The New Nordic
What makes Swedish and Danish meatballs different from Italian ones? Well, for a start they are not swimming in a rich tomato ragu; it is the cream-soaked breadcrumbs and hint of allspice that I think really sets them apart. Making these meatballs from half beef and half pork mince produces a lovely rich combination of flavours, but you can make them from all beef mince, if you prefer. I also recommend using a blender to make the mince as _ne as you can. Make double, as they freeze well.
SERVES 4 VERY GENEROUSLY OR WITH LEFTOVERS
© 2020 Simon Bajada / Hardie Grant Books · Reproduced with permission. · The New Nordic by Simon Bajada (Hardie Grant, £20.00). Photography by Simon Bajada.
You Will Need
For the mashed potatoes, boil the potatoes in a large saucepan of salted water
for 12–15 minutes, until soft. Drain well, and allow to cool and dry out.
Heat the milk, cream and butter for the potatoes in a large saucepan. For best
results, put the potatoes through a ricer, or use a masher. Mix them into the
buttery mixture using a wooden spoon. Season to taste, then set aside.
For the meatballs, combine the breadcrumbs, allspice, salt and white pepper
in a large bowl. Mix in the milk to form a smooth paste then let stand for
10 minutes. If the mixture is still quite dry, add a little more milk.
Grate the onion extremely finely or purée it in a blender.
Line a baking tray with baking paper. Use your hands to knead together the
minced meats, onion, eggs and the breadcrumb paste until well combined, or
mix together in a food processor. With clean, wet hands form the mixture into
meatballs, about 2.5–3 cm (1–1 ¼ in) wide. Place on the lined baking.tray.
For the sauce, bring the stock to a boil. Sprinkle the .our into a dry saucepan
over a medium heat. Using a wooden spatula, stir the flour for a few minutes,
until it turns golden brown. Be careful not to burn it, or you will have to start
again. Quickly stir in the butter until the flour is fully incorporated; you may
need extra butter. Immediately pour in the hot stock, a little at a time, stirring
to ensure the mixture is smooth. Strain through a sieve if there are any lumps.
Wipe the pan clean, return the gravy and continue cooking over a medium
heat, stirring occasionally, until it thickens. Add a little more stock (or water)
if it is too thick. Stir in the orange juice, check the seasoning and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 140°C (275°F). Heat the oil and butter in a cast-iron or
heavy-based pan over a medium heat until the butter foams. In batches, cook
the meatballs for 10 minutes, until browned on all sides. Keep them warm in
the oven while you cook the rest, using more oil and butter as necessary.
Reheat the gravy, whisking to smooth it out. Gently reheat the mash. Serve
the meatballs and mash ‘swimming’ in gravy with a dollop of lingonberry jam
and some lightly pickled cucumber.