Interesting take on the Köttbullar, the Swedish meatball, as recent studies have unearthed their origins are not Swedish at all. When King Charles XII ruled Sweden, he was sent into exile in Turkey and he brought this dish back to Sweden in the early 18thcentury. Astonishingly, Sweden has admitted that these round wonders are not Swedish at all. However, no matter what their origin is, there is no question that these balls are rather terrific.
There are many adaptations and this one is by no means traditional, but we chefs indulge in some trickery and encapsulate a dish making food our own. The end product should be something so delectable that you need to remember the adaptation just in case you’re asked to recreate these amazing balls. Which I am positive you will.
1 small onion – minced
1 large egg – beaten
½ LB of ground pork
½ LB of ground sirloin
¼ cup of milk
2 slices of bread – preferably white with the crusts removed
1 anchovy – chopped
Pinch of ground ginger
¼ TSP freshly grated nutmeg
¼ TSP ground allspice
1 TSP Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
2 TBSP APF
1 TBSP lingonberry jam
Juice of 1 lemon
2 TBSP lemon zest
2 cups of low sodium chicken stock
½ cup of heavy cream
Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
1 TBSP sour cream or Greek yogurt
PREHEAT OVEN TO 425F
Sweat the onion with some salt for about 5 minutes till transparent. Grind the anchovy filet to a paste on a cutting board with the flat of a large knife. Add to the egg along with the allspice, nutmeg, ginger, salt and pepper and whisk till incorporated. Add the whisked egg to the ground meats and season the mix again with salt and pepper. Don’t over-mix.
Form into 1½” balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Bake for about 20 minutes turning the pan half way through.
In a large skillet, heat the butter and add the flour, to make a roux. Drizzle the lemon juice and gradually add the stock, whisking continuously. Stir in the jam. Once it comes to a boil immediately add the cream and simmer on very low for about 15 minutes to reduce and thicken, whisking often. Add the balls to warm through. Remove from the fire and allow to cool for a few minutes. Add about the sour cream or Greek yogurt and serve with thin slice of cucumber pickles and some dill for garnish.
Please don’t frown over the addition of the anchovy filet. It adds tremendous nuttiness and depth of flavor to the balls and you won’t even know it’s there. Your guests will surely ask you for the recipe after the raving accolades you’ll receive, so figure out if you want to divulge the secret.