Norwegian Meatballs (that will leave you wondering why you ever ate the Swedish ones..)
At 00.50 tonight my parents will be touching down on Australian soil for the first time ever. They’re mid-air as we speak, and no doubt dreaming of sunny days and never-ending beaches in the magical land of Oz.
Meantime I’m in my office wearing a hoody and drinking a hot cup of tea as the rain slams aggressively against my window.. Ouff. The storm should be over in a couple of weeks though, just in time for my parents to head back home!
If you google “rainy day activities on the Gold Coast” you get some brilliant suggestions. I personally can’t wait to visit the local “plate painting hobby display room” and “my local library”. Not to mention the rather obvious option of “putting on a raincoat and taking advantage of an empty amusement park”. Surely my mum and dad will jump at the opportunity to visit Movie World during monsoon. Nothing beats a rollercoaster ride in a horizontal rainstorm!
On the upside, Australian meteorologists have a success rate ranging in the 50/50 region, so the last word might not be spoken on the subject.
That being said, inside time is cooking time, and I’m in the mood for something truly Norwegian. It doesn’t hurt that this recipe is hot and hearty.
Every man and his dog have heard of “Swedish meatballs”. Much thanks to Ikea I’m afraid. In all fairness to the Swedes, Ikea hasn’t done much to recommend them. The best parts of the Ikea meatball plate are the potatoes and the lingonberry jam.. It must be said that its’ homemade counterpart is a completely different story. Never the less, Swedish meatballs do not come close to the recipe I’d like to share with you!
Norwegian meatballs are called “Medisterkake” and they will blow your mind. They are so flavourful, moist and moreish that you’ll never look back. Naturally, anything made in your own kitchen from scratch beats any store-bought product (in my opinion), but it’s usually “too much of an effort” for people to bother. The Medisterkake meatballs are fairly easy to whip up, and I always make a big batch to freeze for later. You will not regret putting the effort into these gorgeous little dinner treats, and you’ll never go Swedish again! (-Sorry neighbors, love you lots but it’s a meatball thing).
For about 20-24 meatballs, you’ll need:
1 kg quality (stall free) pork, minced (to be ground)
4 tsp salt
3 tbsp potato starch
1/2 tsp nutmeg (ground)
1/4 tsp ginger (ground)
2 eggs (can be left out for egg-free version)
2,5 dl or 1 cup of milk
Vegetable or chicken stock
The milk and the meat must have the same temperature (fridge cold).
Start by grinding the mince. You can use any kitchen machine with a blade. Once the mince is ground properly, then add the salt. Use your hands to work the salt through the meat. Once the meat has a nice, soft concistency you add the spices and the potato starch. Keep working the mixture like a dough (get in there!), then add the milk gradually once the spices and flour have been thoroughly worked through the meat. Add eggs (if apliccable) and keep mixing. Make sure you mix the liquid in thoroughly before you add more, each time.
I cheated and added the milk (gradually) as I was grinding the mince, only because I was using a mixer from hell which needed a bit of encouragement. But don’t do what I do, do what I say
Once the mixture is done, heat a frying pan and melt some good butter. Of course, if you don’t like to use butter you can opt out, but it really does give the meatballs a good flavour and a crispy crust.
Make balls with a wet spoon in your hand. The balls should fit inside your fist, so not small like the Swedish version.
You wanna fry the meatballs on both sides until they get a nice brown look, but not all the way through.
Boil vegetable or chicken stok in a pot, and when the meatballs are done in the fryingpan you pop them over into the hot stock. Let the meatballs simmer (but not boil) for 10-12 minutes until they’re cooked all the way through.
Before you serve them, pop them on a tray in the oven at 180 c for 15-20 minutes.
We serve them with baked apples, potatoes,”rødkål” and of course plenty of lingonberry jam (which incidentally can be bought at ikea ha).
Lingonberry jam is made from what in Norwegian is called “tyttebær”. Norwegians march out by the thousands every autumn, armed with buckets and “berry pickers” in efforts to secure a sizable storage of berries. Just enough to get us through till next autumn.
I’ve spent many an evening with my family in front of the TV with a tray of tyttebær on my lap. My dad was the berry cleaning champion. He had an awesome trick with a wet towel that I’ve never quite been able to copy..
After you’ve rushed to Ikea to work out the fascination with this little red bush berry, you might wanna try your hand at making the delicious “rødkål” that so perfectly complements the meatballs!
To make rødkål you need:
750 grams of fresh, red cabbage
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 dl (1 cup) of the broth from cooking the meatballs
2 tsp vinegar
2 tsp sugar
Chop the cabbage finely and cut the apples into wedges (peeled).
Layer the cabbage and apples in a big pot and add the salt and vinegar.
Bring to the boil and let simmer for 45 minutes. Add sugar to taste.
The meatballs freeze and reheat in the oven wonderfully! Double the batch and you’ll have 3 or 4 dinners ready made. Make up some gravy from the stock, some cream and gf flour if you’re into gravys. Caramelize it slightly for the perfect brown cream gravy!
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