The Way To A Girl's Heart and Some Swedish Meatballs
Yesterday was a very, very exciting day in my life. Yesterday, Shack came home with the meat grinder attachment for my Kitchen Aid!! Oh happy day! I have been starting to really get skeeved out by the thought of buying pre ground meats from the grocery store and realistically, I can't always get out to the actual butcher to buy a pound of ground beef or pork or chicken for a quick weeknight dinner. I have been coveting this forever and Christmas is still weeks away!
What to make? Well, considering that he also brought home a pound of beef to grind up last night and that would have to used up, I decided to make swedish meatballs. I have never made them and have only eaten proper swedish meatballs a time or two but Little Shack eats them at school and says that he loves them. I went out this morning and bought about 1/2 lb. of stew pork and literally ran home and threw it in this bad boy!
How awesome is that? I could weep with joy. I am so easy to please you know. Diamonds? Tiffany's tennis bracelet? No way, just get me a meat grinder attachment so I can make my own ground pork and my heart is in your pocket.
So, back to the meatballs. I decided to use Alton Brown's recipe because I just didn't like the idea of using a can of cream of cack soup that I was finding in so many recipes and he is usually reliable. I also really dislike dill so even if dill is what makes a swedish meatball a swedish meatball, I am going to have to be happy with Swedishish meatballs. Since I have never actually made these things and I don't even have a strong frame of reference for them, I thought I had better go safe and his recipe didn't call for caraway, which Shack hates, or dill, which i dislike - i don't like to use such a strong word but I really, really dislike it. Really.
- 2 slices fresh white bread
- 1/4 cup milk
- 3 tablespoons clarified butter, divided
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- A pinch plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 3/4 pound ground chuck
- 3/4 pound ground pork
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 cups beef broth
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
Tear the bread into pieces and place in a small mixing bowl along with the milk. Set aside.
In a 12-inch straight sided sauté pan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and sweat until the onions are soft. Remove from the heat and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the bread and milk mixture, ground chuck, pork, egg yolks, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, black pepper, allspice, nutmeg, and onions. Beat on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes.
Using a scale, weigh meatballs into 1-ounce portions and place on a sheet pan. Using your hands, shape the meatballs into rounds.
Heat the remaining butter in the saute pan over medium-low heat, or in an electric skillet set to 250 degrees F. Add the meatballs and saute until golden brown on all sides, about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove the meatballs to an ovenproof dish using a slotted spoon and place in the warmed oven.
Once all of the meatballs are cooked, decrease the heat to low and add the flour to the pan or skillet.Whisk until lightly browned, approximately 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually add the beef stock and whisk until sauce begins to thicken. Add the cream and continue to cook until the gravy reaches the desired consistency. Remove the meatballs from the oven, cover with the gravy and serve.
I made a couple of small changes. I used 1 lb. of ground beef and 1/2 lb. of ground pork instead of half and half. I didn't have beef stock so I used chicken stock. I am not sure if it's a huge difference or not since I almost never cook with beef stock but they taste good to me. I added a handful of chopped parsley to the meatballs and to the finished sauce as well.
I also added about a tbls of grainy mustard to the sauce so that is why there are little dots in the sauce just in case you thought that my roux was all lumpy and terrible.
I am serving these over basmati rice because basmati rice was requested but I am pretty sure that the more traditional starch would be egg noodles. After I took them out of the oven, I added them to the sauce in the pan and let them cook in there for another ten minutes so they could absorb some of the sauce and impart more of their meatbally flavour. This recipe was pretty tasty but I think I am going to continue to poke around for more recipes for this dish. If anyone has a tried and true, super duper delicious recipe for swedish meatballs for me, please share!
Now, if I could only have the pasta attachment. Christmas IS still a couple of weeks away.