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Old 09-25-2013, 08:17 PM   #1
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ISO - TNT Recipe for Swedish Meatballs

I would like a recipe for making the meatballs and the sauce. I'm not afraid of mushrooms.
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Old 09-25-2013, 10:11 PM   #2
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Here I have been lurking in the background this week, but I can't resist. My Swedish grandma used to make these in her roaster oven. Note: No mushrooms, no cream of mushroom soup.

She'd take equal parts of ground beef, ground pork, ground veal. If she had leftover mashed potatoes, she'd use those (how much, well, I'm guessing about 1/3 of the amount of meat--it was a "by feel, by golly" thing). If she didn't have leftover mashed potatoes, she take some (about 3-4) slices of homemade white bread and soak those in cream/whole milk. Let that soak for at least 10 minutes. Squeeze 1/2 of the milk out and set aside. Saute 1/2 onion, chopped, in butter. Combine the meats, bread (kinda torn up in pieces), the milk/cream. a beaten egg (or 2--depending on how much meat you had, how dry it was, and how big the eggs were) and seasoning. She'd use dry dill weed, celery salt, dried parsley, a bit of powdered ginger, nutmeg, salt and pepper. She'd mix everything together, adding some dry bread crumbs if it was too wet. She'd form the meat into balls, roll them in seasoned flour, and brown them. She'd then put them into the roaster oven with some beef stock, and let that cook for about 30 or so minutes at about 300 in her roaster oven. She'd remove the meatballs and thicken the sauce with the set aside cream/milk and some flour to make the gravy, adjust the seasonings, and add some lingonberry/pincherry jelly or cranberry sauce (about 2T) and some grated gjetost cheese.

There are at least a hundred different ways to make Swedish meatballs. This is as close as I can get to my grandma's recipe to share it--I do it by taste and by golly and they end up just like Grandma made.

Even if you don't like nutmeg, don't leave it out.

This is a "duck knows how to swim in water" recipe. I can't really describe it, it is almost instinctive because it was one of the first things grandma taught me to make when I was 8/9 years old (and I'm a lot older than that now).
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Old 09-25-2013, 11:05 PM   #3
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Here I have been lurking in the background this week, but I can't resist. My Swedish grandma used to make these in her roaster oven. Note: No mushrooms, no cream of mushroom soup.

She'd take equal parts of ground beef, ground pork, ground veal. If she had leftover mashed potatoes, she'd use those (how much, well, I'm guessing about 1/3 of the amount of meat--it was a "by feel, by golly" thing). If she didn't have leftover mashed potatoes, she take some (about 3-4) slices of homemade white bread and soak those in cream/whole milk. Let that soak for at least 10 minutes. Squeeze 1/2 of the milk out and set aside. Saute 1/2 onion, chopped, in butter. Combine the meats, bread (kinda torn up in pieces), the milk/cream. a beaten egg (or 2--depending on how much meat you had, how dry it was, and how big the eggs were) and seasoning. She'd use dry dill weed, celery salt, dried parsley, a bit of powdered ginger, nutmeg, salt and pepper. She'd mix everything together, adding some dry bread crumbs if it was too wet. She'd form the meat into balls, roll them in seasoned flour, and brown them. She'd then put them into the roaster oven with some beef stock, and let that cook for about 30 or so minutes at about 300 in her roaster oven. She'd remove the meatballs and thicken the sauce with the set aside cream/milk and some flour to make the gravy, adjust the seasonings, and add some lingonberry/pincherry jelly or cranberry sauce (about 2T) and some grated gjetost cheese.

There are at least a hundred different ways to make Swedish meatballs. This is as close as I can get to my grandma's recipe to share it--I do it by taste and by golly and they end up just like Grandma made.

Even if you don't like nutmeg, don't leave it out.

