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Swedish Meatballs

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Why I Love This Recipe

Swedish meatballs are a combination of ground beef or veal and ground pork mixed with finely minced onion and seasoned with nutmeg, AllSpice, and white pepper with milk soaked bread as filler. I believe that you can use just about any combination of meat you find palatable. My personal preference is 3/4 lb Goat, 3/4 lb Lamb and 1/2 lb Ground Elk. I have to use half and half to soak the bread though, because Goat & Elk are so lean that the Lamb doesn't compensate for the loss of fat. What really makes 'Swedish Meatballs' is the texture of the meat due to the milk soaked bread, spice combination and the method of processing the meat until smooth. My cooking style, is at times, very influenced by my Danish heritage. I tend to utilize Mace in place of Nutmeg as well as adding Cardamom and Coriander to just about everything. Creme Fraiche makes a nice slightly tangy addition to your sauce, instead of the normal heavy cream used to enrich the sauce.

Ingredients You'll Need

1 cup Rye Bread (Crust Removed, Torn into pieces) You can substitute 1 cup of mashed potatoes
3 oz Whole Milk If you are not using Beef/Veal and Pork you may need to use 1/2 and 1/2
4 TB clarified butter or ghee, divided (I prefer using ghee)
3/4 cup finely minced sweet onion (Maui, Walla Walla)
2 cloves of garlic slightly broken
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt plus a pinch or two for the onion
1 lb ground Veal –or- Beef or some sort, preferably not less than 10% fat
1 lb ground Pork –or- Lamb
1 large Egg
1 large Egg Yolk
3/4 tsp White Pepper
1/4 tsp ground Coriander
1/2 tsp Mace
1/4 tsp Cardamom
1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 TB all-purpose flour
3 1/2 cups Mushroom Broth - you can use Beef if you like
4 oz Creme Fraiche or Sour Cream


Place the torn bread in a mixing bowl with the Milk and let it soak.

In a sauté pan over medium heat, place 2 T of the Clarified butter.

When hot, add the Onion and Garlic along with a pinch or two of salt.

Sweat the Onions until they become soft and translucent… Do not Sauté them (No sizzling). Remove from the heat and extract the garlic.

In your stand mixer’s bowl, combine the Milk/Bread mixture, Ground Veal, Ground Pork, Egg Yolk, Egg, 1 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt, White Pepper, Coriander, Mace, Cardamom, and Onions. Beat on medium speed for 3 to 5 minutes.

You want a completely homogenous mixture.

Lay a double layer of Plastic wrap over your kitchen scale and scoop meatballs into 1-ounce portions, then move to a sheet pan.

Chill the sheet pans for about 30 minutes.

Rub your hands with olive oil, or use latex gloves, shape the meatballs into… Well, balls.

Heat the remaining 2 TB of butter in the sauté pan over medium-low heat, or use and electric skillet set to 250 degrees F. Sautee the meatballs golden brown all over, about 8 to 12 minutes.

Move the meatballs to a baking dish and place in the warmed oven; you may have to work in batches.

When all of the meatballs have been cooked, decrease the heat to low and add the flour to the pan or skillet.

Whisk until the flour is sufficiently 'Cooked', about 2 to 3 minutes.

Gradually add the mushroom stock while whisking constantly.

Continue whisking until sauce begins to thicken.

Add the sour cream and continue cooking until the sauce thickens a little more.

Retrieve the meatballs from the oven, smother them with the sauce and serve in a chafing dish with toothpicks as an appetizer or serve over egg noodles or over Basmati rice as a main course.

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