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Swedish Meatballs

 
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alpenrose
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:44 am    Post subject: Swedish Meatballs Reply with quote

OH please! PLEASE! P L E A S E!! Help me figure out how to make
Swedish Meatballs!

I have looked at recipes with Allspice (or without), Ginger ( or without), Nutmeg (or without), etc. My friend the Swedish professor who is a fine cook tells me only to use Allspice--I get no flavor.

I use the proper sized ice cream scooper thingy and they start out round in the pan, but after rolling them around to brown on all sides they are flat, or they fall apart, etc.

I have used bread, or bread crumbs and they never stick together.

I have seen recipes with Soy Sauce, but I am very sure that those old Swedish gals in church, who used to make such wonderful meatballs, never heard of Soy sauce.

Please help!
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Dilbert



Joined: 19 Oct 2007
Posts: 1024
Location: central PA

PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

sounds like there's two problems here -

first getting a little meatball
second getting the taste / seasoning 'right'

your note didn't mention anything about an egg - beaten egg is typically used as a "binder" in meatballs to keep them from falling apart. as they cook the egg 'sets up' and binds the meat & bread crumbs together.

there is also the 'oven finish' technique. make the meatballs, brown them in the pan - you put them in, do not crowd the pan, do not fool with them until they begin to set up. no forks, spatula, etc. you should be able to shake the pan and make them roll around (that's the reason for not crowding the pan) minimal "handling" avoids the breaking apart problem. it does happen that toward the end there a couple spots that didn't roll over on their own to cook - I use a fork and a spoon to lift&turn them - but if they are still 'sticking' to the pan let them brown a bit more on the bottom. when they have browned they'll 'release' from the fry pan. I don't try to cook them thru in the pan - just brown. transfer to an oven pan or an oiled rack (over a roasting pan) and pop them in a 275-300'F oven for 10 minutes to cook through. small meatballs will need less time (the 10 mins) vs larger ones which can take 20-25 mins. if you're making a large qty, pan fry in batches then put all in the oven at the same time. to judge "finished" - take one out and eat it . . .

on the issue of taste / seasonings thing get stickier because there are thousands of variations, all "authentic" according to [someone]

some folks like to use a mix of ground pork or sausage with the beef.
since the sausage is most likely seasoned, that incorporates some flavors.

also note, using ultra-lean beef can be trickier as it has so little fat to help with flavor and binding (bread crumbs absorb the fat . . .)

>>(allspice) & get no flavor: how long has it been hanging around? most spices age and lose potency. . .

then the gravy question. you'll see recipes stating "served without gravy" some with a brown gravy made from the pan drippings, some with a cream sauce based gravy.

seems "Swedish Meatballs" has morphed to mean "small meatballs" - I've always considered it to be in a cream based sauce with dill.
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alpenrose
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 9:01 pm    Post subject: Swedish Meatballs Reply with quote

Dear Dilbert:

Thank you so much for the help. With regard to bread, or bread crumbs, which do you prefer?

With regard to Allspice--it is very fresh (just purchased and smells wonderful), but I don't get that old fashioned Swedish Taste. Let's say I am using 1 lb beef and 1 lb pork how much allspice? Do you add nutmeg, or ginger? Allspice seems to deaden my tongue --nothing happens!

Yes, I agree it should be cream gravy with dill, but I also like to make a good brown gravy from the frond given this wonderful opportunity!

Thank you again,
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