As the title of this post suggests cold, snowy weather brings out my desire to cook. Of course, it goes without saying that the cooking actually is not the goal. Eating is the goal. Due to our recent snowmageddon, I have had both the desire to cook and to eat! If I lived in a more arctic terrain, I am sure I would weigh twice as much as I do.
Yesterday I made a variation on Swedish meatballs. I know, everyone has their own recipe but here is what I did yesterday; and I might add, with fantastic results.
I mixed a pound and a half of hamburger meat with half a diced onion, steak sauce, garlic powder, salt, pepper, a teaspoon of vinegar, a dash of cumin, and a bit of oregano. After I sufficiently mixed it all together I added one raw beaten egg and a splash or two of flour. The egg and flour function like glue to hold the meatballs together. After that I made tiny meatballs, about the size of a large walnut and then browned them in a nonstick pan on the stove top. I have found when browning meatballs, covering the skillet while they cook is important. I flip them over after about 2 or 3 minutes. After another 3 minutes or so, I remove the meatballs. Invariably one of the meatballs always falls apart, that is fine. Leave it there. It adds flavoring to the sauce. The meatballs are not cooked yet, they will finish cooking later in the rue (roux).
Once the meatballs are removed there are bits and pieces of meat, onion, and hamburger grease (renderings) in your pan. Leave them and do not adjust the heat. Add to it one stick of real butter. When the butter melts dash in all purpose flour. How much? Well, that depends on how thick you want your rue! I put in the equivalent of two tablespoons, but really I have no real idea. I usually eyeball it. The mixture will bubble a bit but keep stirring it until all the flour is mixed with the butter/grease/onion/meat. Once it is mixed, add about a half a cup of milk, maybe more if needed. The secret to rue or gravy is that you can keep adding liquid to get the consistency you want. However, in my experience, once you’ve added the milk or water, you cannot then add more flour to thicken.
Keep stirring the rue until you are comfortable with the consistency. Maybe add a little water with the milk to loosen it up if need be. Taste it. Add seasoning as desired. Then put the meatballs back into the sauce pan. I like to role them around so they get completely covered in the sauce. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes. The meatballs should cook through.
I served these delights on a bed of mashed potatoes with a side of green beans (of course). Oh, and don’t forget the buttermilk biscuits.