Sunday, December 18, 2011

Dark Days Week 3: Who knew Swedish could be local?

How do you turn this...

Into these...


And finally into this?




My original plan was to make basic Italian meatballs to go with some pasta sauce hanging out in the fridge. So while doing groceries this past weekend, I went poking around for some ground meat. Quebec ground pork was on sale (yay!) but I could only find one package of the stuff. If I was going to go to the trouble of making meatballs, I wanted some for the freezer... one small package simply would not do!

B has gotten behind me on this local challenge and spends a lot of the time we're grocery shopping pointing out the various Quebec products on the shelves (bless him). And in this case, he came to the rescue... while I was rifling around looking for another package of pork and trying to remember how you would say "Do you have any more pork?" in French, B pointed out that they had ground lamb that was also from Quebec. So I grabbed a package of each and headed home for some meatball makin'!

Once home, I dug through my recipes for a basic meatball one, when something else caught my eye... a recipe for Swedish Meatballs (or if you prefer, Alton Brown's video version). Hmm... I had all the ingredients for those... and most of them were local too, bonus. So, in the bowl of my stand mixer (I never thought I'd use my KitchenAid for mixing meatballs, but it turned out to work really well!) I put my ground meats, along with a few egg yolks and some finely chopped onion. I also had the end of a french loaf that was destined to become bread pudding (more on that later), so I stole a bit of that and let it soak in some dairy, then threw it in with the meat and a few spices and mixed it all up.

I grudgingly formed the meatballs* while B cooked them and soon we had a whole heap of the meaty little darlings. The sauce was quick and easy to whip up, though I ended up throwing in a little vinegar to liven it up a bit, otherwise it was a little on the bland side. Served atop a pile of egg noodles and you've got a mighty tasty meal. It wasn't particularly quick to make, however if you invest some time to make a large batch, you can easily get multiple servings that you can store in the freezer for a later date, or portion out for a week's worth of lunches.

*I seriously dislike dealing with raw meat of any kind. Especially when it is in a form I can recognize as a body part. It's an empathy thing. Early on in our relationship, I informed B that it would be his duty to deal with icky things, like raw meat, while I would handle the rest of the cooking. While I enjoy meat in my diet, I am fully aware that if I had to kill/butcher it myself, I would quickly become a vegetarian. I am also fully aware of the hypocrisy of this, but such is life. 

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