Sunday, February 20, 2011

Swedish Meatballs

Recently a friend of mine asked for a recipe for Swedish meatballs. It took me a while to make them, and for that I am deeply sorry. These little babies are GOOD!! Please don't let the extensive ingredients list discourage you. Once you try these meatballs you'll be hooked.

The meatball is lightly seasoned with salt, pepper and nutmeg. The nutmeg makes the dish have a rich quality, I wouldn't leave it out. I also threw in a bit of ricotta cheese, mostly because I had some, but also for the flavor as well as moisture they provided to the meatballs. You didn't get a 'cheesy' flavor from them at all, the cheese kept them moist and light. They were very well received by the 3 children that were lucky enough to eat them. Knowing that all 3 kids disliked mushrooms meant there were more for the adults. I left the mushrooms large so they were easier to pick around for the kids, however if I were making this again I might dice the mushrooms finer so they were more evenly distributed in the sauce. The choice is yours. We made the meatballs bit size using a small 2 teaspoon cookie scoop. The smaller size allows a quicker cooking time and they are the perfect bite size.

Now the Witch makes no claims at authenticity, I've never been to Sweden and honestly I don't know if 'Swedish Meatballs' are even Swedish. They could be as Swedish as French toast is French. You get the idea. But when I was brainstorming this recipe I thought that a bit of bacon in the sauce wouldn't be a bad thing. Really, when is adding bacon a bad thing?! The bacon was indeed well received and added a great depth of flavor that would have been missed otherwise. I sauteed the mushrooms in the bacon fat for extra flavor and discarded the fat after the mushrooms cooked, so all the goodness of bacon fat flavor was in the dish with out all the bacon fat itself.

The results were very successful! Tender, flavorful meatballs in a creamy rich sauce filled with mushrooms, bacon bits and deliciousness. Swedish meatballs will be gracing our dinner table more often, this I'm sure of! Enjoy!

Swedish Meatballs
makes 6 servings
1.5 lb lean ground beef
1/3 c ricotta cheese
fresh ground nutmeg, about 1/4 t divided (if using preground use a bit less)
1-1.5 t kosher salt
1/4 t ground black pepper
1 egg
1/2 c panko
1 onion, small, fine mince
1/2 c white wine, dry
1/2 t garlic granules
1/2 lb bacon, diced
1 package cremini mushrooms (4 oz), quartered
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup milk
1/3 c sour cream
1 t worstershire sauce
2-3 T flour

In a mixing bowl place the ground beef with 1/8 t nutmeg, about 3/4 t kosher salt, 1/4 t pepper, panko, 1/2 the onions, granulated garlic and 2 T white wine. In a small bowl mix the ricotta and egg together. Pour the ricotta mix over the meat & other ingredients and mix until very well incorporated. Make small bite sized meatballs, about 2t of meat mixture for each ball. ~*~the Witch used a small 2t cookie scooper, made things easy & uniform~*~

Place formed balls onto a baking sheet, bake for 15 minutes, turn the oven off and allow to rest in oven for 5 minutes before removing tray.

While the meatballs bake start the sauce.

Cook bacon in a large skillet until crispy and all fat is rendered out. Remove and drain bacon, reserve for later use.

In the same bacon drippings add the mushrooms and cook until very browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Once browned remove mushroom to drain and reserve.

Discard the bacon fat.

Place the pan back on the heat, add the onions and sautee for a minute or 2, until the onions start to get browned from the cooked on bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the remaining white wine, deglaze pan, scraping up the fond that has cooked on to the bottom of the pan. Allow wine to reduce by half.

In a small bowl combine the milk and flour, whisking well to break up lumps. Once you have a smooth slurry mixture add it to the pan with the onions & reduced white wine. Whisk well, it will thicken immediately. Add the chicken stock slowly, whisking the entire time to break up lumps. Bring to a simmer, add the remaining nutmeg, mushrooms and cooked meatballs to the sauce, taste for season & add more salt & pepper as needed. Simmer covered for 5 minutes to marry all ingredients. Top with bacon just prior to serving, stirring it into the sauce, coating all meatballs with sauce. Serve with pasta or mashed potatoes.

Nutrition Facts provided by SparkPeople recipe calculator
Amount Per Serving
Calories 421.4
Total Fat 28.5 g
Saturated Fat 12.1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1.5 g
Monounsaturated Fat 11.7 g
Cholesterol 120.1 mg
Sodium 884.6 mg
Potassium 435.9 mg
Total Carbohydrate 11.9 g
Dietary Fiber 0.7 g
Sugars 2.9 g
Protein 25.5 g


Betty Ray said...

Mmmm, we love meatballs in this house. I have not ever made the swedish variety though. That will have to change now that I've bookmarked your recipe. Thanks for sharing!

Teauna said...

I love Swedish Meatballs... I need to try this recipe!

Dharm said...

Those Swedish Meatballs do indeed look really good!

Jenn said...

I must admit, I'm not usually wow'd by swedish meatballs....until now!!! They look fantastic, Andrea....and the added bacon: NICE!!!!

Lindsay @Eat, Knit, Grow said...

Oh yum! they look so delicious! Just in time for the cold weather to come back and comfort food to be needed.

Cranberry Morning said...

Oh yum! And it looks so delicious on the plate with accompanying asparagus! Everyone's talking about panko. Looks like I need to track that down and start using it!

Ma What's 4 dinner said...

Mmmmm they look delish. One of my favorite meals for sure. I'll have to make these soon for sure. Thank you for your kind words about our dog, Guinness. Hearing everyone's words of encouragement and sympathy has been really helpful.

Hope you're having a Happy Presidents Day!

Lots of yummy love,
Alex aka Ma, What's For Dinner?

Design Wine and Dine said...

I love sweedish meatballs and haven't made them in years because I always pick up frozen ones when I go to IKEA! Your homemade ones here look and sound delicious! Nice of you to add the bacon and love the noodles with them too - YUUUMMM!

Baking Addict said...

These look amazing! I've only ever had them in Ikea.

Somer said...

Sounds yummy! I think I will try this but substitute beef for ground chicken and use a teaspoon of the bacon drippings for flavor/moisture. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

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Katie@Cozydelicious said...

Swedish meatballs were one of my favorite meals as a kid. I haven;t had them in forever and I don;t know why! These look great, I ahev to make them!

Pam said...

Now that's what I want for dinner tonight! It looks delicious.

Ellie said...

Andrea, You know, I really like the ricotta in the meatballs. Don't ever recall seeing that...but then again, I don't think I 've ever made swedish meatballs. Can you believe that? These look fantastic! Now, I really want to make them.
Thanks for your visit...always enjoy you stopping by:)

BTW, you are an amazing cook!

Miss Meat and Potatoes said...

Goodness Andrea - these look so darn delicious who cares if they're authentic! Though they must be - they have them at Ikea, right? ;) When the next cold snap hits I know what I'm making! Thanks for sharing lady.

City Share said...

Those look fabulous. I love Swedish meatballs. I'll have to try it out.

Velva said...

Swedish meatballs are a comforting dish. Not too mention super-kid friendly too.


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