Mom's Norwegian Meatballs with Gravy (Kjøttkaker med brunsaus)

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1.00 LBS
7.00 (in)
7.00 (in)
7.00 (in)
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Meatballs are one of the most traditional of the foods in Norway (they even participate in Christmas in many families). And, lucky for me growing up, my mother is the queen of the meatballs and gravy. It was a frequent meal in our house, but I loved it so much, I also requested it for every birthday. This is her recipe. Of course, like any family recipe, there aren't really measurements and it gets made a little differently every time. But, this is my best approximation. The other trick is to taste the gravy as you make it and add a little extra sour cream, or wine, or broth, as well as salt and pepper to suit your taste. fiveandspice

Serves 5-6

  • 1/3pound lean ground beef
  • 1/3pound ground pork
  • 1/3pound ground veal (if veal is unavailable use 1/2 lb each of beef and pork)
  • 1egg
  • 2/3cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2cup whole milk
  • 1teaspoon salt
  • 1/2teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/4teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4teaspoon allspice
  • 6tablespoons butter
  • 1/4cup flour
  • 4cups chicken broth
  • 1/2onion, skin removed but left in tact
  • 1/4cup sour cream
  • 2tablespoons red wine
  • dashes gravy browning agent (eg. Kitchen Bouquet)
  • 3-4thin slices of gjetost, Norwegian brown goat cheese (optional, since this is an acquired taste)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. In an electric mixer (Kitchen Aid), mix together the ground meats, the egg until combined. Form a well in the middle and add the breadcrumbs then pour the milk onto the breadcrumbs and allow to sit for a minute or two to soften them. Then add the spices and whip the meats, crumbs, milk, and spices together for several minutes until very well combined and lightened in texture.
  2. Form the meat into balls about the size of golf balls. Heat a couple of Tbs. or so of butter in a large Dutch oven and fry the meatballs, carefully turning until they are well browned on all sides, but not cooked through. Do not crowd the meatballs in the pan, you may have to fry them in two batches to make sure they don’t steam each other.
  3. Once all of the meatballs have been browned, return them all to the Dutch oven, add the half onion, and pour the broth over them, using enough broth to cover them halfway. Simmer until they are cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and remove the onion.
  4. To make the gravy, in a saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the remaining 4 Tbs. of butter. Stir in the flour to make a roux and allow to cook for a minute. Then (this is the slightly tricky part), bit by bit, whisk the broth that the meatballs were cooking in into the roux, whisking vigorously to prevent clumping.
  5. If you didn’t use all of the broth to cook the meatballs, add the rest of the broth to the gravy and bring to a simmer. Turn to very low heat. Whisk in the sour cream, wine, gravy browner, and gjetost if desired. Stir in salt and pepper to test. Also adjust the rest of the flavorings to taste.
  6. If the gravy is too thick, add in a little hot water from the potatoes that you should be boiling at the same time (you always eat meatballs and gravy with potatoes!).
  7. When the gravy is seasoned to your liking, pour it over the meatballs in a serving dish. Serve with boiled or mashed potatoes, sweet-sour red cabbage, and a green vegetable. Vær så god!