SWEDISH MEATBALLS RECIPE
Kitchen Memories: A Legacy of Family Recipes
Dick Rodine, a former neighbor and friend of Anne Parsons, recalls: "My grandfather, Carl Johnson, came to America from Sweden when he was about twenty years old. When I grew up, my family lived a short distance from my grandparents' house in Des Moines, Iowa. Our holiday celebrations included several traditional Swedish dishes, with my favorite being Swedish meatballs. My wife Sharon's family has strong Swedish ties, so preparing Swedish meatballs became a tradition that we carried on with our children.
"Over the years, especially for Christmas, I adapted the basic recipe and included a 'secret ingredient'—eggnog. We'd drink a little eggnog, add a bit to the meatballs, and have a merry Christmas Eve. These meatballs can be made a day ahead and reheated."
Serves 10 to 12
• 1 pound ground beef
• 1 pound ground pork sausage
• 2 cups soft breadcrumbs
• 2 (3-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
• 1/4 cup dried onion soup mix
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• fresh sage, chopped, to taste
• 1 cup eggnog
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
• 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• 1½ cups whole milk
By hand, or using an electric mixer on medium speed, thoroughly combine the beef, pork sausage, breadcrumbs, cream cheese, soup mix, salt, nutmeg, sage, and 1/2 cup of eggnog in a mixing bowl. Shape the mixture into about 40 balls about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and brown the meatballs a few at a time, shaking the skillet and moving the balls with a wooden spoon to keep them round and to ensure they brown evenly on all sides. When browned, cover and cook for 25 minutes, or until done (check 1 or 2 meatballs to ensure they are cooked all the way through).
Transfer the meatballs to an ovenproof dish. Drain off the excess fat from the skillet, leaving 1/4 cup drippings in the skillet. Blend the flour into the drippings and whatever scraps remain from browning the meat; stir in the remaining 1/2 cup eggnog and 1 1/2 cups milk all at once. Cook and stir until bubbly. Pour the gravy over the meatballs, and heat in the oven or microwave until heated through.