These delectable meatballs are perfect as a holiday tradition or for an everyday meal. They're soul-satisfyingly good no matter when you enjoy them!
Author: Kresha Faber
For the meatballs
¾poundof day-old sourdough bread, torn into large chunks (this is about half a loaf)
2cupssoda water, carbonated water, lager, or very bubbly water kefir
4medium onions, grated or minced very finely
1tablespoonground cardamom or allspice
1tablespoonfreshly ground nutmeg
fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)
For the cream sauce
½cupall-purpose flour or spelt flour
For the meatballs
Preheat your oven to 400°F.
Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper and set aside.
Place the torn bread in a medium bowl and pour over the soda water and the cream. Mash gently to make sure all the bread has contact with the liquid, then let sit for 20 minutes to soften. After 20 minutes, dump the bread mixture into a food processor and blend to a somewhat smooth paste. If your bread was particularly dry and the mixture will not become smooth, feel free to drizzle in another 1/2 cup of any of the liquids listed to create the paste.
Meanwhile, place the meats, onions, eggs, salt, and spices into a very large mixing bowl. With your hands, mash the mixture together until you've created an entirely homogenous mixture. Add in the bread paste and mix again well.
Roll the meat mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls and place on the baking sheet. Bake each batch for 20-25 minutes until no longer pink in the middle. Place finished meatballs in the cream sauce on the stove or set aside to cool to freeze.
Serve with small boiled potatoes and lingonberry sauce on the side.
For the cream sauce
Melt the butter over medium heat until bubbly. Add the flour and whisk until all the flour is incorporated into the butter, then let cook for 3-4 minutes, whisking frequently. This is the base of a basic roux.
To finish the sauce, reduce the heat to medium-low, then add the beef stock 2-3 tablespoons at a time, whisking after each addition. At first, this will cause the roux to seize up into a sticky clump, but keep adding the stock and whisking and soon you will have a silky-smooth sauce. Add the cream all in one addition, then hold over low heat until ready to serve.
To Prepare in the Slow Cooker
Cook the meatballs as directed above, then let cool completely and freeze on a baking sheet. Once frozen, remove to a freezer-safe container and store in the freezer for up to six months. I prefer to freeze them WITH the sauce, so I divvy them all out into one-meal-size portions, which for our family of five is 2 1/2 dozen meatballs and 1 1/2 cups sauce (this is a very flexible amount - change as you desire).
To heat, place the frozen meatballs and sauce in your slow cooker along with 1/4 - 1/2 cup water. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. The sauce will separate, but it's easily whisked together again.
For grain-free modifications, the following have been recommended to me (I have not tried any of these, just FYI):
For the bread in the meatballs, I suggest trying the Easy Everyday Bread in my friend Kelly Smith's new cookbook, Everyday Grain Free Baking. You may want to reduce the liquid the first time you make it, as it likely won't be as absorbent as a wheat flour - and you can always add more liquid if needed.
For the cream sauce, try substituting either sweet rice flour OR a combination of equal parts coconut flour and tapioca flour. In either of these cases, you'll want to have equal parts of fat and flour, so increase the total flour from 1/2 cup to 3/4 cup.
Swedish Meatballs from https://nourishingjoy.com/swedish-meatballs-with-lingonberry-sauce/