RISE & SHINE KAUT43 OKC
(The story is relatively long. If you just want the recipe scroll down. You’re welcome!)
If you guys have been following me for any length of time, you have probably already discovered that I’m a sucker for “Old School” cooking. Be it classical or classical “mom meals” I love the history and kitsch that comes along with food.
Over the weekend, well… actually Saturday night (because I rock), I got drawn into a 1948 movie starring Irene Dunne called “I Remember Mamma.” Now basically the film centers around a Norwegian couple who immigrated to the United States, landed in San Francisco, and started having children. Irene Dunne plays the practical and compassionate “Mamma,” and is a bunch of little stories about her and family life as seen through the eldest daughter Katrin (Barbara Bel Geddes of Dallas fame). Katrin wants to be a writer, is a little on the dramatic side, but means well.
In one of Katrin’s stories about her Mamma, Katrin is fed up with having her stories rejected by publishers (I know how you feel, girl) and decides to quit writing altogether. Her “Papa” (Philip Dorn) mentions that in the morning newspaper a well known and loved author named Florence Dana Moorhead (Florence Bates) was in San Francisco and that her beginnings as an author were more or less like Katrin’s… rejection after rejection. Moorhead also happens to love food, written many cookbooks, and is a veracious recipe collector.
Mamma being Mamma decides to take a few (twelve) of Katrin’s stories to Ms. Moorhead for her to read to see if Katrin is genuinely gifted or should indeed quit. Mamma also happens to bring along her grandmother’s recipe for Norwegian meatballs to sweeten the pot.
“You drop the meatballs in a pot of boing stock,” Mamma says while Ms. Moorhead listens intently. “And you have to grind the meat six times,” Mamma continues. Then with the winning field goal kick (I may have watched a little football too), Mamma lands with “And you add the sour cream to the sauce at the very end.”
Look, I know what it is like to receive delicious family recipes from you guys, and the look of ecstasy with a bit of salivation coming from Ms. Moorhead and her mouth was spot on. Ol Florence ended up reading all twelve stories, and she and Mamma even had TWO glasses of sherry together on their visit.
I won’t ruin the ending or the other parts of the movie, but it was delightful, and highly recommended if you’re a fan of old Hollywood. But what I will say is that this movie really had me craving Swedish (Norwegian) Meatballs. I grew up on them thanks to my very own Mamma, and have often made them myself. What I wanted to try was the boiling in stock method and the sour cream at the very end. So I did, and they were fantastic!
Albeit the process takes a little longer than the normal pan-frying or even oven baking of the meatballs, but the results are lovely. Light and tender meatballs, and highly enriched sauce, and no grease splatter from the frying pan. All in all, an excellent method to prepare Swedish Meatballs, and as always a delicious “Old School” meal.
Swedish Meatballs - serves 4 to 6
6 tablespoons butter (divided in half)
1/2 cup minced onions
In The Kitchen With Scotty “Cook’s Line Seasoning” or salt and black pepper to taste
1 pound ground beef chuck
1 pound ground pork
1/3 cup plain bread crumbs
2 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, rounded
1/4 teaspoon ground All Spice, rounded
1 quart (4 cups) unsalted beef broth
2 tablespoons flour
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup (or more if you like) full sour cream
Lingonberry Jam or Cranberry
Buttered potatoes, egg noodles or mashed potatoes
In a high-sided frying pan begin to melt 3 tablespoons of butter on a gentle heat. Add in the minced onions and “sweat” until tender and transparent. Do not brown. Remove from the heat and place the onions in a mixing bowl to cool. Do not wash the pan, we will use that later.
To the mixing bowl along with the cooled onion, add the bread crumbs, milk, eggs, nutmeg, and all-spice, along with 3 teaspoons of Cook’s Line Seasoning. Mix everything to a “slurry” this will be the binders and flavoring for the meatballs.
Break up the ground beef, and pork then add it to the bowl. Using your hands or stiff wooden spoon really get in there and mix the meat and binders together well. You’re developing something call myofibrillar protein in meat… the stickiness in ground meat.
Set the mixture aside after mixing well, cover, and refrigerate for at least one hour to overnight. Obviously, to develop the flavors and hydrate the bread crumbs. Obviously, Gahhh!
After chilling, bring the meat out to “warm” a little. Pour the beef stock into a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Using a 1-ounce scoop, scoop the meatballs into your boiling stock. You don’t want to overcrowd, or to displace the liquid all over your stove, so cook the meatballs in batches. About 6-8 minutes for each batch. Reserve the cooked meatballs in a bowl and continue until all have been prepared.
Save the boiling stock because we are using it for the sauce! In the pan, you cooked the onions and the last three tablespoons of butter, and begin to melt. Sprinkle in the flour and cook your roux for approximately 5 minutes.
You may strain the hot stock into your roux to get a nice “clean sauce,” but I will leave that up to you. Pour in the stock and mix rapidly to incorporate the roux. Bring the sauce to a simmer and cook until velvety and thickened.
In a small bowl whisk together the heavy cream and sour cream together. Pour the cream into your sauce and mix. Taste for any additional seasoning. Add the cooked meatballs to warm and coat with the sauce.
Serve your meatballs with buttered dill potatoes, egg noodles, or mashed potatoes. Also to keep hot traditional and honestly my favorite part, serve with Scandinavian style Lingonberry jam. Garnish with fresh dill. Enjoy!