Monday, March 28, 2011

Taste Buds: Authentically Amazing Swedish Meatballs


One of the most fantastic things about traveling is forcing my sometimes ‘I don’t like to go out of my comfort zone’ self into new food loves. For instance our most recent trip to Sweden produced my driving need last week to make Swedish Meatballs like the ones we had on our trip. It was no mean feat... I tried a few recipes that didn’t even come close, that is they didn’t until this one. Using ground veal instead of beef makes a huge difference and although it may be a little harder to find, I had to call three butchers before I found one that carried ground veal, it really made these meatballs just like we remembered. A recipe that is going to get into the cookbook for sure we will make this in our house again and again. Hope you enjoy!

makes about 40 meatballs

For the meatballs
1 large Russet potato
4 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 medium red onion, very finely chopped
2 pounds ground veal
2 tablespoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
4 large eggs
2 cups panko
3 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 whole milk

For the gravy
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
6 cups chicken broth
4 sprigs of fresh rosemary, tied with kitchen twine
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup sour cream

For the meatballs
1. For the Meatballs: Peel the potato and cook in a small pot over medium heat. Bring to a boil and cook until soft. Set it aside to cool and once it is cool to the touch grate it with a medium hole grater.
2. While the potato is cooking heat up 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the butter is melted sauté the onion for about 5 minutes until soft.
3. In a large bowl add ground veal, potato, red onion, nutmeg, allspice, egg, panko, flour, milk and salt and pepper. Using your hand mix very well.
4. Cover and put in the refrigerator for at least a half hour or up to three hours.
5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
6. Using a tablespoon scoop a heaping tablespoon and form into a meatballs. There should be approximately 40 meatballs when you are done. If yours are slightly bigger or smaller it does not matter as long as they are all a similar size so they cook uniformly.
7. In the same large skillet you cooked the onion heat up 2 tablespoons of butter. If you have a very large pan cook the meatballs in two batches of about 20 each. You don’t want the meatballs to be too crowded so if you need to you should do three batches. Cook the meatballs on all sides until they are nicely browned. Between batches do not clean the pan, all those browned bits of meat and fat are going to lend to a kick butt gravy I promise.
8. Spray a casserole dish with a tight fitting lid with pam. Transfer cooked meatballs into the pan.
9. For the Gravy: In the same pan you cooked the meatballs in, over medium heat melt the 6 tablespoons of butter. Once the butter is melted use a wire whisk and stir briskly while slowly adding the flour. Cook scraping the browned bits and fat from the pan into the flour mixture for about 2-3 minutes until lightly browned. Add the chicken stock and stir into the gravy. Cook for about 10-15 minutes stirring often until reduced by half.
10. Once reduced remove the gravy from heat. Take out about 1 cup of the gravy and put into a small bowl. Slowly add the sour cream while stirring to temper the cream. By doing it this way the sour cream will not clump up. Add the sour cream mixture back to the gravy and stir well.
11. Using a fine strainer pour the gravy on top of the meatballs. Put the sprigs of rosemary in and cover. Cook the meatballs and gravy for 40 minutes. To serve remove the rosemary and put over top of mashed potatoes.

Adopted from Martha Stewart Living recipe


paul peggy zeus said...

Dad's favorite. Meatballs and Mashed Potatoes.

lilmansworld said...

feels so fancy with kitchen twine!

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