Swedish Meatballs

So, we live near one of the outposts of that Swedish pressboard giant, Ikea. We’ve gotten a fair amount of furniture there — some far more comfortable than the prices would have one believe, though none of it heirloom stuff. We usually eat when we’re there — the food is cheap and passable, but it’s the sort of thing I know I can do better. So I decided to try. The end result (with some help from a jar of lingonberry jam… I fear molten sugar and don’t have any lingonberries) was actually pretty supremely tasty, so despite these being pretty labor-intensive I’m in favor of you making them. Just get someone else to do the dishes. Or peel the potatoes. Or both. Everyone was fond of this one.

Swedish Meatballs, adapted from Dee73 on Food.com

Meatballs:
2 small Yukon gold potatoes
1 small onion
2 Tbsp. butter (plus more for frying meatballs)
1 lb. ground beef
1 egg
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. breadcrumbs
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. white pepper
pinch nutmeg
pinch allspice

Potatoes:
2ish lbs. Yukon gold potatoes
4 Tbsp. (1/2 stick) butter
Salt

Cream Sauce:
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. flour
1 1/2 c. beef broth
1/2 c. half and half
2/3 c. heavy cream
2 tsp. soy sauce
1/2 tsp. white pepper
salt to taste

Make the meatballs: peel, chop and boil the potatoes. Let them cool and then mash them well. Chop the onion very finely. Cook it in 2 Tbsp. of butter until it is beginning to brown. Let the onion bits cool. In a large bowl, break up the meat; pile in the potato, onion, egg, milk, salt, pepper and breadcrumbs. Mix carefully — get everything just incorporated, and don’t squeeze it through your fingers! That makes tough meatballs. If it’s too dry, add up to half a cup of water a tablespoon or two at a time. Roll into balls (I like around 16) and set aside.

Make the potatoes: put a bigass pot of water on the stove. Salt aggressively. It should be about ocean/tears level. Peel and chop the potatoes. Dump them in the water and turn on the heat (yes, first potatoes in, then heat on). Bring them to a boil and cook for… some minutes, look, it depends on how small you chopped the potatoes. More chopping means less cooking. You want a knife poked into a large piece to go in easily, and taste the potato, ’cause you can tell if it’s cooked. Drain, dump the butter in, stir, and cover.

Start the cream sauce: melt butter in a pot and stir in flour. Cook for a moment until it’s bubbly and smells like toast. Add the beef broth slowly, whisking to make sure the roux doesn’t lump up; once the broth is mixed in, add the half and half and heavy cream. Add soy sauce and white pepper and set over low heat.

Cook the meatballs: Melt some butter in a large skillet. When it bubbles, add in your meatballs. Let them brown on one side and then turn them. They’ll end up oddly-shaped but delicious.

Keep turning the meatballs while frequently stirring the cream sauce. You want the meatballs cooked through and the sauce pleasantly thick. Taste for salt once the sauce starts to thicken. When it’s all done, cheer! And try and ignore the dishes.

Serve meatballs and potatoes both slathered in sauce, with a healthy spoonful or two of lingonberry jam. Deelish!

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~ by iliadawry on 17 September 2012.

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