Friday, February 8, 2013

Swedish Meatballs

These were very good.  The recipe is supposed to be a Weight Watchers recipe, using Neufchatel cheese instead of cream cheese, but for some reason, Neufchatel seems to be unavailable here anymore, so I had to use full-fat cream cheese.  By all means, use Neufchatel if you can get it!  I'm sure they will taste just as good.  This recipe has Allspice in it, which made my kids not want to eat the meatballs, but they loved the gravy.  They're weird about spices like that in savory dishes, although most of them love it when I make Indian food- go figure. 

The recipe calls for straining the broth before making the gravy, and at first I was not going to, but there is a lot of little bits of meat "residue" after simmering, so it's best to.  Also, using an immersion blender doesn't work too well here; better to use the regular blender.  Vent the lid and cover it with a cloth though, because hot liquids in a blender have a tendency to explode the lid off.  Just be careful. 

The first time I made this, we had it with dried German Spaetzle noodles, pictured above.  The next time, we had it with these mashed potatoes.... soooo good!  (For the taters- I used 2 oz of cream cheese for this meatball recipe and just threw the rest into the potatoes.)  They are so much better with the mashed potatoes.  When making the gravy, I had to thicken it with a small amount of flour/water slurry and then cook until thickened- no big deal. 

The second time I made these, there was no ground beef at my store, AT ALL.  Not even frozen.  Not even ground turkey.  So I did something I've never done before- picked up a small bag of pre-made, frozen meatballs and used that.  Not nearly as good as homemade; they tasted ok but had a too-soft, spongy texture, and were very salty.  But still, with the homemade gravy and mashed taters, the meal was very enjoyable. 

Swedish Meatballs
adapted from Skinnytaste

1 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, minced (or a few shallots)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 celery stalk, minced (optional; I didn't have)
1/4 cup minced parsley (or 1-2 TBS. dried)
1 lb 93% lean beef
1 egg
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp allspice
2 cups reduced sodium beef stock
2 oz light cream cheese

1.  In a large deep saute pan, heat oil on medium heat, add onions and garlic; sauté until onions are translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add celery and parsley and cook until soft, about 3-4 more minutes. Let cool a few minutes.

2.  In a large bowl combine beef, egg, onion mixture, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and allspice. Mix well and form meatballs with your hands 1/8 cup each (fill 1/4 cup then divide the meat in half).

3.  Add beef stock to the pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and slowly drop meatballs into the broth. Cover and cook about 20 minutes. Remove the meatballs with a slotted spoon and set aside in a serving dish. Strain the stock, add to blender with cream cheese and pulse until smooth. Return to pan and simmer a few minutes to thicken, then pour over meatballs. If gravy does not thicken, make a small amount of flour/water slurry and add to mixture; cook and stir until thickened.  Garnish with parsley and serve over noodles, mashed potatoes, or with toothpicks if you want to set these out as an appetizer.

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Emily said...

I tried these tonight and they were fabulous! I ended up using a cornstarch and water slurry to thicken the sauce because it was very thin after blending. I love the cream cheese flavor. I served over spaetzle, but used a different recipe because I didn't have all the ingredients for your recipe.

I went ahead and made extra meatballs and froze them for a quick meal next time. Thanks for another great recipe!

What a Dish! said...

I'm so glad you liked these! So did I; have made them twice already. Did you use the ricer to make the spaetzle?