and some to put in the freezer. It is a real treat, and reminds us of our Swedish heritage. Try it!

- Barb (Girvan) Horak

Back to "News"