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Finnish Meatballs in 'Cut Cognac' Sauce – Lihapullat Jallukastikkeessa

The Hirshon Finnish Meatballs in ‘Cut Cognac’ Sauce – Lihapullat Jallukastikkeessa

  • Total Time: 0 hours


Units Scale
  • 3/4 cup whole milk, preferably from a Jersey cow
  • 3 slices country style (dense) white bread, crusts removed
  • 6 ounces Gouda or Emmental cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups loosely packed fresh chervil (strongly preferred) or parsley leaves, finely minced (Reserve 1/4 cup for garnish)
  • 3/4 cup finely-minced onion
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Tbsp. Finnish tar syrup (strongly preferred) or pine cone syrup (either ingredient is totally optional, omit if you so prefer)
  • 1 tsp. smoked Birch salt (strongly preferred) or kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly-ground white pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly-ground allspice
  • 1 lb. 90/10 ground beef
  • 1/2 lb. ground pork
  • 1/2 lb. ground veal
  • 1/4 cup clarified butter (ghee works well), or as needed
  • ***
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 3/4 cup Demiglace sauce base
  • 3/4 cup crème fraîche
  • 1 Tbsp. Finnish mustard (strongly preferred) or use Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 Tbsp. freshly-ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 Tbsp. cognac combined with 2 Tbsp. vodka and 1 tsp. sugar
  • ***
  • Serve with:
  • Peas
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Lingonberries
  • Dill pickle slices or spears


  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, warm the milk just until steaming. Remove from heat and press bread into the milk; set aside.
  2. Grate cheese on large holes of a box grater and place in large bowl. Add parsley, onion, tar syrup (if using), eggs, salt, pepper and allspice. Stir well to combine. Add ground beef, ground pork, and milk-soaked bread. Gently mix by hand or with a large wooden spoon until well-blended.
  3. Spread flour on a plate. Roll meat mixture into 1 ½-inch balls, and roll in flour to coat.
  4. Heat a couple of tablespoons of clarified butter/ghee in a Dutch oven, or large skillet, over medium-high heat until shimmering. Working in batches, add enough meatballs to loosely fill pan. Sear until well browned on all sides, adding more ghee to the pan as needed. Remove meatballs to a platter once browned.
  5. For the sauce:
  6. Heat butter in the same sauce pan that you made the meatballs in over medium heat. Sauté onion and garlic until transparent. Add the demiglace and bring to a boil. Add the crème fraîche while stirring and simmer on low heat for about 20 minutes.
  7. Add mustard, pepper and honey. Stir and bring to a boil. Add the liquors and mix well with the sauce. Add salt if you like. Add cooked meatballs to sauce to warm through.
  8. Sprinkle with reserved minced chervil or parsley and serve with mashed potatoes, peas, lingonberries and a sour pickle spear.
  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 0 hours
  • Category: Recipes