Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Swedish Meatballs and the Most Under Appreciated Celebrity Chef Ever

Whenever there’s a discussion about the history of celebrity chef pop culture, one name is invariably left out, and this Swedish Meatballs recipe served as a reminder of that sad fact. How anyone can talk about the pioneers of food television without including the Swedish Chef from the Muppets is beyond me.

His frenetic energy and charisma makes Gordon Ramsey seem like a shrinking violet by comparison. His technique surpasses Emeril's on every level, and if we’re just talking catch phrases, how can you even begin to compare “Yummo” to “Bork, Bork, Bork?”

Some use the excuse that he wasn’t actually real, that he was just a bunch of stained, smelly fabric, wrapped around some dude’s hairy forearm. Well, that may be true, but it goes beyond that. I believe there’s been a systematic discrimination against Swedish chefs, which has made advancing upward impossible. I call it the ice ceiling.

Do NOT forget the Lingonberry jam!
Anyway, in related news, these Swedish meatballs rocked! Unlike most of the recipes I post here, I’ve had little experience with the recipe, but was very happy with the results, except for one major issue, which I mention in the video. I broke the cardinal rule of meatball making, and used lean meat.

Not paying attention, I picked up a package of ground pork that turned out to be 95% lean. The horror. I might as well have used tofu. Nonetheless, I loved the flavor, but implore you to use regular ground beef, and ground pork with a 75/25 lean-to-fat ratio. Do that, and you’ll be enjoying a plate of meatballs even the world's most under appreciated celebrity chef would love. Enjoy!

Ingredients for 4 large portions:
For the meatballs:
2 tbsp butter
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup milk
2 large eggs
1/3 cup plain bread crumbs
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
pinch of cayenne
1 pound ground chuck
1 pound ground pork
*Note: you can always cook a little piece to taste for salt, and adjust from there.
Brown meatballs in 425 degrees F. oven for about 20-25 minutes.

For the sauce:
2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp  all-purpose flour
3 1/4 cups beef broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste

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