This is a "duck knows how to swim in water" recipe. I can't really describe it, it is almost instinctive because it was one of the first things grandma taught me to make when I was 8/9 years old (and I'm a lot older than that now).
Thank you, CWS!! That sounds wonderful. I knew it wasn't just a matter of making "meatloaf" mix and making meatballs out of it. I'll be copying and trying this one out. And I thank your Grandma, too!
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Old 09-26-2013, 05:36 AM   #4
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The best recipe I've ever found for them is in Cooks Illustrated, Jan 2009. It's been reprinted in some of their consolidated books, and I think it's on their website. They also use a panade, but their technique is something I had never seen before.

I'm pretty sure I've saved the recipe in Living Cookbook, so I can pull it out later if you're interested.
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Old 09-26-2013, 07:08 AM   #5
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The best recipe I've ever found for them is in Cooks Illustrated, Jan 2009. It's been reprinted in some of their consolidated books, and I think it's on their website. They also use a panade, but their technique is something I had never seen before.

I'm pretty sure I've saved the recipe in Living Cookbook, so I can pull it out later if you're interested.
Thanks, Silversage! I looked and I have a Cook's Illustrated cookbook from 2011 with a Swedish Meatball recipe. I'll try that one, too!
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Old 09-26-2013, 07:37 AM   #6
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Thanks, Silversage! I looked and I have a Cook's Illustrated cookbook from 2011 with a Swedish Meatball recipe. I'll try that one, too!
That's the one I used and I just made it the other night. It's delicious! I browned the meatballs in a sauté pan, then removed them, poured out most of the fat, and built the sauce on the fond in the pan. That's critical to the flavor of the sauce. I served them over extra-wide egg noodles. Yummy!
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Old 09-26-2013, 07:43 AM   #7
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I have an enameled cast iron dutch oven I can use. Thanks for that tip, GG. I would like to be able to control salt and fat content.
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Old 09-26-2013, 07:44 AM   #8
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Are mushrooms ever used in the gravy for Swedish Meatballs?
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Old 09-26-2013, 08:12 AM   #9
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Are mushrooms ever used in the gravy for Swedish Meatballs?
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Old 09-26-2013, 08:19 AM   #10
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I was just wondering if it changed the recipe to something else and I couldn't call them "Swedish Meatballs", the food police might get me.
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Old 09-26-2013, 08:38 AM   #11
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I was just wondering if it changed the recipe to something else and I couldn't call them "Swedish Meatballs", the food police might get me.
I think traditionally they're not, although I've seen some "wanna-be" quickie recipes made with Cream of Mushroom soup. I don't think anyone will come after you, though

Also, the CI recipe calls for heavy cream; I used half and half because DH uses it in his coffee, so we always have it in the house. They also say to discard the oil the meatballs are cooked in and add butter to make the roux; I skipped that and just left about 1 tbsp. meatballs drippings/oil to mix with the flour. I think it's just as good.

In fact, DH had the leftovers for dinner last night and was eating them when I came home from dinner with my friends. I asked for a bite and he almost didn't give me one! One of those things that gets better with age.
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Old 09-26-2013, 07:39 PM   #12
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I will most likely add garlic, onions and mushrooms...maybe that would be Finnish Meatballs

I'm going to work on CWS's recipe this weekend. After I make Shrek his French Toast that he requested.
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Old 09-27-2013, 05:36 AM   #13
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Maybe I am too late, but here's a basic recipe from one of the most common Swedish cook books. Swedish meatballs, or "köttbullar".

Ingredients:
400 grams of ground beef and pork (can also be only beef)
4 tbsp of bread crumbs or 3/4 dl of rolled oats
1 tbsp of potato starch (can be replaced with 1 1/2 tbsp of wheat flour)
1 1/2 dl of milk or water
1 tsp of salt (or more after your taste)
1 egg
2 tbsp of finely chopped onion (could be raw of fried)
a bit of black pepper

Instructions:
I always start by frying the onion until it's soft. Adding raw onion will make the meatballs fall apart. Put the fried onion aside until it's time to add them to the mix. Mix the breadcrumbs or rolled oats, potato starch and milk or water. (If you use rolled oats I suggest that you use a bit less fluid than in the recipe.) Let it swell for ten minutes. Add the ground meat and the salt and mix well. Then add the egg, the pepper and the onion. Everything should be mixed well, but don't work it too much or the meat will become tough.

