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Old 01-01-2018, 11:44 AM   #1
Baricat
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Swedish Meatballs

Happy, happy New Year to all my Low Carb Friends! What better way to celebrate 2018 than with a new recipe for an old favorite? This is a hearty cold weather dinner, which my mom used to call "stick-to-your-ribs" food. It's a dish that depends on excellent ingredients, not lots of spices, and patient cooking to fully develop great flavor. Also makes a great party nosh, served in a small chafing dish or a mini Crockpot.

*1-1/2 lbs ground pork, chicken, beef, or turkey (I find pork to be the most flavorful)
*1/3 cup LC bread crumbs (or may use a slice of LC bread, torn into very small pieces)
*2-3 Tb almond milk (or cashew milk)
*1/4 cup grated fresh onion (or very finely minced)
*1/2 tsp ground black pepper
*1/8 tsp nutmeg
*2 tsp beef base (such as Minor's or Better Than Bouillion)
*1 egg

Soak breadcrumbs (or torn bread) in almond milk, first mixing to combine, then allowing to rest for 5-10 minutes.

Blend in remaining ingredients with your hands, evenly and thoroughly. Shape into 1-1/2" meatballs.

I like to make this in the Instant Pot, and will give directions for that appliance. But it's not essential, as this can be made successfully on the stove top. Directions for that will follow the ainstant apot instructions.

Heat up Instant Pot on the sauté function. When the display says "hot," add 2 Tb oil and distribute over the bottom.

Let heat up for a couple of minutes, and start browning to meatballs. It's not necessary to brown on all sides. Two will be sufficient. You just want to get some crusting on the bottom, as that adds greatly to the flavor of this dish. As the meatballs are

When all meatballs are browned, remove from the pot to a plate.

*1 medium onion, finely diced
*2 cups beef stock or broth
*1 Tb Worcestershire sauce
*1 Tb soy sauce (not traditional, and it won't be tasted, but adds a lot of flavor depth)
*1 Tb Dijon mustard
*1/8-1/4 tsp black pepper

Continuing with the sauté function, brown the onions, stirring constantly.

Deglaze the bottom of the pot with a little bit of the stock, scraping to incorporate all the brown bits.

Add the rest of the ingredients, stirring well.

Add the meatballs back to the pot.

Close and secure the lid, making sure vent points to "Sealing," and using the "manual" setting, set for 7 minutes.

When complete, allow to venture naturally for 5 minutes, then release the pressure and open the lid carefully, pointing away from you.

Turn the pot to "off."

*glucommanan powder
*1/4-1/3 cup heavy cream
*chopped parsley for garnish

Set the "sauté" function.

Shake in glucomannan, bit by bit, stirring and blending well after each addition, allowing to incorporate and thicken. Stop just before it reaches the full thickness you desire, as glucomannan continues to thicken as it cools.

Stir in cream, and allow to warm for a minute or two.

Serve over Sharon's superb späetzle, dust with parsley, and enjoy.

Makes about 20-25 meatballs. If serving as an appetizer or hors d'oeuvre, shape into 3/4"-1" meatballs. This will make about 30-35 meatballs of that size. Cut cook time by 1 minute.




To make on the stove:

Construct meatballs as above.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and brown meatballs, removing them as they get done, to a plate.

Add the onions and brown, stirring to brown. Deglaze the pan, stirring to loosen the brown bits on the bottom of the pan.

Add the meatballs and the rest of the sauce ingredients, through and including the Dijon mustard.

Regulate a slow simmer, and cover the pan. Allow to simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. (If making tiny hors d'oeuvres, 15 minutes will be sufficient.)

Uncover pan, and finish the sauce as above, in the same order, as if for the Instant Pot, until desired consistency is reached.

Serve as above.
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Old 01-01-2018, 03:17 PM   #2
Baricat
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You can add 1/4 lb chopped mushrooms along with the onions to dress up the gravy with a mushroom variation, as well. If I happen to have mushrooms in the house, I usually do that because they contribute an additional layer of flavor.
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Old 01-09-2018, 09:46 AM   #3
Vilya
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This sounds delicious! Can I use xanthan gum, if that's all I have on hand?
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Old 01-09-2018, 02:04 PM   #4
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Absolutely, Vilya! You could use xanthan gum, guar gum, Thick It Up, or glucomannan. The reason I use glucomannan for thickening sauces and gravies primarily is because I like the texture better. It's s bit more forgiving if you add a dash too much. If you want to sub xanthan gum for it, just be sure to go light on it, and allow your sauce to simmer a good while before adding more. It almost always takes less than you think it will. Too heavy a hand will yield a gummy, almost gel-like sauce. Remember that it will thicken still more as it cools on the plate while you're eating.

Please let us know if you enjoyed it when you make it. BTW, it freezes very well.
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Old 01-09-2018, 03:14 PM   #5
Vilya
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Thanks for the tips! I learned the hard way that I had to add xanthan gum very lightly to a sauce, or it becomes a clumpy wreck.
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Old 01-09-2018, 03:42 PM   #6
Baricat
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Something tells me, Vilya, that both of us found out this little fact the hard way!
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Old 01-10-2018, 07:44 AM   #7
Vilya
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baricat View Post
Something tells me, Vilya, that both of us found out this little fact the hard way!
You got that right!

What LC bread do you use for this recipe? Homemade, or something you can buy?
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Old 01-10-2018, 09:16 AM   #8
Baricat
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I make my own LC bread, using Sharon Wertz's recipe. Sometimes I make a loaf to slice and dry out in the oven, then turn into crumbs in the food processor. They keep well for months in an airtight container. With those on hand, I don't have to rely on making bread just for this recipe.
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Old 01-10-2018, 09:51 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vilya View Post
Thanks for the tips! I learned the hard way that I had to add xanthan gum very lightly to a sauce, or it becomes a clumpy wreck.
The same is true for glucomannan powder. The first time I used it to thicken gravy, you could carve it and eat it with a fork!

I put it in a spice shaker with a lid, and keep it on my stove. Then I shake a little into my sauces. Easier to control that way. I find the gluc doesn't give that slightly slimy mouth feel I get with the gums.
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Old 01-10-2018, 01:04 PM   #10
Baricat
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I've been following Sharon's brilliant suggestion of keeping a big salt shaker full of glucomannan next to the stove. This makes appropriate thickening a much more simplified process than trying to shake it (and then whisk in) evenly from a spoon.

I also agree with the gluc having less tendency toward sliminess. Any of those will overthicken in a heartbeat. But I feel like I have more control with the gluc. If you overdo it just a tiny bit, it will make your gravy thicker than you wanted, but not "gloopy". I can usually correct it by adding more water or stock. But once you cross that line with the gums, you can never get rid of that slimy mouthfeel, no matter what you do.
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