Monday, July 14, 2008

Köttbullar by Erique Fat Owl

Continuing my Sveedishh craze...

Swedish meatballs with baby potatoes, cream sauce & Lingonberry preserve

None of the elements of the food above is bought from IKEA, thank you very much.

Instead, I handmade everything (except the Lingonberry preserve - I bought that - but still, not from IKEA), even carefully weighing each meatball so that they are uniform in size. I stole the recipe from a scanned Swedish cookbook available online, and since the recipes are all in Swedish (the webmaster of the website translates each recipe into English) and the book looks mighty old (I'd say from the fifties), I think this is pretty much close to the original, home-style Swedish meatballs.

The sauce is especially painful to make - in order to make this sauce, you have to make a brown stock, which basically involves combining meat and bones with bouquet garni (consisting of a handful of herbs and vegetables like turnip, parsnip, leek, celery bla bla bla) - I'd say around 5 kilograms of material in total - all simmered and reduced for 4 hours to yeild a measly 700 ml liquid we call "brown stock".

Just as a nota bene, the brown stock is a base stock for hundreds of European sauces, especially French. You can 'pimp up' brown stock to make other more complicated sauces. Here are some examples:

Brown sauce + meat drippings, and then simmered and reduced for 3 hours = Glace de viande

Glace de viande + other mirepoix, and then simmered, reduced, continuously skimmed for 2 hours = Espagnole sauce

Espagnole sauce + jellied brown stock, and then simmered, reduced, continuously skimmed for 3 hours = Demi-glace sauce

Demi-glace sauce + wine, thme, shallots etc and then simmered for an hour = Bordelaise sauce

Bordelaise sauce + peppercorn + parsley and then simmered for an hour = au Poivre sauce

Therefore, in order to make an au Poivre Sauce, you need to make Bordelaise. In order to make Bordelaise, you need to make Demi-glace sauce. etc etc.

And it goes on and on and wonder French chefs are so pompous. For them to make au Poivre sauce, I'd say the combined time to make it from scratch (like most good restaurants do) is at least 14 hours, not counting preparation time.

Anyway....conclusion...moral of the story:
When you want some nice, home-style Swedish meatballs, just go to IKEA and buy some - it tastes the same as home-made, a lot quicker to prepare, and a HELL lotta cheaper.


Leony said...

Bravo!! After all the efforts, your Swedish meatballs look amazing!! Eh iya, dulu pas gue di Madison, gue ambil small course di Magnus (fine dining restaurant)bersama si chef yang ganteng bernama Robert Hughes. Dia ajarin kita membuat Demi Glaze yang dari brown stock itu loh. Gilaaa...untuk 40 portions of filet mignon served in the restaurant daily, kita tuh memanggang around 100 lbs of bones for hours! Setelah itu masih di add meat stock, simmered and reduced...and he said, each portion of the FM only gets exactly one spoon of the sauce. Gue udah sampe ngantuk nungguin itu sauce...sampe coursenya 3 jam selesai, belum mateng2 juga...But while waiting for the sauce, we were taught how to make basil infused vanilla ice cream from scratch..Nyum!

Erique Fat Owl said...

Demi-glace itu emang istilahnya 'dewa'-nya saus deh...Itu kalo bisa bikin yang enak, udah bangga abis...

Sampe sekarang gw belom berani bikin, soalnya bahannya seabreg2 banyaknya trus jadinya cuma 1 quart...uuu...mana lama bgt lagi bikinnya...brown stock aja udah repot...mending beli aja dee...LOL

Tapi kalo di Jepang enak...demi-glace itu banyak yg udah dijual jadi (di kaleng)...kalo di Sydney ga bakalan ada deh...

Masih inget bikin basil infused vanilla ice cream-nya, non? Kalo vanilla beans yang high quality tuh amit2 harganya kan...