Sunday, 5 August 2007

Little Foodies Sweden - Meatball Challenge

If somebody had told me that I'd feel nervous about a challenge between my home cooked food and bought food I'd have laughed. But nervous I was. I made the Swedish Style Meatballs (recipe below) and bought some ready made Organic Swedish Meatballs from Waitrose. For the purpose of the test only we tried one of each.

Homemade on the left - Bought on the right

Preferences were as follows:
Hubby: Homemade
Little: Homemade
Small: Bought
Me: Homemade, though I did waiver!

So homemade was the winner! Thank goodness for that. Obviously I sulked about Small's final decision but I soon got over it.

The bought ones were really good, they had a nice texture and lots of flavour. But though they were organic they still tasted processed. The homemade ones had a softer texture, but could definitely have done with more salt. I think that's why Small preferred the bought ones, he loves really strong tasting food and as the bought ones were heavily salted, they did seem to have more flavour. Served with all the trimmings of lingonberry jam, pickled cabbage, runner beans and the traditional creamy sauce, the homemade ones won hands down and I think anybody would have come to that conclusion. Really, I'm not just saying that.

The recipe for our Swedish Style Meatballs (made approx 40 meatballs)
250g organic beef mince
250g organic pork mince
1 medium onion peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon of oil for frying the onion
1 cup of double cream
1/2 cup of Wholegrain Buckwheat flour
1 egg
a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper
1 teaspoon all spice
2oz butter and a big splosh of oil for frying the meatballs
Flour on a plate for rolling the meatballs prior to frying

Fry the onion in tablespoon of oil
In a large bowl add the pork and beef mince and mix it together with your hands.
Add in the flour, double cream, egg, all spice, salt and pepper and the fried onion. Again mix with your hands. You need to really get stuck in and mix well.
Form into small round balls and roll in the flour on a plate.
Put on a separate plate until you are ready to fry them.
In a large frying pan add the butter and oil and warm. Add the meatballs and fry gently for about 5 minutes on each side. I finished mine off in the oven as I was getting other things ready. They could have been finished in the frying pan. You'd have to test to make sure they were cooked through.

This was our version as we didn't have things to hand that were needed. Most recipes that I've seen for Swedish meatballs have potato in and rusk flour. Ours were really good. They're very different to Italian style meatballs but equally delicious! It would depend what sort of mood for food you were in to determine whether to go Italian or Swedish.

Swedish Style Cream Sauce
1 cup of double cream
1 cup of beef stock
2 tablespoons Japanese Teriyaki Sauce
1 tablespoon plain flour (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
Put the cream, stock, teriyaki sauce and salt and pepper in a pan and start to warm through. Whisk in some plain flour to thicken if required.

Really delicious. I would make this again as a sauce for other things too. Again, it was different to Swedish recipes which all those that I saw said to add Chinese Soy Sauce and not Teriyaki but as we've been using soy sauce a lot recently we'd run out.


Asha said...

Both look great Amanda. Store bought are convenient but homemade ones are not mysterious,we know what goes in there!:))
Good choice to make for Sweden.Kids love those meatballs either way!

Margaret said...

I think the meatballs were a good choice. The veg choices to go with them was colourful and varied. My OH would like this one.

Nora B. said...

I knew yours would be better! I try to avoid store-bought meatballs or sausages because I don't know what does into them. The meatballs with all the frills looks lovely, I'm so glad that everyone enjoyed the meal. This reminds me that it's been a while since I made meatballs. I also like having leftover meatballs in a breadroll.

Kelly Mahoney said...

They look great -- I'm always sad when my family can identify the store bought food from mine.

Anh said...

Yum yum! I love meatball and yours looks so good!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Asha, Thank you. You're right you just never know what goes into store bought.

Margaret, The runner beans were from a neighbour, I wish we'd grown some of those too.

Nora, Thank you!!! Meatballs in a breadroll sounds really good. We have leftovers so I think we'll give that a try.

Kelly, Thanks, we did enjoy them. It's a good thing when they can identify store bought to your food.

Anh, Thank you. We don't have them very often but I think we might now.

Thank you for your comments.

Elle said...

Ooooh I love Swedish meatballs. I choose yours...have never had bought ones that were very good, but have had ones made by friends from Sweden that were great. Thanks for the recipe...I can have my own taste test :)

Pat said...

So glad your homemade ones won the taste test!!! They do sound rather yummy and will be going in my to try list. Thanks!!!

Marie said...

Yours look so much better and I am quite sure they tasted alot better as well! At least you know what went into them!

Meeta said...

YAY! YOu won! I've made a similar dish with both organic store and homemade meatballs and I must say we preferred the homemade ones too.

If I was there Amanda, you can bet on it I would have chosen yours!

Kelly-Jane said...

These looks really good, I so want to try Swedish meatballs now!

I'm glad you won :)

Haven't made meatballs for ages either... soon, soon.


Truffle said...

It does sound absolutely delicious and I'm not one bit surprised that yours won!

Anonymous said...

I only wish you lived nearer, you could cook for me every evening, what bliss, your meatballs etc looked absolutely delicious. Tell small too much salt is bad for him. I am sure he would really complain in our house where no salt is added to anything.

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Hi Elle, Thank you, I think we've become rather attached to them too.

Hi Pat, Thank you, I was quite pleased too!

Hi Marie, Thank you. You're right it is better to know what goes into them.

Hi Meeta, Thank you. You know you'd be welcome to eat here anytime.

Hi Kelly-Jane, Thank you, I think Italian style meatballs are maybe easier to make but only marginally, because you don't have to put in the cream, etc.

Hi Truffle, Thank you. I did wonder which way it was going to go as I reall liked the taste of the bought ones too!

Hi Mum, Thanks. Wish you lived nearer too!

Thank you all for your comments.
Amanda x

Patricia Scarpin said...

Amanda, how come you had doubts, sweetie?
I was sure that your food would be the winner!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Thanks Patricia! The recipe made so many we just ate the last of them today.

Cynthia said...

Look at it this way, at least when you don't feel like making the meatballs from scratch there is an alternative that you can seriously consider.

joey said...

Yum! Your homemade ones sound delicious Amanda! We don't have ready-made Swedish ones here (neither do we have lingonberry jam...sob) so I have no choice but to make mine from scratch. I use a recipe for Finnish Meatballs from Tessa Kiros' Falling Cloudberries...still tweaking it but it's good!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Now that's a really interesting challenge. It seems odd to find Japanese Teriyaki Sauce in a Swedish recipe but I guess the title does say style! They sound excellent.

Deborah Dowd said...

A family Iron Chef! I love it! My son and I have done this before and it is a lot of fun, and everyone is a winner in the end.

Baking Soda said...

Woohoo, thanks for this recipe! Family here craves swedish meatballs (well to be honest, they crave any kind of meatballs) We just returned from Sweden and the first thing they ran to in the supermarket....
Of course we brought home a bucket of lingonberry jelly. Will try yr recipe soonest!

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Hi All,

Thank you for your comments. I´m using my in-laws computer in Spain and all the directions are in Catalan. As I´m having an hour on my own I don´t want to keep going out and asking hubby to translate so hopefully I´ll manage to publish these comments and not delete them all. We´re having a fantastic time but probably wont log on again until we get home.

Hope you´re all well!
Amanda x

Alex Rushmer said...

Coming from someone whose mother is Swedish, and who grew up on meatballs - these look great!


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