Food News

Danish Band Kashmir Shares Meaty Wisdom

If you go backstage at Antone's, the legendary music venue in Austin, then head upstairs past whatever band is lingering on the first floor, look closely at the back wall of the small balcony and you'll see a small door, plenty wide but only about three feet high, marked "Lilliputians only." Last week, during SXSW, though not close to Lilliputian size myself, I was invited through the door and into the back room to sit with the incredible Danish band Kashmir and talk meat.

 Kashmir aren't 'putian-sized either. And if you've listened to No Balance Palace or are lucky enough to have a copy of the not-released-in-the-U.S.-yet Trespassers, which is completely worth doing whatever you have to do to acquire it, then you know that there's no way they're vegetarians either. Albums that good need to be fueled by meat, and Kashmir are all avid carnivores. What do they dig?

"Bloody red meat," said Asger Techau, Kashmir's drummer.

"That's it?"

"That's it. Good meat, well cooked, bloody."

Well, that was

easy. And simple to write down, just the way my lousy-note-taking ass

likes it. I watched them play a couple of sets later, and it fits: Asger

is a monster on drums and clearly needs steak for fuel. I turned to

singer Kasper Eistrup.

"Et vous, coco?" I asked.

"I'm sort

of ambivalent about which meat to eat. I like it all, really. But I

did have some incredible Kobe beef sliders at Stanton Social in New

York, which I loved," he said. "And I need to mention a great place in

Copenhagen called Shawarma Grill House. They've been there since 1980,

and it's the best shawarma in Denmark. You have to eat there if you

come to visit Copenhagen."

No sweat there, as nothing quite beats

giant hunks of spinning lamb in my book. Things got a little more

complex when I turned to Henrik Lindstrand, who plays keyboards and


"OK," he said. "This is a recipe a friend -- a doctor,

actually -- gave me for something -- "

"Wait, we're doing recipes

now?" Kasper asked.


doing one," said Henrik, then turned back to me. "So the recipe is for

something he calls Love Meatballs -- and he claims that you can get any

woman into bed serving her these."

"Meatballs that help you

score. Nice," I told him. "Are there roofies in them?"

"No, no --

no roofies at all," he said.  "Start out with a nice meat blend, say

50/50 pork and veal. Cook some aubergine [that's eggplant, folks] and

make a mash, then add it to the meat with some bread crumbs, egg, and...

how do you say it?"

He turned to his bandmates and spoke for a

bit in Danish, then after much shrugging looked back at me and said,

"It's a nut, you shave it..."

"Are you coming on to me,

Henrik?" I asked, and then had a more reasonable thought.

"Um, nutmeg?"

"Yes. Nutmeg, that's it," he said. Nice -- he uses fresh

shaved nutmeg. So now, to keep from feeling like a chump, I have to go

find some fresh nutmeg to shave. "So you make the meatballs, and you

make them large, not tiny little things. And you cook them with tomato

very slowly. Take your time, and they're amazing."

"And they get

you laid."

"So my friend says, yes," he answered with a smile.


up was bassist Mads Tunebjerg.

"For me, I

like a nice pot of something cooking on the stove all day, so it's

Hungarian goulash," he said.

The other three band members leaned

forward to hear better -- this had apparently turned into an episode of

Julia Child gone Danish. And I hear that once you go Dane, you never go

back (I never claimed I could rhyme).

"Roast some paprika in a

pan..." This had gone too far. First Henrik actually uses fresh nutmeg,

now Mads is telling me to roast the spices, which demonstrates real

cooking skills, people. I've got to get my shit together.  "...then add

some tomato and make a paste. Use a tough cut, like neck meat, and throw

it in with some red bell peppers. Simmer it all day with beef or

vegetable stock..."

At this point, Kasper interrupted.


about wine?"

"No wine. Changes the flavor too much," replied


"Well, I was talking to a Hungarian guy about goulash, and

he said to use white wine."

"Well, my Hungarian guy says no wine.

So that's the way I make it."

"Well, I'll use wine, and if we're

doing recipes, I have one for osso buco," said Kasper. "You cook the

veal shank the regular way but serve it with a mash that you make with

celery root, potato, real feta cheese made from goat's milk, a ground


"One peppercorn?" I asked.

"Yes.  One ground


At that point, more discussion broke out about veal,

goulash, and a whole lot of stuff I couldn't follow because it was in

Danish. Before heading out, I promised to send Kasper a copy of the osso

buco recipe I got from Wild Olives. But right now, I've gotta go put on

some Kashmir, make some Love Meatballs, and coax my wife to the table.


Schmidt is The Meatist. He's also author of the blog Bone in the Fan.

He lives in northern Palm Beach County and is checking ticket prices to

Copenhagen so he can share some shawarma with his favorite Danes.

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Bradford Schmidt