For the past month I have had an all consuming craving for Swedish meatballs and having my sister over to visit felt like the perfect occasion to try out the Jamie Oliver recipe I had been staring at almost daily.
I started off the winter wonderland meal with some chestnuts roasted in the oven and a big pot of mulled wine. I don’t think I need to add a recipe for mulled wine as i’m sure everyone in the world knows how to make it! I wouldn’t say this was a particularly amazing wine, I wouldn’t even really know as the flavour of the red wine is so surpressed when added to sugar and spices. However I loved the colours on the labels. Label design is how I choose all my wines (along with price!)
I pretty much followed the Jamie Oliver recipe word for word, however instead of using a blackberry or lingonberry jam, I opted instead to make my own fruity sauce.
Jamie Oliver’s Swedish meatballs:
Mix 300g minced pork, 300g minced beef, 150g breadcrumbs, 100ml milk, 1 large egg (whisked), sea salt, black pepper and chopped dill in a bowl. Knead the ingredients together in your hands until they are properly mixed together then form little balls out of the mix and leave to rest in the fridge for an hour (if you have the time).
While the meatballs are shivering in the fridge you should make a start on the mashed potato by peeling and boiling the potatoes. You can keep them on a low heat while you make the rest of the meal and only mash them (with butter, black pepper and a splash of cream) at the last minute to ensure they stay hot!
Heat up a large flat pan on the hob and transfer your meatballs and another knob of butter to the pan, searing the meatballs on the outside but not cooking them through. When the meatballs are browned, turn down the heat and add 300ml beef stock, 50ml double cream, 1 tablespoon plain flour and some allspice berries. Let the mix simmer for about 15 minutes until the meatballs are cooked through.
Blueberry, red wine & allspice berry sauce:
I fried a shallot and 100g of button mushrooms in a pan with a knob of butter, some fresh thyme, 4 cloves, 3 bay leaves and about 5 allspice berries. Once the shallots were softened and golden brown, I poured 100ml of red wine, 2 tablespoons of sugar and a pack of blueberries to the mix, allowing it to simmer away happily for 5 minutes. The smell in your kitchen should be mindblowing by now. You may think there is nothing better than the scent of butter frying, but I can promise you that butter and allspice berries frying are in a league of their own. Especially when you add a few mugs of mulled wine into the sensory mix!
Once the sauce has simmered for a while, remove the bay leaves (they are too bitter otherwise), transfer the mix to a blender and whizz until you get a smooth but thick sauce.
Finally, remove the meatballs from the beef stock-cream sauce (I kept it as a stock for future meals) and serve them on a plate, drizzling the beautiful plum coloured sauce over and garnish with dill and whole blueberries.
A delicious winter meal that really made me want to go to Sweden!