Friday, July 23, 2010

Swedish Meatballs

Herd tu feegoore-a oooot hoo I nefer treeed mekeeng thees clesseec Meennesuta deesh beffure-a. It ceme-a oooot greet! Börk, börk, börk!

Ahem....what I mean to say is that this is delicious, especially served over mashed potatoes with lingonberries or cranberries and pickles on the side. It's a fair amount of work, but very worth it in the end. Veal mixed with beef will give the best texture--the velvetiness of the veal combined with the heartiness of the beef. If that's not an option, use pork instead. For two people, halve the recipe or freeze some of the meat for later.

1 lb ground veal (or pork)
1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion
2 slices of white bread, crusts removed
~3 Tbsp. milk
2 egg yolks
2 Tbsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. allspice
pinch of nutmeg
copious butter and oil for frying

This goes best with a food processor. Chop the onions until very fine, almost puree. Mix in the meat and egg. Grind the white bread into breadcrumbs and mix it with the milk until just moistened, and allow to sit for a few minutes. Combine the meat and onion mixture with the spices and bread mush. I like to cook up a tiny bit at this point to test the seasoning.

Form the meat into tiny little meatballs (3/4" diameter) and place on a tray.

Heat the fat in a heavy-bottomed pot. I like to use mostly butter with a little oil in it to keep from scorching. Use a generous amount to keep the balls from sticking. Fry the meatballs in single layer, turning them so they brown evenly, removing with a slotted spoon when done. This will take more than one batch (~4 batches in a Dutch oven for a full recipe).

3 Tbsp. flour
1 c. low-sodium chicken broth
1 c. low-sodium beef broth
dash of dry sherry
1/2 c. heavy cream
2 Tbsp. lingonberry/cranberry sauce or some sugar
salt to taste

Once the meatballs are cooked and removed from the pan, make sure there is several Tbsp. of fat left (or add more butter), and whisk in the flour. Allow it to bubble and brown for a couple of minutes, taking care not to scorch. Add in the broth and sherry (amounts are approximate--gauge based on how many meatballs you have). Simmer until the sauce thickens. If it does not thicken enough, stir in some mashed potatoes or a starch slurry. Remove from heat and stir in the cream. Adjust the flavor with the berry sauce or sugar, salt, and and possibly a dash of pickle juice.

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