Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Make Ahead Swedish Meatballs

I love having meals that I can make ahead and freeze for my family. This meal is actually only partially made ahead - the meatball part. The yummy spiced gravy is made at serving time, but it's really easy and only takes a few minutes.

The allspice and nutmeg are absolutely necessary for this recipe to be successful. There's just enough to give the meatballs and gravy a lovely zip. My family loves this comfort food, and I love how easy it is!

Here's what you need:

For the meatballs
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup cream (you can sub milk)
1/4 cup minced onion (dry minced onion works fine here)
1 teas garlic powder
1 teas sea salt
1 teas dried parsley
1/2 teas black pepper
1/2 teas allspice
1/4 teas nutmeg

In a mixing bowl, combine the bread crumbs, cream, minced onion, seasonings and spices. Crumble the ground beef and ground pork over the top, then use your hands to mix well.

Pinch off a golf-ball sized portion and shape it into a ball. This will make about 16 large meatballs. If you want to serve these as appetizers, make them into ping-pong ball sized balls. You would get about 24 that way.

Place in a lightly greased baking dish and cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for forty minutes, or until meatballs are no longer pink inside. If you make smaller meatballs, it might not take as long.

Allow to cool completely, then freeze in a gallon size Ziploc bag. If you want to serve these immediately, go ahead and prepare the gravy. Otherwise, prepare the gravy on the day you want to serve your meatballs.

For the gravy
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
3 cups beef broth
1 teas dried parsley
1/2 teas allspice
1/2 teas sea salt
1/4 teas black pepper
1/2 cup sour cream

In a saucepan, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and make sure there are no lumps. Cook until bubbly. Slowly whisk in the broth and stir until there are no lumps. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil and allow to thicken. Stir in the seasonings. Remove from heat and stir in the sour cream until completely incorporated.

If you're serving your meatballs the same day you make them, place them in a serving dish. Pour the gravy over the meatballs, making sure they're all coated. Serve warm.

If your meatballs have been made ahead, thaw them completely in the fridge. Place in a crockpot and pour the gravy over them. Heat on low for 2 hours, or until heated through. Alternately, you can place them in a saucepan, pour the gravy over them and heat on low until warmed through.

Serve over mashed potatoes, cooked noodles or rice.

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