Then shape the mix into even balls. They could be bigger or smaller, whichever you like. If you put a little water on your hands from time to time it will be easier.

Heat up some butter in a pan until light brown, then put in the balls a few at the time just to not overcrowd the pan. Shake the pan so that they brown all around. Then you can lower the heat a bit and fry until they are done. According to the book you can put a lid on your pan at this stage, but I have never done that.

The meatballs are traditionally served with boiled potatoes or mashed potatoes, lingonberryjam and brunsĺs ("brown sauce").

Sauce ingredients:
3 dl of gravy
1 stock cube
2 tbsp of wheat flour
1 dl of milk or water
1/2-1 tsp of Chinese style soy sauce
2-3 tbsp of cream

Intructions:
Put hot water in the frying pan after finishing frying the meatballs, to make the gravy. Put the gravy in a pot, and add the stock cube and let it dissolve. Mix the flour and the milk or water. Add that mix to the pot while stirring. Boil for about five minutes. Put in the soy and cream to your taste and season if needed.

If there is something unclear don't hesitate to ask me. English is not my native language, and I had to look up some cooking terms. Please tell me if I am making language mistakes. HTH!
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Old 09-27-2013, 06:50 AM   #14
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Sauce ingredients:
3 dl of gravy
1 stock cube
2 tbsp of wheat flour
1 dl of milk or water
1/2-1 tsp of Chinese style soy sauce
2-3 tbsp of cream

Intructions:
Put hot water in the frying pan after finishing frying the meatballs, to make the gravy. Put the gravy in a pot, and add the stock cube and let it dissolve. Mix the flour and the milk or water. Add that mix to the pot while stirring. Boil for about five minutes. Put in the soy and cream to your taste and season if needed.

If there is something unclear don't hesitate to ask me. English is not my native language, and I had to look up some cooking terms. Please tell me if I am making language mistakes. HTH!
Ezil, first, Welcome to DC! You English is fine.

you say 3dl gravy, above...does this mean the liquid left in the pan from frying the meatballs?

Thank You
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Old 09-27-2013, 12:02 PM   #15
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Ezil, first, Welcome to DC! You English is fine.

you say 3dl gravy, above...does this mean the liquid left in the pan from frying the meatballs?

Thank You
Exactly! You put some hot water in the pan to "make" some gravy. But the sauce can also be made without gravy. A stock cube is usually enough to get taste. If you want to make it without the gravy you can just put water instead. I often make it like that. :)
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Old 09-27-2013, 12:44 PM   #16
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Exactly! You put some hot water in the pan to "make" some gravy. But the sauce can also be made without gravy. A stock cube is usually enough to get taste. If you want to make it without the gravy you can just put water instead. I often make it like that. :)
We call that "deglazing the pan." You add the water and use a spatula to scrape up the delicious browned bits (fond) from the bottom of the pan and incorporate them into the sauce
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Old 09-27-2013, 01:22 PM   #17
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We call that "deglazing the pan." You add the water and use a spatula to scrape up the delicious browned bits (fond) from the bottom of the pan and incorporate them into the sauce
Thank you! :) *adding expression to mental vocabulary*
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Old 09-27-2013, 03:04 PM   #18
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Ezil, your English is great.

I will point out that we usually call a sauce a gravy if it is thickened, usually with something starchy like flour or corn starch. There is a notable exception. Red gravy is the term used by some people to refer to what the rest of us call tomato sauce.
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Old 09-27-2013, 04:40 PM   #19
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Ezil, your English is great.

I will point out that we usually call a sauce a gravy if it is thickened, usually with something starchy like flour or corn starch. There is a notable exception. Red gravy is the term used by some people to refer to what the rest of us call tomato sauce.
Okay, the word I was looking for is something that is called "sky" in Swedish . It is for example the fluid that has gathered in the roasting tray after roasting a chicken, the fluid that came out of the meat. Is there a better word for that?
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Old 09-27-2013, 04:56 PM   #20
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Juices, renderings... those are a couple.
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