Sunday, July 21, 2013

Danish Meatballs

I've always loved eating meatballs when visiting Scandinavia. Although Sweden often gets the credit due to the Ikea restaurants, meatballs are actually served in all the Nordic countries. In fact, I have to admit that I've had my best meatballs in Denmark made by Martin's Mom. She uses two spoons to create fairly large oval shaped meatballs, but tonight here in Seattle, I made mine round. Most important, I learned her secret to making them light and tender - it involves mixing the meat with water. And, I learned that they are not very seasoned - this recipe includes just a little Allspice, salt and some white pepper. Scandinavian meatballs are usually served with Lingonberry Jam and boiled new potatoes. I made a gravy, although a lot of people eat meatballs without any sauce, but for me, it's almost my favorite part, especially on the potatoes. Try this version of meatballs if you have ever ordered them at Ikea's restaurant.  I think you will be delighted with your homemade version!

Danish Meatballs

1 pound ground beef (or veal for authenticity)
1 pound lean ground pork
1 medium onion, minced very fine (or grated)
2 slices white bread (I used Gluten Free) crusts trimmed off or 3/4 cup oatmeal 
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon Allspice
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
2 teaspoons salt
4 Tablespoons Butter

For Sauce

2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
1 cup beef broth
1/2 cup milk (can also use cream if you want it to be a richer sauce)

Mix together the beef, pork, onion, bread, eggs and seasonings along with the water with your hands until the meat if very finely textured. Shape into walnut shaped balls or into larger oblongs.  Heat 2 Tablespoons of butter in a large frying pan.  Fit in as many meatballs as you can.  Cook until lightly browned on one side and turn over carefully with tongs.  Brown other side and continue to turn regularly until they are cooked through - approximately 15 minutes.  Remove to a plate and keep in a warm oven.  Pour the pan drippings and bits of caramelized onion into a bowl and reserve. Clean out the pan with a paper towel.  Melt remaining butter in the pan and repeat with the remaining meatballs.  

Mix the Cornstarch, beef broth and milk (or cream) together.  Pour into the pan and add back the drippings from the bowl. Heat until boiling and thickened. Serve on the side along with Lingonberry Jam and boiled new potatoes.

Five Element Analysis

Beef belongs to the Earth Element and Pork to the Water Element.  Onion, Allspice and milk bring in the Metal Element and the bread brings in a bit of the Wood Element. This element needs enhancing so serve this dish with a green leafy vegetable or green beans. Then, only the Fire Element is lacking (except for that tiny bit of black pepper), so serving these meatballs with the Lingonberry Jam creates a Five Element balance.

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