February 24, 2009

Swedish Meatballs

swedish meatballs 365:11
I must admit that I do like the Swedish meatballs served at Ikea especially with the ligonberry compote. I miss the red potatoes that they used to serve but the mash is okay too. I really like the springy texture of the meatballs and the salty gravy. I decided to try making them at home so I could control the salt and other ingredients, particularly the gravy. The gravy packets that Ikea sells next to its frozen meatballs has a frightening list of ingredients - most that I do not want to feed my family. I did not serve my meatballs with ligonberry preserves but a quick cucumber pickle and Parmesan mashed potatoes.

Swedish Meatballs

1 pound of ground beef and 1/2 pound ground pork
1 egg
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 small onion grated
1/8 teaspoon each of nutmeg and allspice
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder

Preheat oven to 400F.
Whisk egg, cream and bread crumbs together in large bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes. Add meat mixture and all the rest of ingredients. Mix well until the mixture is smooth and thoroughly mixed. Scoop with small ice cream scoop and form balls make sure to pat in any shaggy edges. Place in a baking dish (I use 2 Pyrex 9x13). Leave space around each meatball (they should not touch). Bake for 20 minutes or until done. If you prefer, you can cook your meatballs in a large saute pan (I avoid the tedious stove top meatball cooking at all costs).
If you use the saute pan make your sauce directly in that pan draining off the excess fat. I simply scrape up the browned bits and a little of the fat from the baking dish and add to the sauce. Sometimes I might "deglaze" with a little heated up chicken broth.
Sauce
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons flour
3 cups chicken broth
1 Tablespoon brown sugar - don't pack the sugar
1 cup heavy cream
3 teaspoons lemon juice or to taste
salt and pepper to taste

Make a roux with the butter and flour (melt butter in a saute pan until foamy then add flour and whisk constantly over medium heat for 1 minute). Do not over brown. Slowly whisk in the broth whisking until sauce comes to a low boil. Add the sugar and simmer reducing sauce to 2 - 2 1/2 cups. Add the heavy cream and return to the simmer. Add meatballs, salt, pepper, and lemon juice and heat through.

Parmesan Mashed Potatoes
3 pounds red new potatoes, unpeeled
1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus 2 teaspoons
1 cup half and half
1/4 pound unsalted unsalted butter
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Place the potatoes and 1 tablespoon of salt in a 4-quart saucepan and add cold water to cover. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer covered for 30 to 45 minutes, until completely tender. Drain. In an electric mixer with paddle attachment, mix the potatoes for a few seconds to break up. In a small saucepan, heat the half-and-half and butter. Add butter mixture slowly to the potatoes, mixing on the lowest speed. Fold in the sour cream, Parmesan, 2 teaspoons salt, and pepper at low speed until just combined.
Quick Cucumber Pickle
Brine:
2 large cucumbers
3/4 cup very hot tap water
3/4 cup white or rice-wine vinegar
6 tablespoons sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
(Optional: 1 teaspoon coriander seeds, dill or black peppercorns, or 12 allspice berries)

Slice cucumbers and place into a bowl. Bring water, vinegar, sugar, salt and spices to boil dissolving sugar and salt. Once dissolved cover cucumbers with the brine stirring to separate slices.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit for 20 minutes. Uncover until room temperature about another 20. Serve.
Cucumbers can be kept in an airtight container for 2 weeks.

2 comments:

Dharm said...

Wendy! We are starting to sound like twins now!! I make my own version of Ikea meatballs too and have posted about them before. I have to say that these look superb. Who needs Ikea when Mom (or Dad in my case LOL) is around!!!

Christina said...

These look a lot like something my mom used to make called S.O.S....the "clean" version is Stuff on Shingles...HA! Yumm..I may have to make these soon.