Here’s the thing… there are a lot of really great recipes out there – but they’re not kosher because they mix some type of meat and dairy. I’m not one to replicate meat or poultry dishes that have dairy thrown in – but sometimes you want a tomato sauce free meatball! ya know what I’m saying??? I love tomatoes, but being that there are so many dishes that call for the “mother” sauce, I wanted to make a recipe for when you don’t want it, can’t have it; or simply want a break!
I call these “Swedish Inspired” mainly because the sauce is beef broth based and finished with a (non-dairy) sour cream. Other than that, they are pretty different from a traditional swedish meatball which is typically a mix of veal, pork and beef and flavored with all spice, and white pepper. Oh! and lest us not forget the panade – which is a wet bread mixture, that helps keep ground meat moist. Milk and bread is generally used, but you can use other liquids as well.
Ground beef, chicken or turkey can tend to dry out – especially if the fat content is low. I’ve also noticed that ground Kosher meat tends to be especially sticky when raw and can easily dry out. Using a panade is one method,and using grated zucchini works well too; depending how you are cooking the meat. I find that rolled oats also work very well when working with ground meat.
I used oats in this recipe and it worked out wonderfully because they expand a bit, making the finished meatball very tender. I also grated the onion, which I think is key – AND I added diced cremini mushrooms to the mix! Not only did they impart fantastic flavor, but they also helped in retaining moisture.