I don’t know if there’s any way that I can ask this without it sounding totally odd, at least at first, so I’ll just get it over with: when you were a kid, did you sleep with random items just because they were brand new (and you loved them so much)? See, it sounds strange, doesn’t it? Maybe I could have worded that a bit better…
Okay, so how about an example: when I was a kid, whenever I got brand new shoes, I’d bring them to bed with me. They were clean, only worn inside the store to try them on, and I just had to hold them as I fell asleep. The day I got a brand new football, it replaced my teddy bear as my comforting item of choice. Actually, even into high school I usually slept with a football within arms reach… Man, I love football! So excited for the new season – go Seahawks!
Err, anyways, I hope I wasn’t alone in this weirdly capitalistic form of childhood comfort. Actually, I know I’m not, because my niece did almost the exact same thing the other day. I was babysitting and had the task of putting the little ones to bed, and my youngest niece didn’t want to fall asleep without her new seashell by her side. She’d bought it from a friend (not named Sally, and not sold by the seashore) and had promised to have it at her bedside that night. She’d already managed to break the seashell into a couple of pieces, and didn’t know where it was, but she still wanted to keep her promise. They’re so sweet, aren’t they? I mean, until they aren’t, right?
So now that I’m grown, and my wife takes up half the bed, and such practices are frowned upon when you’re 30 and not three, I have to find other ways to embrace my new “stuff”. At the moment, pretty much everything I purchase or am gifted with is for the kitchen, I embrace it by using the hell out of it.
“I mean, it is an expensive skillet, but it’s your birthday, so if you think you’ll really use it…” says my wife (I’m the one worried about the cost, not feeling worthy of the stunning blue Le Creuset skillet in front of me).
“No, no, no – I’ll definitely use it…but wow, it’s so nice,” I respond.
I then prove my deep adoration for it – and by proxy, my wife – by somehow using it for nearly every meal, and including it in almost every instagram pic and every blog post for the next month.
Yeah, I kind of like it!
So, with the help of my new pride and joy, may I present to you: “Swedish Meatballs”, aka “Ikea Knockoffs” (adapted Damn Delicious’ Swedish Meatball recipe). I chose to use Knorr® bouillon cubes instead of normal broth and added a bit more in the way of bread crumbs, but the biggest divergence from my recipe and hers is that I’ve provided measurements for seasoning the meat with salt and pepper. I’ve never understood why recipes say to season something “to taste”, when the item you’re seasoning includes raw meat. How do you know if it’s been seasoned correctly if you can’t taste it until you’ve completed the cooking process and it’s too late? Anyways, I’ll give Damn Delicious a pass, because with her guidance, I made meatballs that I’m sure would make any Swede proud.
By the way, I enjoyed a very tasty Desert Hills Gamay with this dish. Definitely not what was recommended in the tasting notes pairing suggestions, but delicious together nonetheless.
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- 1 lb. ground pork
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2/3 cup panko bread crumbs
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 tbsp. olive oil, divided
- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp. ground pepper
- 3/4 tsp. sea salt
For the gravy:
- 1/4 cup butter (salted)
- 5 tbsp. (75 ml) all-purpose flour
- 4 cups boiling water
- 2 Knorr® beef bouillon cubes
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- salt and pepper
- In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the onion with 1 tbsp. of the olive oil. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent but not browning, about 3-4 minutes. Remove the pan from heat and transfer the cooked onions to a large bowl.
- To the bowl of onions, add both ground meats, the panko bread crumbs, the two egg yolks, and the four seasonings (salt, pepper, nutmeg and allspice).
- Combine all ingredients together by hand until everything is well-incorporated. Roll out the balls by hand, placing them on a large cutting board or baking tray once they’ve been formed. Forming them with an approximately 1-inch diameter will produce roughly 30-40 meatballs. You can cook them all up, or cook up half and freeze the other half for another day.
- Taking the same skillet as before, add the other tbsp. of olive oil and place back over medium heat. Working in batches, brown the meatballs on all sides, before removing to a plate lined with paper towel. Each batch should take about 4 minutes, as you’re just browning the outside, and not yet cooking the meat all the way through.
- Once you’ve browned all the meatballs, make the gravy. Before anything else, ensure your beef broth is prepared by dissolving your bouillon cubes in the 4 cups of boiling water.
- Melt the butter in the skillet completely, then add in the flour, a little at a time, and whisk until smooth. Allow this roux to cook for about a minute, whisking continually during this time.
- Next, pour in the broth, a cup at a time, whisking constantly. The mixture may clump up initially, but with constant whisking and additional broth, the clumping will go away.
- Once all the broth has been added, allow to thicken for a few minutes, whisking occasionally.
- When the gravy has had a chance to thicken slightly (after about 4-5 minutes), add the sour cream and whisk until combined. Taste, and season carefully with pepper, and salt (if necessary).
- Return the meatballs to the skillet with the gravy, and allow them to cook another 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you are cooking up all the meatballs at once, you may run out of room in your skillet. If that’s the case, do this step in two batches. If the gravy starts to thicken too much during the second batch of meatballs, carefully add a small amount of water to thin the sauce out.
- Serve the meatballs over mashed potatoes, smothering everything in gravy. Also, for the sake of your future health, make sure to put something green on the plate.
I’m bringing this dish – along with my Pork Tenderloin in Thyme and White Wine Cream Sauce – over to Angie’s Fiesta Friday. This week it’s being cohosted by Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook and Elaine @ Foodbod. They’ve both been very encouraging of me during this, my first year of food blogging, so please take a moment to check out their blogs if you get a chance.