This is the dish our whole family associates with Christmas. It’s just not Christmas Eve unless you’re eating Norwegian Meatballs! Preferably with a side of lefse. My version is a slightly updated version of Tanis’ recipe from the Feasting Prefers Company cookbook. Makes 3 dozen (or more) golfball-sized meatballs.
3/4 c gluten-free white bread crumbs
1/2 t dried thyme leaves
1/2 t dried rosemary leaves
1/2 t dried sage
2/3 c 2% milk
1 lb lean ground beef
1/2 lb ground turkey
1/2 lb ground pork
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 medium onion, finely chopped (err on the side of too much – and also mince it as finely as possible)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 T chopped parsley
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper
For cooking & the gravy:
2 T butter
1 T olive oil
1-1/2 qt beef broth
1/4 c flour
Crush the herbs into the bread or cracker crumbs, to infuse their flavor. Soften with the milk and allow to sit while you prep everything else.
Add everything to the bread crumb mixture and mix with your hands. This is a very soft meatball mix so if it’s hard to work with, put it in the fridge for a while before shaping the meatballs.
Heat the butter and oil in a skillet, and heat the broth to a strong simmer in a large saucepan. Form meatballs no larger than a golf ball, and cook them in the skillet. Once they’re browned on all sides, transfer them to the simmering broth and cook for at least 20 minutes.
You’re going to use the broth to make gravy (combine the flour with some water, stir it into the broth and reduce to taste). But if you’re making the meatballs ahead of time, you’ll want to keep them in the broth for reheating, and make the gravy just before you put everything on the table.
A few tips about successful meatball making:
- Authentic Norwegian meatballs are bite-sized (no larger than a golf ball). But the smaller they are, the harder they are to work with. So if you’re just cooking for the family, you might want to make them more Italian-meatball-sized.
- Don’t crowd the skillet with too many meatballs, as you’ll need plenty of room to roll them around in order to brown them on all sides.
- Be gentle as you handle them – this mix is SOFT, remember? Loosen them from the skillet with a metal spatula before nudging them onto another side for browning; and place them gently into the broth.