Saturday, July 30, 2011

Swedish Meatballs with Mushroom Gravy

One of the challenges of feeding a crowd over the course of several hours is coming up with a hearty finger food that can endure sitting in a warm crock pot without simmering into a mush. These meatballs fit the bill. And the recipe I used was loosely based, providing more of a guide line of ratios and suggestions for seasonings than hard and fast rules and measures. These are my favorite sorts of recipes...

adapted from an article in Mens Health, Dec 2010

makes about 2 dozen meatballs

The Ingredients:
The Meatballs
1 1/2 lbs ground meat (equal parts pork and beef)
2 large eggs
2 slices white bread, torn into small pieces
2 Tbsp milk
1/4 tsp nutmeg

The Gravy:
1/2 lb sliced white or cremini mushrooms
2 Tbsp flour
2 cups beef broth
1/4 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste

The Process:
In a large bowl combine ground meat, eggs, onion and nutmeg. In a small bowl, soak the torn bread in milk for 5 minutes. Squeeze out the excess milk and add the bread to the meat. Mix (preferably with clean hands, or a wooden spoon for the squeamish) until well combined.

Form the mixture into 1-inch diameter balls. In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the meatballs in batches until they are cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove them and prepare the sauce in the skillet.

For the sauce, add the mushrooms to the skillet. Saute until browned, 5 minutes. Stir in the flour. Slowly pour in the beef broth, whisking to prevent lumps. Then stir in heavy cream; simmer until the gravy has thickened, about 3 minutes. Serve the meatballs with the gravy.

My modifications:
I doubled the recipe and kept the meatballs and sauce warmed in a slow cooker for the duration of our house warming and moving party.

The Review:
These meatballs were a huge hit among those who tried them...even the friends who were not fans of fungi. A double batch was way more than was needed. However, the meatballs withstood the fridge well for several future meals, and even froze pretty well.

The basic meatball ratio outlined in the article I referenced was 1 1/2 lbs meat, 2 eggs, 3/4 cup bread crumbs and seasonings of your choice (onion , garlic, ginger, jalepeno, herbs, etc etc to your liking). Bake at 450 for 12 minutes, or pan fry...its an easy enough guide to remember without having to dig out the cookbook or track down a recipe online. Spicy lamb with feta or Asian pork meatballs may be next!

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