Julia’s recipe treats these as an appetizer, with a quite cunning little sauce of bouillon, soy sauce, and Dijon mustard that I quite ignored; I had other plans. With tomato sauces on our ‘don’t go there’ list, I was looking for something nice to do with meat and pasta – two of Rich’s favorite things.
TA DA! SWEDISH MEATBALLS!
I had a wonderful recipe from Rich’s S-I-L Barbara, but never transcribed the card into my MacBook and now the ink is all but illegible (my own fault for indulging my fountain pen fetish). Well, all praise da Google (and in this case, someone’s Uncle Oscar) for providing me JUST the recipe to also mostly ignore (as it turned out) in the service of tossing together a tasty; and sorta, kinda healthy dinner.
I made the meatballs and stashed ‘em in the freezer a couple of days before I pulled it all together for a meal, so, in the interest of convenience (ermmm, mine), I’m splitting this into two posts – this one, all about the balls, and tomorrow, the sauce.
INGREDIENTS (for about 40 meatballs):
•1 lb ground pork
•1 lb ground beef
•2/3 cup breadcrumbs – this would be a good time to pull out some of your home made croutons and turn ‘em into crumbs, you’ll be using the food processor later on anyway
•5 tbsp dry white vermouth
•2 cloves garlic
•1 tsp Tabasco
•2 tsp soy sauce
•1/2 tsp salt
•Black pepper – Julia called for ‘8 grinds’ but every pepper mill is different, so follow your own tastes – maybe about 1/4 to 1/2 tsp?
•2 tbsp freshly minced parsley (or 2 tsp dried) – I minced mine in the food processor just after making the bread crumbs
•1/2 cup flour
Heat oven to 450º.
Soak the breadcrumbs in the vermouth.
Purée the garlic with the egg, Tabasco, and soy sauce in the bowl of your food processor fitted with the metal blade.
Add the soaked breadcrumbs, parsley, beef, and pork. Process until you get a well combined, smooth mixture.
Roll into balls (I used a 1 tbsp measure cookie scoop), roll lightly in the flour, arrange on a lightly oiled baking pan. Bake for seven to eight minutes, turning once or twice, until lightly browned and just ‘stiffened’ – Julia must’ve been in a phase about lightly cooking something just until it firms up – this is the second recipe I’ve tried from this book where she uses this direction; but you really CAN feel it all kind of pull together into a nicely solid meatball.
Drain, cool, pop into a bag and freeze until needed.
Nice – and the flavor is subtle enough to work in any number of recipes – even those calling for tomato sauce!