Kjøttboller // Norway and Meatballs

Okay, enough is enough, Winter!

I am normally all about cozying up in the dark and stormy weather, but it's carried on far too long this year in the PNW. I'm impatiently waiting for picnics in the park, blooming flowers, bustling streets of people who are ecstatic that the sun is shining, and laying out in my bathing suit (or shorts I should say since my legs are translucent from living in Oregon). Someone who is also more than ready for sunshine is Thomas. Since he can't fly in bad weather, he's had to spend a lot of days at home. Normally I am the one that takes pictures of anything we make, but I told him when he's home on a day that I am working he should make something Norwegian to feature on the blog. 

I thought this post would be fitting since we are starting to plan our big family trip to Norway in July! Which is another big reason why I am aching for it to be summer. My entire family will be heading to Oslo at the end of July and I CANNOT WAIT. Thomas and I will be meeting them there since we're coming from Portland (we have an 18 hour layover beforehand in Reykjavik Iceland and you have no idea how excited I am to float in the blue lagoons!)  

Being on vacation, having long summer days and the midnight sun, spending time on the lake at Thomas's family cabin, all while having my whole family there will be absolutely perfect. As always, I'm most excited for sitting around talking, eating good food and having libations with the people I love the most. I'm sure we'll be BBQing every night, having obligatory ventepølse and lots of akevitt to accompany our meals  :) 

Even though I'm dreaming of all the seafood, grilled meat, and akevitt that we'll be consuming in July, it's only March and we're still stuck in the Arctic in Portland (people who are actually dealing with snow around the world, think I'm the biggest baby for saying that!) 
The cold and rainy weather always makes me crave something hearty that sticks to my ribs!  I came home from work the other day and Thomas had made kjøttboller (meatballs) and had taken pictures for the blog :) so cute. From my understanding, these are a little more Swedish since they're meatballs. In Norway it's typical to make kjøttkaker which is meat cakes, or what my family likes to call shit cakes lol. They're always served with boiled potatoes with melted butter and a little parsley on top! A healthy helping of meatball gravy on top of the potatoes makes you do a little food dance from happiness. Do you ever do that in your kitchen? Do a little dance because you're so excited to eat something? Whether I'm a weirdo or not, go put your dancin' shoes on and make these meatballs because you're in for a treat!


Kjøttboller

Ingredients
Meatballs
2 lbs (900 g) minced beef 80/20 (80% lean and 20% fat)
2 eggs
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp nutmeg (Buy whole nutmeg and zest. Much better flavor when you use whole! If not pre-ground nutmeg will do)

Brown Sauce
-1/2 cup (113 g) butter
-1 cup (128 g) flour
-8 cups (2 l) beef stock
-1/2 cup (113 g) sour creme
-Salt and pepper

Potatoes
-1-2 potatoes per person
-2 tablespoons of melted butter
-Chopped parsley

Carrots
2 carrots per. person
1 tsp honey

How to do it like a Norwegian 

  1. For the meatballs: In a large bowl, whisk in the eggs and spices (salt, pepper, nutmeg). Mix until incorporated. Then add the ground meat and mix all together with your hands.
  2. Form the meat into 2-oz (60 g) balls (about the size of golf balls). Heat a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat, melt half the butter (1-2 tbsp) and lightly brown the meatballs, turning until they are browned on all sides, but not cooked through. You may need to work in two batches. Once all the meatballs have been browned remove them from pan and set aside while you prepare the gravy.
  3. In the same skillet or Dutch oven you cooked the meatballs in, add 1/2 cup (113 g) butter over medium-low heat. When melted but now browned, stir in the flour to make a roux and allow to cook for a minute - the roux will still be blonde in color. Then slowly whisk the broth into the roux. Make sure you whisk out any lumps before continue to adding the broth. Once the roux is incorporated into the broth, turn the heat up to a boil to get out the flavor of the flour. If the gravy is too thick, add a little more broth (or water) to thin it to your desired consistency. If the gravy is too thin you can cook a little longer allowing the sauce to reduce to your desired consistency. Add the meatballs back into the pan and cook for about 10 minutes over medium heat until the meatballs are cooked through. 
  4. When the meatballs are done, remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the sour cream. if you add the sour creme when the sauce is too hot it will curdle! Taste the sauce and adjust your seasonings to your desired tastes.
  5. While the meatballs are simmering, boil the potatoes and sauté the carrots. When the potatoes are done drizzle 1-2 tbsp of melted butter over them and sprinkle with parsley. When sautéing the carrots you want to keep the crunch in them so be careful. Add the honey and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Serve with Lingonberry jam (found in your local IKEA if not in your local grocery store). You can also use cranberry jam if you are unable to find lingonberry jam.

Written by Thomas :)