Neigh, these are not your IKEA's meatballs but something mo better. Mo bacon! These meatballs are infused with bacon to make them special.
Prepared with a pan cream sauce that makes it all the more delectable.
CAUTION: Do not attempt eating mass quantities of Swedish meatballs. They are filling and addictive. I think my record at IKEA stands at about 25. It might be the Ligonberry preserves or that dollop of mashed potatoes that puts it over the top.
Step 1: The Secret Ingredient Is...
For the meatballs, you will need
one pound of ground beef
equal portion of ground pork
about one cup of dry or toasted bread crumbs
some milk or cream to wet the breadcrumbs
beef stock if you have it
salt, pepper, and any other spices/seasonings you like
a few tablespoons of flour to thicken up the gravy
Step 2: A Watched Pot Never Boils...
Dice up about a quarter to half pound of bacon.
In a large pan, render out the fat from the bacon over medium heat. I like to add some additional cooking oil to help the process and to prevent bacon bits from burning and sticking in the pan.
Finely dice up two large onions.
Once the bacon starts to brown and the fat has rendered out of the bacon strips, add the onions to brown.
It may take a while for the onions to release its moisture and start to caramelize or brown.
Keep stirring to keep things from burning.
When everything is nice and browned, take it off the heat to cool. You will end up with a smaller volume of soft baconey caramelized onioney goodness.
You can pick out the larger pieces of remaining bacon and finely chop that up.
Step 3: Balls...
In a big bowl,
add the two ground meats together
Add a cracked egg
Add your breadcrumbs
Add the cooled chopped/crumbled bacon onion mix in
Wet the breadcrumbs with a bit of milk or cream
Add any additional seasonings
Mix well and shape into small ping pong ball sized shapes
You can dump out the entire mix on a cutting board. Flatten out and portion out by cutting with a knife like slicing a sheet cake. You can then just roll the pieces by hand to get into a ball shape.
Brown the meatballs in the frying pan with more oil or additional bacon.
Wait till they are browned a bit and set up before attempting to turn them. They are still fragile at that point.
Roll them around often so that they do not burn. It might take a while so that they are completely cooked through.
One batch was pan fried. The rest I put on a the toaster oven tray to bake off in the toaster oven. That is a more efficient way to cook a large batch and without the spatter.
Step 4: Getting Sauced...
Remove the meatballs from the pan.
You should be left with some bacon drippings and meatball flavor goodness stuck to the bottom of the pan.
Throw in a couple of tablespoons of flour to mix into the grease left in the pan.
Stir it around and let it cook. This is making the roux to thicken the gravy.
When the flour gets browned it is time to add in a cup or two of milk or cream. Add in any beef stock if you have it.
Continually stir to mix and to scrape up the flavor from the stuck bits in the pan.
Since we are real cooks and don't measure, the gravy might be thickening up to the point of where it is a thick paste. If you can stick your stirring instrument into it and stand it up, you used way too much flour.
Don't worry, add more milk or cream and keep stirring. Dissolve all the lumps out. Lower the heat a bit so it doesn't boil over like a mad science experiment.
Give it a taste and adjust the seasoning. It will probably first taste like a bland glue until you add salt.
You can then return the meatballs into the sauce to warm up or serve it on the side.