Thursday, December 08, 2011
Christmas recipes: Swedish meatballs
Serving meatballs at a Christmas table is NOT an Estonian tradition, but it's something I've borrowed from our Swedish neighbours across the sea. They're especially popular with kids (though adults aren't far behind), and as they can be served hot or cold, they're excellent for buffet table. I love them with a generous grating of nutmeg, but you could also use cinnamon, allspice, juniper berries, cumin. Anne of Anne's Food uses white pepper, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom AND allspice, for example.
Jõulud kodus ("Christmas at Home"), published in Estonian in November 2011.
Serves four or many more, depending on what else is on the table
400 g minced meat
2 Tbsp finely chopped onion
1 Tbsp potato starch or cornflour
1 large egg
1 tsp salt
0.5 tsp freshly ground black pepper
150 ml milk (10 Tbsp)
a generous grating of nutmeg
butter, for frying
Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl, then form into small meatballs (it's easier to do with wet or oiled hands).
Now you've got three ways to proceed (my preference goes for the last one):
1) Melt some butter on a frying pan, brown the meatballs on all sides, then cover the pan with a lid, reduce heat and cook until done.
2) Melt some butter on a frying pan, brown the meatballs on all sides. Transfer the meatballs onto a small tray and finish cooking them in a pre-heated 200 C/400 F oven.
3) Brush a baking sheet with some melted butter or oil, spread meatballs evenly on top. Bake in a pre-heated 220 c/450 F oven for about 15 minutes, until cooked inside and lovely dark golden brown outside.
Serve warm or at room temperature.