Monday, December 3, 2007

The Danish Cousin to the Swedish Meatball

As promised, here’s the recipe for Danish frikadeller, the cousin to Swedish meatballs. Using a food processor, they are insanely easy to throw together. Cooking them takes all of twenty minutes if you do it in the oven. The only real work is weighing out the portions and working with the mixture, which is annoyingly sticky (but makes for a moist meatball).

I promise, your fellow potluckers will love these.

makes approx. 30 frikadeller (2oz each)
  • 3 slices bread, torn into pieces
  • ½ cup milk
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1½ tsp kosher salt
  • 3 pounds ground pork (or mix of pork and veal or turkey)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
Put the bread in a small bowl with the milk. It will only take a couple of minutes to soak up the milk.

In a food processor, puree the bread, onions, spices and eggs to a uniform mixture. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add the ground meat(s). Mix well. It’s easiest to use your (clean!) hands, but don’t squeeze the meat. The mixture will be very sticky.

Using a food processor produces a nice batter to mix with the ground meat.

Traditionally pork and veal are used, but here I used pork and turkey. Don't be alarmed if the mixture is very sticky.

This recipe makes a lot of meatballs, and it would take you a long time to fry up. I like to cook mine in the oven on a rimmed, greased cookie sheet. For 2oz meatballs, it takes about 20 minutes in my convection oven at 375º. Don’t be alarmed if a lot of liquid runs out, the finished product will still be moist. Allow them to cool slightly before removing them with a spatula. Don’t serve these piping hot; they taste best warm or at room temperature.

Trust me, you don't want to spend half the day frying these babies up. Baking them is quick and painless.

The traditional way to eat these are with Danish rye bread or potatoes and pickled beets or pickled red cabbage. However, for a more seasonal and festive dish, you can serve them with cranberry chutney or tomato jam.

If you don’t have a potluck to attend, no worries. These bad boys are well suited for freezing. Place them on a cookie sheet in the freezer overnight, then throw them into two layers of Ziploc freezer bags. To reheat, they can go straight from the freezer into a 350º oven. Or you can thaw them in the fridge overnight and fry them in a skillet over medium-low heat until heated through.

I prefer reheating them in a skillet because they will form a nice crust (see picture below).

When fried on a skillet, they form nice crusts. Yum.

Still delicious when oven-baked.


Manggy said...

Fried for me please!! Me likey some crust.

dp said...

I love them crusty too! What I ususally do is cook them in the oven, freeze what we're not eating and quickly brown the ones we are going eat. That's still alot faster and less messy than frying all 30+ at one time. Mama's got better things to do with her time, you know :-)