I haven't felt much like cooking lately. I've made mostly green salads and whenever I got bored of those, I'd head over to a local salad bar and load up on veggies and various prepared salads. I love beets and this bar often has red beets in a balsamic vinaigrette and golden beets with ginger.. I can't get enough of either of those. I also like to sample some of their other offerings, such as Mediterranean tuna salad, Moroccan couscous salad, spicy lentils or herbed peas. These salads change daily and I never tire of the selection. Considering this is December with so many temptations everywhere, this has worked out well for me.
One of the things very much on my mind this week were Swedish Meatballs. I remembered a friend once mentioning she made her meatballs using a stand mixer which surprised me. I've always imagined tougher meatballs if you "over-worked" the meat. I couldn't have been more wrong, these meatballs were both lighter and smoother, making me curious how a meatloaf might turn out using this method.
Swedish meatballs are usually served on their own with the gravy on the side, but I usually end up reheating them at some point so I just combine them with the gravy when I prepare them. I didn't have any Lingonberry sauce on hand, so I picked up a bag of cranberries instead. Cranberries are altogether different, but they taste fine alongside these meatballs. When I prepare the cranberry sauce (I follow the directions on the bag), I add less sugar keeping the sauce nice and tart for these.
day old bread or rolls
1/4 cup milk
1 - 2 tsp butter
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1 lb ground pork
1 lb ground beef
1 large egg
small handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
up to 1 tsp salt, or to taste
up to 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper, or to taste
1/2 tsp dried dill
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
a few pinches - 1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
2 tsp butter
3 tbsp flour
2 cups beef broth or bouillon
1/4 cup red wine or more broth
3 tbsp sour cream
chopped parsley for garnish
lingonberry or cranberry sauce
good with mashed potatoes, boiled potatoes or egg noodles
Tear the bread or rolls into pieces and process in a food processor until you have about 1 1/2 cups of fresh bread crumbs.
Place the breadcrumbs into the bowl of a stand mixer and pour the milk over those.
Heat the butter in a skillet and add the onions. Saute them over medium-low heat until they become translucent. Allow them to cool, then add them to the breadcrumbs in the stand mixer along with the pork, beef, egg, parsley, salt, pepper, dill, mustard, cardamom and nutmeg.
Combine everything on medium-speed using a paddle attachment for about 2-3 minutes.
Heat 2 teaspoons of butter in a skillet. Fry about a teaspoon of meat until it's done and taste for seasoning. Make any necessary adjustments if needed.
Form the meat into small balls (about 1 inch in diameter) and fry them until they are brown on all sides. You might have to do this in small batches. Place the browned meatballs aside on a plate as you work.
When all of the meatballs are browned, remove all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the skillet and sprinkle the flour evenly over the remaining grease. Using a wooden spoon, work the flour into the browned bits and fat over medium-low heat. When the roux becomes medium brown in colour, work a small amount of broth into it, then add the rest. Add the wine and whisk everything until the gravy is smooth. Bring to a boil and simmer for a few minutes.
Lower the heat. Whisk a few tablespoons of hot gravy into the sour cream, then whisk all of that into the gravy. Return the meatballs to the gravy and gently simmer over low heat for about 5-10 minutes or until the meatballs have heated through and are thoroughly cooked.
Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with lingonberry or cranberry sauce.