Monday, April 18, 2011

Better Than IKEA Swedish Meatballs

These meatballs have evolved from several recipes and over the course over quite a few remakes and adjustments. I don't pretend that they are at all authentic, but who cares, they taste good and that's what matters. 

In a flagrant display of cultural insensitivity I served these Swedish meatballs with leftover polenta, however, the more traditional accompaniment would be boiled new potatoes and lingonberry (or cranberry) preserves. You could also have fun and serve these as part of a traditional smorgasbord either for a party or have it as a weekend family meal just because toddlers and preschoolers would love having a variety of little nibbles to choose from. Herring, eggs, salads, shrimp (this shrimp recipe is really good), pickles, sausages, and cheeses are traditional, but you could start your own tradition with components that appeal to your family. Due to the milk, this recipe is suitable for for babies over age 1.

Swedish Meatballs

- 1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs
- 1 very small onion (about 1/2 cup), minced or whizzed in food processor 
   until very fine
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 egg, slightly beaten
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground white pepper, or to taste
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup beef broth
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup milk

In a large bowl, combine beef, onion, salt, breadcrumbs, pepper, and allspice. Mix well (hands work best). 

Roll into meatballs about 3/4" in diameter. 

Melt butter in a large frying or saute pan over medium heat. 

Brown meatballs on all sides, working in two batches, removing them to a large plate when they are done. 

Lower heat somewhat and add the flour all at once to the drippings left in the pan, scrapping up any browned bits. Add the broth, a little at a time, and whisk until smooth. Add sour cream and milk. Bring to a simmer, stirring constantly until sauce is thick and smooth. 

Add meatballs back into the pan, gently coating in the sauce and letting them warm through. Test one for doneness (there should be no pink).

* Makes 30 meatballs
* These reheat well although the sauce won't look as appealing.

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