FYI Swedes just call them meatballs!
So – I can tick off one item from my Julbord preparations today and I am on schedule :)
A quick summary for those of ou who did not read my last post: I am making a traditional Swedish Julbord for Christmas this year, which basically is a buffet with Swedish food. And what Swedish Julbord would be complete without meatballs? As I am serving 15 people I need to be organised, so I decided to make the meatballs a week ahead and freeze them in so that I would not be completely swamped on the morning of the 24th. Now all I have to do is defrost them and warm them up – one less item to worry about! For the full Christmas menu – click here!
Meatballs are incredibly easy to make – but they tend to be quite time-consuming as you have to fry them in batches and that can be quite tedious, not to mention you and your entire house smells of fried meat for hours if not days after. Don’t you just hate that greasy feeling after you have been in the kitchen for hours?
As I wanted to make quite a few meatballs for my Julbord, I started wondering if I could just pop then in the oven instead – a few minutes of research on the internet told me I could and I am so glad that I did. Not only did it drastically reduce the time it usually takes me to make meatballs, I really think the end quality was far superior! I usually end up with rather hard dry meatballs but this time they were incredibly moist and succulent better than IKEA meatballs…and that says a lot ;)
Although the two drawbacks by doing them in the oven are 1) they don’t get that lovely colour that a pan-fried meatball gets, and 2) they get flat on one side and no longer ‘ball’ shaped. Although I can’t do anything about problem number 2, but to tackle problem number 1, when I heat up the meatballs before I serve them, I am going to pop them under the grill for a few minutes so they get a blast of colour (at least that is my plan!)
This recipe makes 4 to 5 dozen meatballs depending on how big you make them. If you are making these for a cocktail party, I would make them bite size, but for a dinner or buffet a small ball if sufficient.
- 200ml milk
- 1 cup fresh bread crumbs (mine was store-bought)
- 900g ground beef
- 450g ground pork
- 2 eggs
- 1 medium onion – grated (about 1 cup)
- 2 garlic cloves – grated
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp white pepper
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 3 – 4 tblsp dijon mustard
Pre-heat oven to 150°C
Gently warm the milk in a saucepan until warm, then pour in the breadcrumbs and let soak. The consistency should not be too pasty, but rather loose.
In a large mixing bowl place the ground beef and pork. Add the grated onion and garlic (ensure that you incorporate the juice that the grated onion generates, as this will keep the meatball moist.) Then add all the remaining ingredients.
With your hands, vigorously mix all the ingredients together so that you create an almost smooth quality to the meat, 3 -5 minutes. Once all the ingredients are thoroughly mixed you can start making the meatballs.
Using a tablespoon, scoop out the desired amount of meat from the bowl, and using the palm of your hands, roll them into small balls, but do not compress the mixture. Rinse your hand regularly during this process, as it is far easier to roll meatballs with clean wet hands than it is with sticky hands.
Place the balls on a lined backing tray. When all the meat mixture has been rolled out. Pop the baking tray into the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until meatballs are cooked through.
And there you have very moist and very delicious (Swedish) meatballs!
After Christmas Eve, I will you know how it went to defrost the meatballs, and then put them under the grill for some colour – but, even with out that golden brown colour, these meatballs are going to be fantastic :)