For the past week, my mom kept reminding me to make her swedish meatballs. As if I could forget with her pestering me.
My mom has had a strange affliction with this dish. It’s something about the soft cream sauce and the hearty meatballs that gets her really happy. And if she’s happy, then I’m happy.
She requested for me to whip up this dish during the big Superbowl game. In between her hooting and hollering, I managed to make her swedish meatballs, along with a fantastic turkey lasagna, and bean dip. What can I say? Apparently the kitchen is where I need to be.
I turned to Food Network chef Alton Brown. After I had seen his Good Eats episode on Swedish Meatballs, I bookmarked the recipe quickly, just in case my mom wanted to try a homemade version of her beloved dish, instead of the pre-made stuff she buys at our grocery store.
The recipe was simple and succinct. We had already bought our meatballs at good ole Ikea. At less than 3 bucks a bag, it was quite a steal, but I’ve included the recipe for the meatballs too in case you are more motivated than I was.
My only concern with the cream sauce was that it was missing a key ingredient. I kept tasting, trying to figure out what was missing. It was salty enough, I had added enough pepper… And then it hit me. I had used chicken stock instead of beef stock.
I worried that the sauce wouldn’t thicken up but after adding the meatballs to the mix and letting it sit for about 2-3 minutes, the cream sauce thickened up, coating the back of the spoon as I stirred it.
The dish was well-received, although my mom’s once happy demeanor turned sour quickly after the Giants won. But at least she was satisfied and stuffed!
From Alton Brown
2 slices fresh white bread
1/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons clarified butter, divided
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
A pinch plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 pound ground chuck
3/4 pound ground pork
2 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups beef broth
1/4 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
Tear the bread into pieces and place in a small mixing bowl along with the milk. Set aside.
In a 12-inch straight sided saute pan over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and sweat until the onions are soft. Remove from the heat and set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the bread and milk mixture, ground chuck, pork, egg yolks, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, black pepper, allspice, nutmeg, and onions. Beat on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes.
Using a scale, weigh meatballs into 1-ounce portions and place on a sheet pan. Using your hands, shape the meatballs into rounds.
Heat the remaining butter in the saute pan over medium-low heat, or in an electric skillet set to 250 degrees F. Add the meatballs and saute until golden brown on all sides, about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove the meatballs to an ovenproof dish using a slotted spoon and place in the warmed oven.
Once all of the meatballs are cooked, decrease the heat to low and add the flour to the pan or skillet. Whisk until lightly browned, approximately 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually add the beef stock and whisk until sauce begins to thicken. Add the cream and continue to cook until the gravy reaches the desired consistency. Remove the meatballs from the oven, cover with the gravy and serve.