Cooking Corner

Swedish Meatball Recipe

Meatballs, while seemingly simple, require a degree of skill to bring to the level of sublime. I have tried many times (ending in failure) and have finally found the way to make them sublime. Instead of throwing dry breadcrumbs into the meat mixture, this method soaks bread in milk, creating a somewhat undesirable looking slurry that binds and locks in moisture. The texture of these meatballs blew me away, and this template could be used to create any style of meatball whether that be Italian, Middle Eastern, Asian, etc.

I should say a word about blending different ground meats. I am a proponent of this, for a few reasons. Darker meats such as beef, lamb, and venison, can make the meatballs too strongly flavored. Most recipes call for the addition of pork or veal. I have found that pork, while adding volume for less money, balances the flavors as well. The addition of pork fat is helpful too because it is a cleaner flavor. With the Swedish meatballs recipe, I think it is important to add a fair amount of pork or veal due to the richness of the cream sauce. Otherwise, it would be a little too much. I utilized a three-part mixture of beef, lamb, and pork.

 

½ lb ground beef

½ lb ground lamb

½ lb of ground pork

1 medum onion minced

4 cloves garlic minced

1 cup of milk

2 eggs

2-3 slices of crusty bread

½ tsp allspice

Pinch nutmeg

Parsley

Salt and pepper

1 cup cream

3 cups beef stock

¼ cup flour

Olive oil

2-3 dashes Worcestershire

Egg noodles

 

Start by combining bread and milk. In a separate bowl, combine the meat along with the onion, garlic, allspice, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Mix well to incorporate seasonings fully. Make a small patty to cook and taste for seasoning; adjust accordingly. Crush the bread and milk mixture into a slurry and combine with the meat mixture, along with the eggs. Mix well and form into large meatballs.

In a large pan, add olive oil and place over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the meatballs in a counter-clockwise fashion to better gauge timing. Brown evenly in batches, moving seared meatballs to a baking tray. When finished browning, remove any excess fat (there should be a couple of tablespoons). Add flour and incorporate into the fat, adding broth soon after and stirring to remove any bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the meatballs back into the pan along with any juices that have accumulated on the tray. Cook for 10-15 minutes or until they are cooked through.

When the meatballs are finished, pour the cream along with a couple of dashes of Worcestershire sauce into the pan. Stir to incorporate the sauce. Be sure that the sauce is not boiling. Otherwise, the cream may curdle. Add parsley and serve, along with a couple spoonful’s of sauce over egg noodles.

 

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