Saturday, March 14, 2009

Swedish Meatballs

When my family gets ready to head down to Mexico (which we've done for the past few years around New Year's), we aren't looking forward to the beaches or the waves. For weeks before we go, we talk about one thing. The Food. We all have our favorite spots, but a favorite among all of us is Babe's Noodles & Bar. Our trip is not complete without making a stop there for eclectic favorites including Thai Noodles, Crab Spring Rolls with Peach Sauce, Grilled Dorado,and my personal favorite, Swedish Meatballs. Swedish Meatballs? At a noodle bar? In Mexico? Yeah, I was skeptical at first, too. The owners of Babe's, while an integral part of the scene in Playa del Carmen these days, are originally from Sweden, so Swedish Meatballs are a natural choice to add to their menu. The last time we were there, I set myself on a mission: Recreate those meatballs when I got home so that I wouldn't have to wait another year to taste their fabulousness again.

When I am trying to find a specific recipe,and I have no idea how to start, I always pull out my copy of Joy of Cooking, it never disappoints. This time was no exception. While these may not be exactly the same as Babe's, they definitely fix my craving, and I am already wanting them again. I served them on top of mashed potatoes, and topped them with lingonberry sauce (found at Mejier).


1 Tbsp. butter
1 Tbsp. onions, finely minced
3/4 lb. ground pork
3/4 lb. ground beef
2/3 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 cup water
2 egg yolks
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. allspice
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
4 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. flour
2 cups beef stock


Melt butter in a small, heavy-bottomed pan and cook the onions until soft, about 1-2 minutes. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the bread crumbs and water. Let stand 2 minutes. To the bread and water, add the remaining ingredients and the reserved onions. Beat on low speed until smooth. Turn the mixer to high and beat until the mixture becomes light in color and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Use two spoons dipped in water to shape the meat into 1" balls.

Heat the butter in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Cook the meatballs in batches of 15 -20, making sure to brown them evenly on all sides. Remove the browned meatballs and drain them briefly on a plate lined with paper towels.

After all the meatballs have been cooked, add the flour to the skillet. Cook, stirring, until lightly browned. Slowly add the beef stock. Cook while whisking until the gravy is thick and smooth.

Strain the gravy if desired. Pour the gravy over the meatballs and serve hot.

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