Friday, October 12, 2012

Kottbullar AKA Swedish Meatballs

Well, its Friday, and I am off at Influence. But I wouldn't want to leave you without a delicious recipe to try two weeks in a row. That would be a travesty.

I enjoy making new recipes. I like finding delicious ones to incorporate into our regular rotation. Some dishes are winners. Some are flops.

Swedish Meatballs were definitely in the winner category.

I am sure I have had homemade Swedish Meatballs before. With homemade gravy. But what I remember having was meatballs cooked in cream of mushroom soup. Not bad, but with room for improvement.

I am not a big fan of meat loaf or meat balls. Period. Both would be on my Top 10 list of disgusting things to make. Squishing raw burger in my hands just doesn't do it for me. Yuck!

I am okay with eating meatballs so long as they are not sweet, barbecue, or anything that resembles sweet or barbecue. Meaning, I like Swedish meatballs and that's about it.

It is a modern mystery to me that people actually go to a restaurant to buy meatloaf. Meatloaf? I will eat it, but if there is anything else, I'd probably go for the anything else.

But, I felt we couldn't have a Swedish Smorgasbord last weekend, without hauling out the meatballs, so I researched recipes, and here is what I came up with.

There are a few distinctions that set Swedish meatballs apart from say, Italian meatballs.

For one, they are much smaller. Swedish meatballs are generally about 1" round. Not baseball sized like Italian.

Swedish meatballs aslo contain two unusual spices-all spice and nutmeg. Not something you would normally find with meat.

The best Swedish meatballs contain a combination of meats-typically beef, pork or veal. They are served in a creamy mildly sweet sauce. So without further commentary,

Swedish Meatballs
4 slices high quality white sandwich bread, crusts trimmed and discarded & bread quartered
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 pound lean ground beef
1 pound ground pork
2 large egg yolks
1 large onion, grated
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice
salt and pepper
1 cup vegetable oil

-In a large bowl, mash the cream and bread together to make a paste. Add the meat, yolk, onion, spices, 1 t salt and 1/2 t pepper and mix all together. Shape into 1" round balls, you should have about 60 meatballs.
-Measure 1/4" of oil into the bottom of a 10-12" skillet, and heat over medium-high heat. When the oil sizzles, add the meatballs in a single layer and fry, turning as needed until lightly browned on all sides. A fork is helpful for turning. Adjust the heat as needed to keep the oil sizzling, not smoking. Transfer browned meatballs to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.

2 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp flour
3-1/2 cups chicken broth
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 bay leaves
1 cup heavy cream
4 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp minced fresh dill leaves
salt and pepper

-For the sauce, discard the oil in the pan, but leave behind any brown bits. Add the butter and melt over medium-high heat. Stir in the flour and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the broth, sugar, and bay leaves, and bring to a simmer, scrapping up the browned bits. Cook until the sauce thickens-about 5 minutes. Stir in the cream and meatballs, turning them occasionally to heat through. Remove from heat. Add lemon juice and dill with salt and pepper to taste.

These are delicious served with mashed potatoes or egg noodles.

Oh, and did I say these are NOT exactly healthy. Well, you have to die of something...

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