Apologies for the lack of posts these last few days, Citizens – I’ve been under the weather, but we will try and get back on track now!
Swedish meatballs have become a cultural touchstone in the United States, with many people making the unfortunate association with 60’s-style cocktail parties or a crazed trip to Ikea.
They deserve far better!
Köttbullar are a noble and respected dish in their home country, and have a delicious spiced (not spicy!) flavor profile and a sauce made from only the finest sour cream and homemade meat broth.
I hope my authentic recipe, redolent of cardamom and with a touch of Maggi seasoning in the sauce to add umami (rich) flavor will meet with your profound approval, Citizens! I also use the proper 2:1 ratio of beef to pork for optimum texture and “springiness” as well as my (no longer) secret spice mixture for this recipe.
Serve these to friends and family with love, Citizens – they will thank you for it. If you still want to go to Ikea, be sure and pick up some Swedish pickles and lingonberry jam to serve on the side, they are both delicious and proper for this recipe!
Battle on – The Generalissimo
1 large egg
¼ cup heavy cream
1 large slice of high-quality white sandwich bread, crusts removed and bread torn into 1-inch pieces
6 ounces ground pork
10 ounces (80 percent lean) ground beef
1 small onion, grated on large holes of box grater (about ¼ cup)
½ teaspoon freshly ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon dry mustard
⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
⅛ teaspoon freshly ground allspice
⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
1 ½ teaspoons table salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 ¼ cups vegetable oil
For the gravy:
¼ cup unsalted butter
⅓ cup all-purpose flour
4 cups beef broth (preferably homemade or low-salt store-bought)
¾ cup sour cream (Daisy brand recommended)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
½ tablespoon Maggi seasoning
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
Whisk egg and cream together in medium bowl. Stir in bread and set aside.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat pork, onion, dry mustard, nutmeg, allspice, cardamom, pepper, brown sugar, salt, and baking powder on high speed until smooth and pale, about 2 minutes, scraping bowl as necessary. You can use a food processor on the pulse setting, but under no circumstances over puree the mixture, you want to leave some texture.
Using fork, mash bread mixture until no large dry bread chunks remain; add mixture to mixer bowl and beat on high speed until smooth, about 1 minute, scraping the bowl as necessary.
Add beef and mix on medium-low speed until just incorporated, about 30 seconds, scraping bowl as necessary.
Using moistened hands, form generous tablespoon of meat mixture into 1-inch round meatballs; repeat with remaining mixture to form 25 to 30 meatballs.
Heat oil in 10-inch straight-sided sauté pan over medium-high heat until edge of meatball dipped in oil sizzles .
Add meatballs in single layer and fry, flipping once halfway through cooking, until lightly browned all over. (Adjust heat as needed to keep oil sizzling but not smoking.)
Using slotted spoon, transfer browned meatballs to paper towel-lined plate.
To make the gravy, melt butter in the same skillet in which you made the meatballs. Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in beef broth and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Be sure and scrape up any browned bits of beef on the bottom of the pan, this really makes the gravy taste spectacular! Stir in sour cream and Maggi; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Stir in meatballs and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the meatballs are both fully cooked and the sauce is heated through.
Serve immediately with potatoes or buttered noodles, garnished with parsley and lingonberry jam and sliced pickled cucumbers on the side.