Thursday, September 30, 2010

Swedish Meatballs Dunkin Style

My husband makes the BEST Swedish Meatballs, and it came to me on Saturday that he had not made them since I started my food blog! I bugged him until he agreed to make them.
I think the fact that he poaches the meatballs instead of cooking them in the oven makes them extra tender and flavorful. He then uses the poaching liquid in the sauce makes it extra special!

Here's how ya do it, as told by him, he is long winded sorry!

Poaching liquid and sauce base:
1 can (~30 oz) vegetable broth
2 cans (~30 oz) chicken broth

We always try to find/use either homemade broths or use unsalted and season at the end. Salted is fine, just do NOT add extra salt until you are finishing your sauce. Put the broth in a large sauce pan and heat to a simmer while you prepare the meatballs.

Pasta: We prefer extra-wide egg noodles. With or without yolks, up to you. Cook ONE POUND of dried pasta until al dente, drain, keep warm. You will want it firm since you're combining back into the sauce later. Wide floppy noodles hold a lot of the sauce and give a good balance of texture to the meat.

Meat: You can use just chicken, chicken and pork, turkey or turkey and pork. This time we used VERY lean turkey and ground pork.

1 lb ground 98% lean turkey
1 lb fine ground pork (we have coarse grind available here which we did not want)
- incorporate the two evenly
2 large eggs

Chopped finely:
1 med red onion
1.5c fresh, well-rinsed parsley (not Italian, regular)*
Dry stuff: (to taste, to smell -- we cook largely by "smell")
1/4 - 1 tsp cayenne pepper
1/8 - 1/4 tsp fresh nutmeg (if not fresh, double it)
1/4-1/2 tsp allspice
1 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon kosher salt (1/2 amount if using regular salt)**
approximately 1/2c unseasoned bread crumbs

Optional Wet Stuff you may need:
1c of cream or 1/2 and 1/2
1/4 - 1/2c sour cream
1-2 tablespoons sweet cream (unsalted) butter

*parsley in meatballs (we use this in Italian style too) adds an earthy greenness with a hint of medicinal like flavor that mellows in the cooking process. Overall it provides a very good flavor balance and nutritional filler (instead of more bread crumbs or starches or MSG).

**HEY!! Watch that salt! You will most likely be using a salted broth which will reduce and created a nasty salty sauce. If you are unsure of your broth, hold the salt seasoning until the very end. It adds nothing to the cooking process or moisture retention since you are poaching.

Combine dry with wet, use your hands. The meatballs will be slightly sticky and will get on your fingers and build up. Don't worry. Roll into balls about 1.5 inches in diameter. If your kitchen is hot/warm, keep them on a chilled plate while you prepare to poach

Poach in batches, don't crowd them and don't vigorously boil them -- just a gentle poach. You will want an instant-read thermometer handy. Whenever you combine meats, cook to the highest recommended "done" temperature of the two. In this case it's the turkey so go for 165 degrees.

Finishing the sauce:

Prepare a roux -- we use a 4tbsp butter to ~6tbsp flour ratio. Melt the butter, add flour. Stir, stir, stir and cook the flour over a medium heat until it starts to take on some color.

Ladle hot broth into the roux, stir to incorporate. Repeat until the roux sauce is fluid enough to pour back to the heated broth (still on medium heat) and easily incorporate without clumping. If clumps form, reduce heat and whisk gently. Be patient, you can work them out.

Once you are getting close to the desired consistency (about like whipping cream) add about 1/4c dry sherry (bumps up the sweetness) and then start testing for salt. Add a bit more fresh ground black pepper and a couple pinches of ground white pepper. Stir, taste. You should have slightly sweet, herby, some detection of salt but not salty. If too thin, you can thicken with a little bit of corn starch or just reduce for a few minutes.

Slightly salty? (been there, done that) Whisk in 1/4c sour cream

Uh Oh! Really Salty? Don't panic, been there done that too. Add about one cup of cream, 1/4c sour cream and a tablespoon or two of butter.

Now, tastes just right, right? Combine the pasta, meatballs back to the sauce and stir.

Serve warm in pasta bowls with sliced green onion for garnish and more fresh cracked pepper more for decoration than taste.

Serve with a green veggie and some good crusty bread.

Bon Apetit


♥peachkins♥ said...

sounds fantastic!

Pam said...

They look delicious! I've only had Swedish meatballs once and I loved them. Great recipe John.

Marjie said...

I've always made my Swedish meatballs with beef and more sour cream than you use. I agree that people use way too much salt in the cooking. Never been a big salt person, myself. Your husband's recipe sounds really good!

Bethie said...

Gotta make these for my hubby!! He would love them.

Debbie said...

These look wonderful. I know they would be devoured here. I live near an Ikea and would love to try these with some lingonberry jam on the side on bread....your husband is very talented!!!! My husband cooks a lot and he is way better than I am. He can just put something together without a recipe. Not me....I have to follow one step by step!

The Blonde Duck said...

I've never tried Swedish meatballs. As the meatball queen, I must get on this!

Vicki said...

Mmm, definitely bookmarked! I only made Swedish meatballs once, and they didn't turn out like I wanted. Your husband's recipe sounds much better.

Sophie Sportende Foodie said...

Waw!! Indeed, your husband is a winner!

I must make these tasty meatballs very soon,..They look so delectable!

NuKiwi said...

I've never heard of anyone poaching them before...perhaps we can try that next time...might be less messy to clean up too. :o)

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