How does this recipe sound for Swedish Meatballs?
I've decided to make Swedish Meatballs to bring to a small dinner party this weekend. Other guests think it's a great idea, but it's a dish I've never really made from scratch before.
After reading several cookbooks and googling up the proverbial ying yang, I came across this recipe which sounds good to me. I particularly like the cream gravy because it doesn't have sour cream in it. Sour cream is very popular in many sauces, it's just not something I really like or want to use.
So Swedish Meatball experts, what do you think of this recipe? Would you make any changes or suggestions? Much obliged.
½ lb ground beef
½ lb ground pork
½ cup finely ground bread crumbs (seasoned or plain)
½ cup warmed milk
3 tablespoons shallots, finely diced
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon allspice
1. Pre-heat oven to 375F.
2. Combine beef and pork in a medium bowl. Soak the bread crumbs in warm milk until softened and then add to the meat mixture, gently mixing ingredients together.
3. Mix in the remaining ingredients to the meat mixture. Using a very small cookie scoop, form into small balls and place on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet.
4. Bake for about 10-15 minutes or until nicely browned.
5. When done, put into serving bowl and cover with the cream gravy. Serve with egg noodles or boiled new potatoes and lingonberry jam.
Swedish Meatball Cream Gravy
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup warm milk
3 cups beef broth
1. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the flour and whisk, cooking the flour for 2-3 minutes.
2. Slow whisk in the warm milk, then the broth and bring to a slow boil until thickened. If the boil is too lively, turn down the heat and slowly simmer until the sauce has reduced and thickened.
So I made the meatballs this afternoon and we enjoyed them at the dinner party. I followed the recipe I posted above, except:
1. I sauteed the shallots in a little oil. I would do this again as it made the shallots tender. But if I make these again I would also consider using onion instead which is more traditional.
2. For the breadcrumbs I used a portion of a leftover baguette soaked in milk. It worked well, the meatballs had a nice soft texture.
3. I used two egg yolks instead of two eggs. Again no problems there.
4. I used just the allspice. Here I would be willing to change a bit. I found the flavor a bit bland, a little underseasoned. I know these aren't supposed to be "spicy" per se, but I think a little nutmeg or a little more allspice wouldn't hurt. The salt and pepper amounts seemed right to me.
5. For the cream gravy I used half milk and half heavy cream to make it velvety and it worked. I also would have been happy with just milk. Either way. I also added some salt and pepper to the gravy.
People liked the meatballs. They went over well. I was ok with them. Not my favorite dish, but I am VERY happy they came out well. So thank you everyone for your input and comments. Very appreciated.
My mother's Swedish meatballs were always made with nutmeg, not allspice. Raw, finely grated onion was added to the meat mixture and she used an electric mixer to blend equal parts of lean beef, veal and pork. She also used fresh white bread, not crumbs and not seasoned torn into pieces.
I've made them in a skillet, as she did, cooking to brown and not in the oven. But next time I make them it will be in the oven because of the time they take in a skillet. I like the idea of not having to add the extra "fats" (olive oil or whatever to fry them in) and being able to drain off the fat when they are done baking!
What makes a meatball Swedish are: finely ground beef & pork, bread soaked in milk, and allspice, along with their small size. I wouldn't use seasoned breadcrumbs and you can use fresh breadcrumbs. My mom always just tore a piece of bread into pieces, poured milk over it, and used that. Onion, not shallot, is more typical. The sauce sounds right, but add a pinch of allspice. I'd skip the nutmeg in either recommended by another poster.
A traditional Swedish meatball mix is moister than many Americans are used to. My mom learned her meatballs from my grandmother, who was born & raised in Sweden.
After years of fussing with finding just the right texture for the meatballs and laboring over the sauce, a Swedish pal and I ran short of time one Christmas and resorted to frozen meatballs from Ikea and their sauce packets. We've used those ever since to rave reviews.
I hope others will chime in about seasonings. Thanks Todao for your thoughts. Escondido, I too have been thinking about adding cream instead of/in addition to the sauce to make it thicker and richer. I'm also thinking about gently sweating the shallots in a little oil first to make them tender.
Still open to suggestions.
I would definitely sweat the shallots. My mother used to make Swedish meatballs, and they were great except for the crunchy pieces of onion.
And my mother used nutmeg, not allspice. I think nutmeg had a lot to do with why we liked them so much. It was the only thing any of us had ever heard of that wasn't sweet, but had nutmeg in it.