From The Art of Mead Tasting and Food Pairing, page 316
EQUIPMENT: a medium cookie scoop will make easy work of forming the meatballs. A food processor is recommended, but you can also make this by stirring with a sturdy wooden spoon, or kneading by hand.
TIME: 60 min
HANDS-ON: 30 min
YIELDS: 30 meatballs, about 5 servings
INGREDIENTS FOR MEATBALLS:
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large white onion, half-inch dice
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
3/4 cup fresh or dry bread crumbs
1 large egg
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
INGREDIENTS FOR SAUCE:
6 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups beef broth (homemade is much better than canned)
3/4 cup sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste
About 1/4 cup finely minced fresh parsley
1. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions have become softened and translucent, about 3–4 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. In the food processor, combine the ground meats, bread crumbs, egg, spices, and cooked onion. (Do not rinse the skillet. Return it to the stovetop: you’ll use it again shortly.) Process until the color becomes pale and uniform, about 30 seconds to a minute.
3. Fill a small bowl with hot water and set next to your skillet. Set the bowl from the food processor next to that. Pour an additional couple of tablespoons of oil into the skillet and heat over medium heat.
4. Warm a medium cookie scoop in the warm water, and then scoop a meatball and place it in the hot pan. Repeat until the pan is covered with a single layer of meatballs. Shake the pan frequently to turn the meatballs so they cook evenly on all sides. When they are brown on all sides, used a slotted spoon to transfer them to a plate. Repeat until all the mixture has been used, and all the meatballs are cooked and transferred to the plate.
5. In the same skillet (don’t rinse the skillet —you want the browned bits!), melt the butter. Whisk in the flour, and cook over medium-low heat until the roux becomes blond in color and no longer smells of raw flour. Gradually whisk in the beef broth, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Simmer until thickened, about 2-3 minutes more. Stir in the sour cream, and then season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Return the meatballs to the skillet, stirring occasionally, until they are heated through and the sauce is thickened, about 5 minutes.
How to Serve: Serve immediately over spätzle, mashed potatoes or egg noodles, generously garnished with fresh minced parsley. This is a traditional Christmas dinner and wonderfully delicious comfort food; it’s equally well-suited to a weeknight dinner, or to take to a potluck. Or skip the noodles and insert a fancy toothpick into each meatball to serve as a party appetizer.
Pairing Suggestion: Pair with Mjödhamnen Lingonberry Melomel, Sweden; or with any currant or cranberry mead.