Christmas Lunch with Open-face Sandwiches

By the time December arrives, the Danes have been celebrating and making preparations for Christmas the whole month of November. Many have already been to a Christmas luncheon, some have been to two or three. The three Fridays before Christmas is usually the firm’s big day for a Christmas luncheon and the weekends are filled with Christmas parties and luncheons for families and friends.  Even the small children have a Christmas lunch at their school.  Open-face sandwiches, Smørrebrød, is the most popular  It is almost impossible to get a table at a Restaurant if you haven’t order one months in advance on Fridays. A platter like the one in the picture is usually what is served together with a snaps and a cold beer.

Here are a few of the most popular sandwiches. If you want more, jut look under open-face sandwiches on my blog or my book Danish Open-face Sandwiches.

Always start with herring. It can be bought in jars in most of the world. There are so many different ways to make them. (See open-face sandwiches on my blog) This one is most common.

Pickled Herring, Capers and Onion Rings

Jars of herring can be found in specialties shops in many parts of the world. Pickled herring is a must on the Christmas luncheon table.

2-3 marinated herring fillets from a jar

4 slices buttered dark rye bread

8-12 raw onions rings

2 tbsp. capers


4 sprigs of dill

To assemble, arrange herring on rye bread. Garnish each with onions rings, capers and a sprig of dill.

Pork Tenderloin with Fried Onions and Cucumber Slices

1 pork tenderloin, trimmed

4 tbsp. butter, divided

2 large onions, sliced

salt and pepper

4 slices of buttered rye bread

Garnish: chervil

4 slices of  cucumber

To make pork tenderloin, cut into thick slices of 1 inch and lay them on a work surface with the cut side up. Pound them flat with your hand. Melt half of butter in a skillet over middle heat and fry pork pieces 2-3 minutes on each side. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Set aside.
To make onions, melt remaining butter in same skillet and fry onions over low heat until they are tender and golden about 10 minutes. If they appear dry, add a little water and not more butter.
To assemble, place 1 or 2 pieces of pork tenderloin on each piece of buttered rye bread. Divide fried onions on top and place a slice cucumber on top of the fried onions.

Ham with Italian Salad and Asparagus

Italian salad:

1 small carrot, diced

1 cup freshly shelled peas or frozen

2 white asparagus, trimmed*


½ cup mayonnaise

½ cup low fat sour cream

1 tbsp. mustard

salt and freshly ground pepper

4 slices of buttered white or dark rye bread

4 lettuce leaves

8-12 thin slices of cooked ham

4 small cherry tomatoes  or 4 wedges of tomato


To make salad, cook carrots in slightly salted water 2-3 minutes. Take them up and cook fresh green asparagus 2-3 minutes, white asparagus 6-8 minutes. Take them up and drain on a paper towel. Add peas to water and cook 20-30 seconds. Drain vegetables and chill. Take some asparagus for garnish and set them aside. Cut remaining asparagus into small pieces. Mix vegetables with mayonnaise, sour cream and mustard. Season with salt and pepper.

To assemble, place a leaf of lettuce on a buttered piece of dark rye bread, or buttered white bread. Placa a slice of ham and a tablespoon of the Italian salad on top of the ham. Garnish with tomato and cress.

Blue-Cheese with Egg Yolk

4 slices of buttered rye bread

5-6 oz. Danish Blue cheese

4 slices of raw onion rings

4 egg yolks

To assemble, cut cheese in slices ¼ inch thick and place one slice on each piece of buttered bread. Place an onion ring in the middle of each piece and drop an egg yolk in it.

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