Sunday, February 23, 2014

Norwegian Meatballs

(about 8-10 servings)

Before last week, I had never heard of Norwegian meatballs. I was intrigued by the combination of spices as well as the lack of onions. These meatballs reminded me a bit of Swedish meatballs, yet they were different. I have to admit, once I sampled one, I much preferred these to the Swedish version. I will definitely make these instead from now on.

I made a few adjustments. Instead of the white potato, breadcrumb, sugar and milk panada, I used one large sweet potato. That created a binder which was gluten free and more nutritious. I also added a bit of wine for flavor to the gravy, but you can replace that with water or cold broth, if you prefer.

recipe adapted from here
1 1/2 lbs lean ground beef
1 lb lean ground pork
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 tsp salt, or to taste
3/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 large baked sweet potato, cooled and mashed (about 15oz)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups *low sodium beef broth
3 tbsp dry red wine, cold broth or water
1 tbsp corn starch
1/2 cup heavy cream

chopped parsley for garnish

In a large mixing bowl (I used a stand mixer with the large paddle hook, but hands or a large spoon are fine), combine the beef, pork, parsley, salt, pepper, ginger, cloves, allspice and nutmeg. Then work in the egg and sweet potato.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over a medium flame. At this point you might want to shape a small piece of the the meatball mixture into a patty to fry and taste for seasoning.

Shape the meat into small balls about 1 - 1 1/2 inches in diameter, and fry them until they are browned on all sides. Don't crowd them; fry them in batches instead. They don't need to be cooked through as they will continue to cook in the broth.

Place the browned meatballs into a heavy pot with a tight fitting lid. Pour the beef broth over them; it probably won't cover them completely. *I made two batches of these meatballs using low sodium broth the second time with better results. The gravy from my first batch was a bit too salty for me. It occurred to me that perhaps some of the salt from the meat leached into the broth while the meatballs were cooking in it. Bring the liquid to a light simmer, then reduce the flame to low, cover the pot and let them cook for about 1 1/2 hours. Halfway through, gently toss the meatballs so that all of them at one point were submerged in the broth.

Remove the meatballs with a slotted spoon onto a serving plate. Cover loosely with foil to keep them warm.

Increase the flame to high and briskly simmer the broth until it's almost reduced by half.

Stir together the wine and corn starch until smooth, then stir in the cream. Reduce the flame and stir the cornstarch mixture into the gravy. Simmer gently until the gravy has heated through and thickened; about 1-2 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed.

Pour the sauce over the meatballs and sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve.


Sue/the view from great island said...

I think this sounds like a fantastic idea --- I adore Swedish meatballs, and this variation sounds fascinating.. Sweet potatoes are so much healthier and have so much more flavor, can't wait to give these a try.

Jean | said...

Gerlinde, these meatballs sound and look delicious, no matter what they're called. I'll have to try them next time.

Gerlinde in Washington said...

Thanks, Jean! I love these meatballs and make them fairly frequently.

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