Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Swedish Meatballs

Up until now, the only Swedish food I'd had are those colorful little gummy Swedish fish (which really are from Sweden, at least originally). But man am I happy I branched out and tried their adorable mini meatballs. Not only are they cute and scrumptious, they're also swimming in the most delectable sauce. We had them over egg noodles for dinner (yum would be an understatement). But I can easily envision some fancy toothpicks next to a heaping pile of these at my next party. Not as colorful as the fish, but I think your friends will be more impressed with a big bowl of these.

Yield: approx. 50-55 (6 servings)

5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup finely chopped red onion, plus 1/2 cup
3/4 pound ground chuck
3/4 pound ground pork
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup plain dried bread crumbs
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup heavy cream, plus 3/4 cup
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups (28 oz.) beef stock or reduced-sodium beef broth
1/4 cup red currant jelly

1.      Meatballs: In a wide Dutch oven (or large, wide skillet with high sides), heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat. Add 1 cup of the onion and sauté until soft and light golden brown, 4 to 6 minutes. Set aside to cool, then add the onion to a medium mixing bowl along with the ground chuck, ground pork, salt, pepper, allspice and nutmeg.
2.      In a small mixing bowl, combine the bread crumbs with all the milk and 1/4 cup of the cream. Allow to sit until the bread crumbs are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the bread-crumb mixture and the beaten egg to the meat mixture and, using clean hands, mix well to thoroughly combine.
3.      Scoop the meat mixture into small meatball portions, about 1 heaping tablespoon each. Using lightly damp clean hands, roll the meatballs until they are smooth and round. Transfer to a large plate or baking dish while you form the remaining meatballs.
4.      Using the same pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining butter until foamy. Add half the meatballs and cook, turning frequently, until meatballs are browned on all sides, 6 to 8 minutes total. Using tongs or a slotted spoon, transfer cooked meatballs to a plate and repeat with remaining meatballs, adding another tablespoon of butter to the skillet before cooking. Transfer the second batch of meatballs to the plate.
5.      Sauce: Add the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter and the remaining 1/2 cup onion to the pan, scraping up any bits on the bottom. Cook until the onion is soft, about 4 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Whisk in the beef broth little by little and cook until the sauce is smooth and thick, about 4 minutes. Add the remaining 3/4 cup heavy cream and the currant jelly. Add the meatballs back to the pan, making sure they’re all submerged. Bring to a gentle boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat so that the sauce just simmers. Stir very gently to combine ingredients once the meatballs have cooked a bit, being careful not to break up the meatballs. Cook, uncovered, for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the meatballs are very tender and the sauce is thick and flavorful; season to taste with salt and pepper.
6.      Serve as a main course or in a shallow chafing dish with toothpicks for hors d'oeuvres.

slightly adapted from Emeril Lagasse
red onion (it's nice that this is the only
thing you have to chop in this recipe)
red onion cooking
pouring milk into bread crumbs
meatball ingredients
meatball ingredients all mixed
meatballs rolled
meatballs in the skillet
turning/browning the meatballs
first batch browned
meatballs close up
making the sauce
(adding flour to red onion & butter)
all the broth added
whisking in the cream
adding the currant jelly
(most of it sank before I clicked the camera)
adding the meatballs
Swedish meatballs in a bowl
(me pretending it's a party).


Randi said...

Much less work to just go to IKEA. ;)

Jim said...

Looks good. Will you send some?


Susan said...

Sure, I'll get out my rubber envelope.

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