The theme for the 14th week of Tessa Kiros' recipes at I Heart Cooking Club was "Winter Wonderland" More precisely, this is what was on the IHCC site for the week: "now is the time for some serious comfort food." When I was searching for my recipe for this theme, I figured Tessa's Finnish background would surely net me a wonderful wintery type dish since Finland is often associated with thoughts of the winter season.
I came upon this Finnish Meatballs with Allspice, Sour Cream, and Lingonberries recipe and searched no further. Meatballs are just a great way to serve up a little protein and depending on the saucing and spicing, they never get boring as there are so many things you can do with them. And, of course, the guys here love meatballs. I had made Swedish Meatballs before so I was curious how these would be different as many of the ingredients are the same. Basically, they are the same thing.
These were easy to make (they go together very quickly, as does the sauce). I was a little skeptical of enjoying the additional berry sauce with the meat like this, but it works, it's really good so don't leave it out. I like how she recommended serving just a bit on the side like this as that way you can just have a little in the bites you want and leave it out of the bites you don't. Win. Win.
The recipe recommended serving it with boiled potatoes, but I had been wanting to try these little Fried Smashed Potatoes from Giada deLaurentiis, so I opted for those and a side of broccoli instead. Good choices, Mark was very happy with the whole meal, and I would definitely make this and eat again as well. This is definitely a repeat!
Finnish Meatballs with Allspice, Sour Cream, and Lingonberries
3 slices of white bread
2/3 cup of milk
2-1/4 pounds mixed ground pork and beef
1 large egg
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoons ground allspice
4-1/2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup sour cream
Lingonberry or Cranberry Jam (to serve)
Soak the bread in the milk in a large bowl for about 30 minutes, or until it has absorbed all the milk and is very soft. Add the meat, egg, onion, allspice, and season with salt and pepper. Knead together well with your hands, then form into small balls about the size of walnuts, rolling them between your palms so that they are compact and won't fall apart when cooking.
Heat 2-1/2 Tablespoons of the butter with the olive oil in a nonstick skillet. Fry the meatballs in batches, turning them once during cooking. (You will have to work quite quickly and take care not to burn the butter and oil. If necessary, wipe out the skillet between batches and start again with a little less butter and oil.) Transfer the cooked meatballs to heavy-bottomed saucepan with any onion that is on the bottom of the skillet and continue with the next batch.
Sprinkle the four into the skillet and mix with a wooden spoon until it is smooth. Add the remaining butter and let it melt. Continue cooking, stirring almost continuously, until it is a golden color. Remove the pan from the heat and very slowly pour in 2 cups of hot water, standing back a bit. Mix in quickly, then return the pan to the heat. Stir in the sour cream and mix well, then carefully pour over the meatballs. Season lightly with salt and pepper and cook, covered, over very low heat for 10-15 minutes, until you have a thick, creamy sauce with soft meatballs to serve with berry jam and boiled potatoes.