This is the second traditional dish from another country that my sweetheart and I decided to try. This dish is from Norway, which I chose because I have Norwegian ancestry. And come on… meatballs.
First of all, I have to say that it was harder than I thought to find a traditional Norwegian dish that I found appetizing. That is, as far as dinners go. Breakfasts would be a snap! When I started looking for traditional dinners, I found things like boiled sheepshead, or a stew that consisted of meat, cabbage, and water. When I came across the following recipe, I was more excited. It’s very similar to Swedish meatballs, which makes sense because the countries are right next to each other.
Using a recipe that I found at Food52, I mixed equal parts ground pork and beef and one egg. The recipe said to use a mixer, which I was kind of excited to do. I mean, I can just let it mix while I do some other things! I’m all for it.
Look at it go! This is now my preferred way to mix ground meats.
I added the panko crumbs and milk, along with the spices, and let them sit for a moment to soften the panko crumbs.
I will say that I had a very hard time with the two spices that I added here. Allspice and ginger. I was having a very difficult time imagining how they would go with meat. Would it taste like a fruitcake meatloaf? But I carried on, trusting in the traditional recipe. At least, I think it’s traditional. What do I know?
The meat came out a lot “fluffier” than it would have if I mixed it by hand, that’s for sure!
I started browning the meatballs, not cooking them all the way through. I was also careful not to crowd them in the Dutch oven.
MEATBALL DOWN! I REPEAT, MEATBALL DOWN!!
They were coming along nicely, and our house was starting to smell very, very good.
When they were all browned on the outside, I added all the meatballs to the dutch oven, a half of an onion, and the broth, and let it simmer. While this was going on, I was making boiled small potatoes and some steamed carrots. Those two things are traditional. My sweetheart wanted something green, so we added some broccoli.
It’s time to make the gravy! I started by making the roux.
Getting darker, but it still has a few shades to go. The camera doesn’t quite catch the color right.
After avoiding a gravy emergency (by adding the broth from the meatballs too quickly) everything was looking good and it was time to add the brunost (brown cheese), sour cream, red wine, and pepper.
I wish you could see the real color! It was a nice rich brown gravy. I added in some sliced onions, which is something I found on a different site and it looked wonderful.
Here it is! Kjøttkaker med brunsaus (quite literally, meat cakes with brown sauce)! We put the potatoes down as a base with the veggies and finally the meatballs on top. We drizzled gravy over the whole thing, and voilà! Instant comfort food!
This was a pretty labor-intensive meal. It took longer than I thought… but quite honestly, it was very good. It was absolutely the Norwegian equivalent of a Yankee pot roast. Meat, potatoes, vegetables, and gravy. How can you go wrong?? I would definitely eat this again.