Do you ever find that a trip to Ikea often ends in buying a bag of Swedish meatballs, if you can find the energy after shuffling around under glaring lights and garish colours? You can now get chicken and vege balls too (not that I’ve tried them). Sometimes I find that all I actually want to buy is a bag of meatballs, and maybe one of their rather yummy hot dogs.
We love meatballs in our house and more so if they are home-made. One of the first things I learnt to make at school was meatballs using minced beef and sausage meat. We cut open the sausages and squished the meat out into the bowl. Great when you are eight! This recipe used minced pork though. these work very well with an Italian tomato sauce and pasta too!
There are loads of recipes for meatballs – this one is from my fabulous Scandi Kitchen book by Bronte Aurell. I love that in her recipes she mentions you can use either breadcrumbs or porridge oats. Who keeps stale bread and makes it into breadcrumbs? and how did they ready made ones get so yellow?
So, for the meatballs take
1/3 cup porridge oats
2/3 cups of beef/ chicken stock
400g minced beef
250g minced pork
1 medium egg
2 and 1/2 tbs plain flour
1 tsp allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
a dash of Worcestershire sauce/ soy sauce
1 small grated onion
butter/ oil for frying
mashed potato, to serve.
meat or chicken stock.
1 tbs flour
a glugg of single cream
salt & ground pepper
Soak the oats for 5 minutes in the stock. Mix the meats with the salt and make sure it has all blended together properly.
Put the eggs, flour, spices and Worcestershire sauce into another bowl and mix in the oats & stock and grated onion. then add this to the meat mixture. Leave the mixture for 20 – 25 minutes to rest before using.
Shape the meatballs using your hands. It helps if your hands are damp. They should be about 2.5cm in diameter (or larger if you are in a rush)
Melt a little butter together with a dash of oil and carefully add a few meatballs. Don’t try to cook them all at once but leave space to swivel the pan around a bit so they stay a nice shape and don’t stick. They take about 5 minutes per batch to cook. Keep them in a warm oven until you need them and to make sure they are cooked all the way through.
When you have fried all the meatballs it’s time to make the gravy:
Add a little more butter or oil if you need to. Add a tablespoon of flour and whisk, then add a splash of stock and whisk again as you bring the gravy to boil. Keep adding the stock until you get a nice creamy gravy, then add a glugg of single cream. (The gravy will be a light brown).