Thursday, December 13, 2012

Swedish Meatballs

Swedish Meatballs on a Bed of Lemon Thyme Couscous with Spinach

 Despite the uncountable times we’ve been to Ikea, (we even had our car stolen from the parking lot once), I have never tried their cheap Swedish Meatballs. I always end up with 6 hot dogs and a frozen yogurt. To be honest I never really knew what made Swedish balls different from normal balls. So when I was watching Jamie Oliver’s 15 Minute Meals and he whipped up a batch, I saw what I was missing out on.
In the last decade I have grown fond of all things Swedish as a result of Jess’s lineage on her Mom’s side. Her Grandparents filled my wardrobe with clothing tastefully sporting the Swedish flag and colours, so I think this meal will get the stamp of approval.

Like most things I cook I did not follow the recipe and made addition and subtractions based on availability, taste and whim.   


-          500g Beef Mince
-          500g Pork Mince
-          Bunch of Dill
-          2 tsp Caraway Seeds
-          4 tsp Lingonberry, Cranberry or Blackberry Jam
-          4 tsp cream
-          Yogurt
-          Couscous (we used large Israeli couscous)
-          Bag of Spinach
-          3 Sprigs of Thyme
-          1 lemon

 Optional: Vodka to deglaze the pan


This is a fast recipe that is guaranteed to fill you up. That being said I think the 15min version is a bit too quick and you end up with dry balls… I recommend slowing it down and simmering the meatballs instead of flash frying them.

Chop half the dill and mix it with the Pork and Beef. Wet your hands then roll out your balls, (this tip is in the Swedish version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, so you know it’s legit). Depending on your couscous start frying your balls or start the couscous. Mine took 9 min so I started with the balls. On medium-high heat, brown your balls. Add the Caraway Seeds as you are frying. When they are nicely coloured add the Jam, Cream and the rest of the Dill (this would be a good time to deglaze the pan with some Vodka). Let the gravy cook down to your desired consistency.

For the couscous put a little oil in a pot and quickly brown the couscous then cut the top and bottom off the lemon and put in the couscous to simmer. After a couple minutes add the Thyme. Simmer until the water is mostly absorbed. Pull out the Thyme and throw in the bag of spinach to wilt. If your pot isn’t big enough wilt the spinach separately. Mash the juice out of the lemon and start plating. Pile everything on top of the Couscous and top with a little yoghurt. Skol!


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