Today is National Sandwich Day. So take a guess as to how many sandwiches are eaten per day in American? Now remember, we are talking office workers and construction workers and kids in school. That’s a lot of people. Some estimate that 300 million sandwiches are eaten per day. Wow!Continue reading “What is a Sandwich?”
A few months ago I made my guys Swedish Meatballs. This was another in a long line of recipes that was on my meal planner, then off again. It’s not that the recipe was difficult or complicated, just time-consuming in the prep work department. It seemed that as the day of cooking grew near, I became involved in other projects or (more often than not) grew lazy. Finally, the day of reckoning was upon me. No more excuses, no more procrastinating. It was time to get cooking!
These aren’t just meatballs cooked in Cream of Mushroom Soup and called “Swedish” – these are made with a blend of ground beef and pork, seasoned well, baked in the oven and then finished off in a wonderful, somewhat sweet Red Currant sauce. Meatballs that are to-die-for delicious. Hubby said they were the most flavorful meatballs he has ever tasted. While a bit labor intense, these meatballs are well worth the extra effort.
Swedish Meatballs with Red Currant Sauce
5 slices of sour dough bread, crusts removed, bread cut into pieces
2/3 cup milk
1 large yellow or white onion, peeled, grated (through a cheese grater)
2 Tbsp butter
1 pound ground pork
1 pounds ground beef
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 teaspoons black pepper
Red Currant Sauce:
6 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup flour
4 cups beef stock
3/4 cup sour cream
Salt to taste
3 Tbsp red currant jelly, more or less to taste
Handful Flat Leaf Parsley, finely chopped for garnish if desired
Trim crust from bread, cut into pieces. Let bread dry out for about 10 minutes.
In a medium bowl, mix the bread pieces with the milk. Set aside for 15-20 minutes, or until the bread soaks up all the milk. When it does, pulverize the bread in a food processor and pour it into a large bowl.
While bread is soaking, grate onions using large holes of a cheese grater.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a non-stick Sauté pan over medium-high heat. Once the butter has melted and begins to foam slightly, add onions.
Sauté the grated onion in the butter over medium-high heat until the onions soften and turn translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
Add the cooled onions to the bowl of milk and bread. Add the rest of the meatball ingredients—eggs, ground pork, ground beef, salt, nutmeg, cardamom, pepper. Using your (clean) hands, mix well for about 2 minutes until the ingredients are well combined.
Use a 1 tablespoon scooper to measure out the meat for the meatballs. As you form the meatballs, set each one aside on a sheet pan or plate. You should get 60-65 meatballs.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Bake meatballs for 15 minutes. Do not fully cook meatballs all the way through since they will continue to cook in the sauce.
While the meatballs are baking, make the Red Currant Sauce. Heat 6 tablespoons of butter for the sauce in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Slowly whisk in the flour. Stirring often, let the flour cook until it is the color of coffee-with-cream; this is a classic roux. It will take about 5-8 minutes to reach the desired color.
As the roux is cooking, heat the beef stock in another pot until it simmers. When the roux has cooked until the color of coffee-with-cream, slowly add the hot beef stock a little at a time. Everything will sputter at first, and the sauce will seize up and solidify. Keep stirring and adding stock slowly, and it will loosen up and become silky.
Remove meatballs from the oven. Drain pan drippings into the sauce and stir to blend well.
Add the meatballs to the sauce, and turn the heat down to low. Cover the pot and cook on low heat for 10 to 15 minutes.
To finish, move the meatballs to a large serving bowl or casserole and keep warm. Add the sour cream and whisk well until smooth. Add the jelly to the sauce. Bring sauce up to medium heat to let the jelly melt into the sauce.
Pour sauce over meatballs, garnish with parsley if desired.
These meatballs go well served over buttery egg noodles.
A true, classic Bolognese is made with ingredients such as veal, pancetta and a good beef stock. When you are cooking on a shoestring budget, veal and pancetta aren’t the sort of ingredients you typically throw into the shopping cart. Not to mention the fact that some people object to veal from a purely ethical standpoint.