Lorek Nordic meatballs in an ever green forest with snow
A comfy cold night dish of Nordic meatballs, mash potato and plenty of carrots and peas in front of the the log fire! This is a dish my Mum use to cook for me and while it bubbles away releasing its fragrance across the house it takes me back. I have named the dish after a character from one of my favourite kids books; the Dark Materials by Philip Pullman – lorek the armoured polar bear from Svalbard. In Sweeden meatballs are made from a mixture of pork and beef. Danes prefer pork and veal. In Norway, there’s more regional variation, but beef is popular. So choose your meet and make your balls!
Makes enough for four grown-ups and 1 little one. Makes 16-20 meatballs.
2 tbsp plain flour
1200ml veggie stock – I use low 1 salt stock cube
500g mince meal (mix or on its own: pork, beef or/and veal)
A handful of fine breadcrumbs
1 onion – ½ grated and ½ whole
3 garlic cloves – 1 crushed 2 whole
3 bay leaves
100 ml white wine
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 egg beaten
1. Carefully cook flour on a gentle heat continuously stirring until it turns light brown. Then take off heat and put into a large saucepan. Do not try and cook using the pan you just toasted the flour on it will be too hot to use.
2. Pour wine into pan with flour put on gentle heat, stir until semi thick paste forms then pour in stock bit by bit (around 200 ml each time), stirring continuously. A few lumps might form but don't worry these will eventually cook out.
3. Once all stock is in put in ½ whole onion and 2 whole garlic cloves, 5 cloves, and 3 bay leaves. Bring to hard summer then turn down temperature to a gentle simmer.
4. To make the meatballs. Put remaining ingredients in a bowl, mix and roll into small golf ball sized balls.
5. Gently fry the meatballs until brown and sealed in some olive oil. Then pop them in stock mix and simmer with lid semi on for around 1 hour, stiring occasionally. The sauce should thicken up to form a rich flavoursome gravy.
I add ¼ tsp of salt after removing little ones portion. Best served with green veg and mash – we had with mash, peas and carrots, but works with spinach, green beans, water cress, asparagus etc. The meatballs can be frozen, to reheat defrost in fridge over night and reheat in pan. The recipe is perfectly safe for baby despite using wine as the alcohol cooks away.
In Sweden meatballs are made of a mixture of pork and beef.. Danes prefer pork and veal. In Norway, there’s more regional variation, but beef is popular. In Sweden, meatballs are small and in Norway, they’re big.