I remember the first time I had Swedish Meatballs, it was at what I considered to be the fanciest of all holiday parties. The thing that caught my eye more than all the sparkle everywhere, were the long tables covered with linens and candles and the many small bowls and chafing dishes filled with small bite-sized delicious. The one dish that really grabbed my attention were these little meatballs covered with a slightly grey sauce that oozed meaty goodness. I had one bite, then two, then three and then I became the girl at the table stuffing her face. I later learned that this was my first introduction to the Swedish Meatball; meaty but elegant goodness. I was addicted from that moment on.
I remember approaching one of the servers and asking them what this treat was. They said in a no matter of fact tone that these morsels were Swedish Meatballs. Being whom I was I pushed a little bit more to get the recipe. Blankly they told them ingredients, saying the real ingredient that brought it together was a dab of espresso powder. Hmmm, meatballs with espresso powder. Being a girl from a small town, where Swedish Meatballs were never served, I was even more wildly intrigued.
Since that twinkly night some twenty years ago, I have thought of those meatballs very often but have never made. This year during our week long holiday celebration at home, I made them. They were moist, flavorful, and even better than that first bite. A bit more elegant than the meatballs we tend to enjoy, but still as satisfying. Actually, they would be a lovely addition to a New Years celebration; in my opinion.
Happy New Years!
1 pound ground beef
1 pork ground pork
1 cup minced yellow onion
2 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
3/4 cup panko
1 teaspoon ground allspice
3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon powdered espresso
1 1/2 cup beef stock
1/4 cup whole fat sour cream
In a chopper or by hand, finely mince the yellow onion and garlic together.
In a large frying pan, melt the butter with the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion/garlic mixture. Saute until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl add the beef, pork, panko, eggs, allspice, nutmeg, kosher salt, and black pepper, mix well with your hands.
Add the cooled onion mixture to the beef mixture, and mix well.
Shape the meat mixture into bite-sized meatballs. Set aside.
Heat a small amount of sunflower oil in the frying pan that you used to cook the onions. Working in batches cook the meatballs until brown on all sides, about 7 – 9 minutes. You may need to add a little more oil throughout the process.
Transfer the meatballs to a plate that is lined with paper towels.
Drain all but 2 tablespoons of drippings from the pan. Remove any burnt pieces of meat, then melt the butter in the pan.
Mix the flour with the nutmeg, allspice and espresso powder in a small bowl.
Whisk the flour mixture into the drippings until smooth paste forms, then add the stock and bring to a simmer.
Lower the heat and add the meatballs to the sauce. Cover and let simmer over very low heat for 10 minutes.
Remove from the heat and whisk in the sour cream, then stir to coat the meatballs.