SCANDI MEAT­BALLS WITH CREAM SAUCE

Irish Daily Mail - YOU - - FOOD MOTHER’S PRIDE -

Tra­di­tion­ally served at buf­fets, smor­gas­bords or at mid­som­mar (mid­sum­mer) cel­e­bra­tions, meat­balls – or, as the Swedes know them, köt­tbullar – vary slightly from fam­ily to fam­ily and town to town. While opin­ions may dif­fer on whether to use beef, veal or a mix­ture of beef and pork, with a thick sauce or a thin gravy, köt­tbullar are al­ways ac­com­pa­nied by a gen­er­ous dol­lop of lin­gonberry jam. Use a cran­berry or red­cur­rant sauce if you can’t get hold of any lin­gonber­ries.

SERVES 4 30g (1¼ oz) but­ter, plus ex­tra for fry­ing 1 onion, finely chopped 30g (1¼ oz) crust­less white bread (stale bread is good) 75ml (3fl oz) milk 500g (1lb 2oz) minced beef and pork, mixed (250g/9oz of each) ½ tsp ground all­spice ¼ tsp grated nut­meg 2 tsp chopped sage sea salt and freshly ground black pep­per

FOR THE SAUCE 15g (½ oz) but­ter 2 tbsp plain flour 175ml (6fl oz) reg­u­lar or dou­ble cream 175ml (6fl oz) chicken stock juice of ¼-½ lemon, to taste

TO SERVE lin­gonberry jam or cran­berry sauce 1 Melt half the but­ter in a saucepan over a medium heat, then add the onion and sea­son with salt and pep­per. Turn the heat down to low, cover and cook for 8-10 min­utes un­til com­pletely ten­der. Take off the heat and set aside to cool. 2 While the onion is cook­ing, break up the bread, place in a small bowl and cover with the milk. Leave to stand for 10 min­utes or so to ab­sorb all the milk. 3 Place the minced meat in the bowl, add the all­spice, nut­meg and sage, then sea­son with salt and pep­per and mix well. Place a fry­ing pan on the heat. Break off a small piece of the mix­ture and fry it in a lit­tle but­ter, then taste it and ad­just the sea­son­ing if needed. 4 Shape the mix­ture into 24 balls, about the size of a wal­nut in its shell. Cover and place in the fridge overnight, if you wish. 5 When ready to cook, place a large fry­ing pan over a high heat, add the re­main­ing but­ter and al­low it to melt and foam. Tip in the meat­balls and cook for 10-12 min­utes, turn­ing the heat down slightly once they are a good golden colour. When they are cooked in the cen­tre, trans­fer them to a dish to keep warm. 6 To make the sauce, add the but­ter to the pan the meat­balls were cooked in and, us­ing a whisk, stir in all the lovely juicy bits stuck to the bot­tom of the pan. Add the flour and con­tinue whisk­ing for a fur­ther 10-20 sec­onds. Grad­u­ally pour in the cream and stock, whisk­ing all the time to pre­vent it go­ing lumpy, and bring to the boil, then cook for 1 minute. Taste and add lemon juice and sea­son­ing. 7 Place the meat­balls on warm plates, pour over the hot cream sauce and serve with lin­gonberry jam or cran­berry sauce. ➤

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