Yum-Yum Friday: Easy Swedish Meatballs

Something I like to do around Casa de Fatass is take the easy way out.  I mean, this blog is a lifestyle blog for those without a lifestyle.  You know, you want the illusion of a home-cooked meal, and you want the taste of a home-cooked meal…but you want that shit on the table in 30 minutes or less.  Well, I’m no Rachael Ray (she can make everything from scratch in under 30 minutes), but I can whip together a mean, filling dinner that tastes completely home-cooked in under 30 minutes.  In fact, if you don’t get too distracted by everything (like me), this one can probably be on the table in under 20 minutes.  So…let’s talk Swedish Meatballs, folks.

Whaaaat?!?! We can make Swedish Meatballs in under 30 minutes?!?! 

If you’re lazy like me you can…

Swedish Meatballs come from the magical land known as IKEA.  Just kidding, they come from Sweden and are referred to as köttbullar there.  Don’t ask me how long it took for me to figure out how to put the two dots over the “o” in köttbullar.  Longer than is funny, to give you an idea…

Anyhoozles, like many other countries, the Swedish understand the concept of “mom’s meatballs”, and köttbullar is their version.  The exact composition of the meatballs themselves vary from household to household, some versions state that the meatballs should be served in a thick brown gravy, others state that a meat “juice” is preferred, on and on and on.  Basically, The Swedes have as many versions of köttbullar as any other culture that holds the meatball in regard.  So, basically, everyone.

Today, I’ll share with you my simplified and easy way to make Swedish Meatballs any night of the week.  So, let’s get started!

1Like all other Yum-Yum Fridays, first, let me show you which ingredients you need in order to make this recipe.  To the left, you’ll see that I have my flour canister ready, a box of beef broth (stock or broth is fine), Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, a half of a stick of butter (4 tbsp), a 12 oz. bag of egg noodles, and a 28 count bag of Johnsonville Homestyle Meatballs.  Yes.  This is why this recipe is so simple.  You’re not going to be making your own meatballs, frying them up, or baking them off, before getting started.  Johnsonville Homestyle Meatballs are pre-cooked, tender, juicy, and delicious–and I highly recommend taking this shortcut if you’re pressed for time.  However, you do you–and feel free to make your own meatballs from your favorite recipe before getting started.  Note: you will need a cup of milk (I use Lactaid), but it is not shown in the picture.  I didn’t want to leave it sitting out while I made everything else.  Also, note the generic brands I have here–store brand beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, and Dijon mustard.  I keep telling you all that I’m hood.  Although, I usually keep Grey Poupon Dijon mustard on hand–but I had run out and wasn’t aware–so the Dijon for this recipe was bought on the fly at the corner store.  I had to buy what they had.  Sigh.  Anyhoozles, moving on…

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The first step is to dump all of your meatballs into a large, dry skillet that is heated over med-high heat.  Immediately put the lid to your skillet tightly on top.  Every three minutes, give the pan a “shimmy” to stir the meatballs around.  Keep doing this until your meatballs have a nice char/sear to the outside of them and they are warmed through.  This takes about 10 minutes.

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Next, remove your meatballs from the skillet, reserving them for later (I usually just dump them into the colander I have ready for the noodles later).  Then, leaving the skillet over med-high heat, add your half stick of butter.  Once it is melted, add 4 tbsp of flour, whisking like crazy to incorporate the butter and flour together.  Then, allow the roux to cook for 30 seconds to cook out any “flour-y” taste.  Next, we need to add our beef broth.  Using a 1/2 cup at a time, add 3 cups of beef broth, whisking vigorously after each 1/2 cup, getting all of the lumps out.  After the beef broth is incorporated and bubbly, add 1 cup of your milk.  If you want a richer sauce, feel free to use heavy whipping cream.  If you’re moderately lactose intolerant like me, use Skim, Lactaid…whatever does it for you.  If your gravy is too thick, add another splash or two of broth or milk to bring it to the thickness you want.  You should now have a nice, shiny, smooth gravy.  Turn the heat to low.

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After you have your gravy made, you will then add 1 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce, whisking thoroughly to incorporate it.  Then add 2 tbsp of Dijon mustard, once again whisking thoroughly to combine.  Lastly, add your meatballs (carefully) back into the pan, stirring to cover them in the gravy.  Return the lid to the skillet and let it heat through.  In the meantime…

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Boil your noodles for 8 minutes–or as directed on the package.

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Next, drain your noodles and add them to the skillet with your meatballs and gravy.  Stir thoroughly to cover the noodles with the gravy.  Yum!

Plate up a heaping helping–and enjoy!  Serve these bad boys alongside roasted Brussels sprouts so that you can feel a little better about yourself.  So yummy!

Until next time…

 

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