Friday, June 29, 2012

Almost Swedish Meatballs

No this is not a reference to Bill Murry's nationality or his movie career.  Rather, Jen and I were inspired to whip up this recipe after watching one of our favorite Swedish Chefs.  No...not this one:

Though he rocks in the kitchen as well, I'm told.  It was another awesome Swede that we were inspired by:

While we have a slightly different cooking style than the gentleman above (his style requires several sedatives and mood levelers to calm him before filming, I've heard) we were still inspired to whip our own version of said dish.  It's simple and filling.  Meat and gravy.  I would suggest adding some greenery to your plate in the form of a salad or vegetables but I'm not here to be your mommy so do whatever you like!

To accompany a Swedish culinary delight, we of course rock out to our favorite Swedish band.  But since I couldn't find my Abba cassettes we decided to listen to our second favorite Swedish band and went for Millencolin, a personal favorite since my high school days.  And since we had been inspired by Regular Ordinary Swedish Mealtime but didn't copy their recipe exactly, there is no Millencolin song more appropriate than "No Cigar"  Somehow "Dancing Queen" didn't exactly fit with this recipe... - justin

(On a side note, we changed the name from Swedish Meatballs to Almost Swedish Meatballs because my good friend, John Andersson, who is from Sweden, had this to say about our recipe: "Oh dear... if only you knew a swede who could set you straight... OK, these are, possibly, meatballs. If you want them Swedish style, you must serve the meatballs with potatoes or mashed potatoes. Any thing else is heresy. Also heresy: not including THE most important garnish: lingonberry jam. In Swedish homes or swedish restaurants you will not be able to find meatballs without potatoes and lingonberries on the same plate. I'm sorry, but on behalf of the entire Swedish population, I cannot approve of this. Meatballs: yes. Swedish meatballs: NO. Sorry."  Hahah!) -jen

Swedish Meatballs
Time: 45 minutes
Difficulty: Easy
Serves: 4-6
  •  2 slices Rye bread (any bread will do but I like the flavor the Rye bread lends)
  •  1/4 cup whole milk
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp salt plus 1 pinch (for sweating onions)
  • 1 1/4 lbs ground beef (we used ground chuck cause it tastes good!)
  • 1 1/4 lbs ground pork
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 cups beef broth
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 200 degrees.  It will be used to keep meatballs warmed after browning.

Tear the bread into pieces and place in a small bowl with the milk and set aside to soak.

In a skillet, melt 1 tbsp of butter over medium high heat.  Add the onion and a pinch of salt and sweat until the onions are translucent.  Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl combine the bread and milk mixture, ground beef, pork, egg yolks, 2 tsp salt, black pepper, allspice, nutmeg, and onions.  Make sure the ingredients are thoroughly mixed.  Roll portions into golf ball sized balls, about an ounce if you want to get all nerdy and weigh stuff out.  Heat the last 2 tbsp of butter in your onion skillet over medium-low heat and saute meatballs until they have browned on all sides, about 8-10 minutes.  Remove the meatballs from the heat and place on a sheet pan in the heated oven while we make the gravy.

Decrease the heat on the skillet to low and add the flour.  Whisk until the flour is lightly browned, about 2 minutes.  Gradually add the beef stock and keep whisking until it thickens.  Add the cream and cook until the gravy reaches the desires consistency.  Remove meatballs from oven, smother with gravy, and serve with some rice, potatoes, barley or what have you and enjoy!

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