Ah, my KitchenAid Food Grinder. It’s one of my new favorite tools in my kitchen. So far I’ve experimented with pork sausage that was filled with fennel and garlic, and once you started to cook it those smells just burst out of the skillet and into my nose, reminding me why I decided to make the sausage fresh.
(Since this recipe, I’ve also made delicious, juicy steak burgers from grinding chuck and sirloin steak. You should try it!)
About 30 meatballs can be made with this recipe. If you take the cost of the beef roast at $9.50 and divide it by three, you’ve got future meatballs dinners roughly costing $3.17 a piece, not counting egg noodles or the cream sauce. That’s quite the affordable dinner and it’s going to taste GREAT – fresh meatballs are way better than store-bought frozen ones. Take the time and save the time.
I gave this dish the “weekend supper” title because you surely do not want to attempt this on a weekday unless you have a half day to yourself because there’s a lot of time involved in this process and you don’t want to rush or you’ll get frustrated. I made this on a Saturday when I had the entire day to put this dish together. It didn’t take that long, but I did run into some kinks with the food grinder and I’m glad that I gave myself time to work them out. Follow these steps prior to preparing these meatballs to ensure that you end up with a tasty meal.
Step One – find the right cut of meat
These are beef meatballs, no pork, just because I wanted to see what that would do to the flavor. I bought a 2.30-pound beef chuck roast with a good amount of marbling throughout it. You need a little fat in your meatballs for flavor, so look for something similar to this:
Step Two – seasoning
Ground nutmeg and ground allspice are all-stars of Swedish Meatballs, but I’ve seen people use ground coriander, ground ginger, mustard powder, Worcestershire, seasoning salt and other varieties. Unless you bake a lot of apple pies, not many people have these spices on hand, so take a peek into your cabinet before you set out to make these meatballs.
Step Three – grinding the meat
This is by far the most time intensive process, so give yourself at least an hour and a half to put this together. It may not take that long, but don’t shortcut yourself. The food grinder may need to be cleaned several times to prevent the food from clogging up inside the grinder.
Swedish Meatballs with Egg Noodles and Cream Sauce
Adapted from the KitchenAid Food Grinder Cookbook
Makes roughly 30 meatballs, 1 1/2 inches round
Ingredients for the meat grinder
- Beef chuck roast, at least 2 pounds
- 2 1/2 slices of white bread (I used Texas Toast bread)
- 1 medium yellow onion, roughly diced
- Prepare your meat by cutting it into 1-inch pieces.
- Place the cut meat into a bowl and put in the fridge while you prepare the onions and the KitchenAid Food Grinder. You want the meat to stay cold as it will pass through the food grinder easier.
- Grab your KitchenAid Food Grinder and thoroughly clean it. Wipe dry and assemble as directed, using the fine grinding plate.
- From my experience, it is easier to grind all of the meat first, into a large bowl, and then pass it through the food grinder a second time with the onions and bread.
As your meat passes through the grinder, it should look like this:
If it comes out in one big meat slush and not in long strands, then something is preventing the meat to pass through easily. Take the grinder apart and clean it out. I had to do this about 5 times – it’s OK. The fat gets stuck and you need to keep cleaning it out.
For super-fine meatballs, I passed the meat mixture through the grinder a total of 3 times – once just to grind the meat, once with the onion and bread and one last time with all ingredients mixed throughout. The second and third times will pass much easier since the meat is already ground.
Ingredients for mixing into the ground meat
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- Pour the 1/2 cup milk into a glass measuring cup. Add the egg and the rest of the spices and whisk to combine. Pour mixture over the meatballs. This ensures that your spices are evenly mixed into the meat.
- Now, you can put this aside, covered in the fridge, and go take a walk or drink a beer or something. Or you can continue. Just giving you the option for a break.
- I formed the meatballs using a 2 tbsp as a scoop so that they’d be (somewhat) even in size. I’m not a perfectionist about this.
- Place the meatballs into a greased baking 9×13 baking dish. I had four leftovers so I used a smaller 9×9 dish just for them.
- Heat your oven to 450 degrees. Bake the meatballs for 20-25 minutes, flipping them halfway through so they can brown on all sides. Mine was a little flat on the bottom, but after I turned them to brown they started to form and be more like a ball.
- Allow them to cool on a paper towel to drain off the grease. Set the pan with drippings aside as you’ll need it for the cream sauce.
I had cooked, deliciously smelling meatballs on my kitchen counter at 3 pm. Since we obviously weren’t eating dinner at that time, I put them back in the fridge for later. But first, I separated all 30 meatballs into three dinner-sized portions, two that went into plastic bags and in the freezer for another day, another time.
Adapted from Alton Brown
- Fat drippings from meatballs
- 1/4 cup flour
- 3 cups beef broth
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Since I baked these meatballs in the oven, the drippings were in the 9×13 pan. I poured them into a cast iron skillet and turned the heat to medium-high.
- Add 1/4 cup flour and whisk. You’ll have chunks of flour but that’s okay.
- Add the beef broth and whisk for about 5 minutes, until flour is combined and broth starts to thicken.
- Add the cream, black pepper, and salt. Whisk for another 2 minutes, then add your cooked meatballs. If they’re not out of the oven, you won’t need to leave them in here for long. Prepare the egg noodles and serve as a bed for the meatballs and sauce.
- If they are cold out of the fridge, cook for the time it takes you to cook the egg noodles, about 6-7 minutes. Serve on top of egg noodles with sauce.