There is just something about comfort food. It gets me. Every. Time.
Apparently, it also gets my four-year-old. He marched into the house today and loudly announced “Wow! It smells REALLY good in here.”
This was quickly followed by “If I eat my dinner, can I have some num-nums for dessert, Mom?” (Translation: Num-nums = M&M’s) So, let’s just call the first comment a means to an end.
Perhaps I love comfort food because I have basically always lived where winter seems to be the endless season. Or maybe it’s because comfort food is actually very simple and easy to make. Have you ever noticed that? Some of the easiest and most soothing meals are actually quite straight-forward, and in some cases, one pot to glory.
This is not quite one pot, but close. And since I have personally been through about 5 different versions to create a recipe that has enough flavor, the right gravy consistency, and tastes like something your Momma would have made you – I can vouch that the extra dishes are totally worth it.
Let’s start with this whole meatball thing. The joy of meatballs is that they are kind of “dump and go”. In the case of this specific recipe, you will toss the first ten ingredients listed into a big ‘ole bowl and then get in there with your hands to combine.
Don’t overmix this – too much and your meatballs will actually get tough. If you consider that the beef and pork have already been through a grinder, it makes sense. Thus, less is more.
You’ll then take slightly-larger-than-a-tablespoon (super precise around here) portions and gently roll them into the meatballs. Again, don’t overprocess. You’re just shooting for similar sizes to make your cooking time easier to manage.
Let your pan heat up for a few minutes, add your olive oil and then lightly toss in your first batch of meatballs. Hot pan + cool oil/meat = no sticking to bottom of pan. You will also achieve the “stickless” piece by allowing them to brown before turning.
As you get through the first half of the meatballs, pull them out of the pan and set them off to the side on a paper towel lined plate. You should still have plenty of cooking fat left in your pan, so it’s okay to drain some off the meatballs themselves.
Repeat this process with the second half of meatballs.
Here’s where I will introduce a slight contradiction from above: You do, technically, have a fair amount of cooking fat left. That said, everything is better with butter. Particularly, a rue. So go ahead and melt a small portion of butter into your pan, and then whisk flour and garlic powder into the melty goodness.
Let your rue come to a nice caramel color (this takes just a couple of minutes), and then slowly whisk in your broth followed by the Worcestershire sauce. Allow your liquid to come to a simmer, and it should begin to thicken into gravy. Your gravy will lighten up a bit when you mix in sour cream. Add your meatballs back to the pan and allow them to warm.
When you add the parsley is totally up to you. You can mix it into your gravy. You can add it after your place your meatballs in the sauce. Or you can wait until you serve it, as a pretty addition to your plates.
Traditionally, swedish meatballs are served with mashed potatoes. I will say that my husband loves them over egg noodles – so that is also a totally acceptable option.
Noodles are easier. Unless you do mashed potatoes my way, which is to use baby red potatoes. I tell guests it’s because I think the potato skins make the dish heartier. Really it’s because I’m lazy and detest peeling potatoes. Either way, however, dinner will taste spectacular.
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 1 lb. ground pork
- 1/4 cup dried chopped onion
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tsp parsley
- Combine first 10 ingredients in a bowl (ground beef through pepper)
- Use hands to mix all together until the spices and breadcrumbs are blended with both meats
- Roll into tablespoon -size meatballs
- Heat olive oil in large sauté pan
- Brown meatballs in 2 batches, so as not to overcrowd the pan
- When meatballs are fully browned, drain them on some paper towels
- Add the butter into pan and allow to melt
- Whisk flour and garlic powder into pan drippings to make a rue
- Brown rue to a caramel color
- Add broth and Worcestershire sauce
- Bring sauce to a simmer and allow to thicken
- Mix in sour cream and parsley
- Return cooked meatballs to pan