Swedish Meatballs and Beer: Feel Your Food
“Swedish meatballs. Or as we call them in Sweden, meatballs.”
What Kalle showed off in the kitchen was not just how to make Swedish Meatballs, but the philosophy that he holds for the kitchen. Simply following a recipe is not cooking. Anyone can follow a recipe. Cooking is about creativity and an understanding of the choices being made. You don’t put in a teaspoon of black pepper because some piece of paper tells you to; you put that teaspoon in because that’s what the food needs to be at its best.
Kalle Bergman is the Editor-in-Chief of Honest Cooking, so he and I have an immediate kinship because of our professions. Or something like that. We’re basically peers.
Cooking isn’t an exact science. “Four million households in Sweden means four million different recipes,” Kalle told us as he mixed in a few chilis to his New Nordic cuisine. His meatballs are 70/30 beef/pork. And after seasoning it he tastes a little bit of the raw meat. “It’s not dangerous if you know where it’s coming from,” he says, and that may be true. However, most of us aren’t lucky enough to have meat that we can track from start to finish. Taste your meat beforehand if you want, but try to be safe, folks.
Potatoes go through a potato press purchased from IKEA (gotta represent Sweden) and are mixed with more and more butter. Butter is very important to Kalle’s meal. “Don’t eat crappy potatoes every day. Eat good potatoes once a week,” he told us, and that’s certainly something everyone at Silver Spork can relate to. Don’t back down on something you love.
As the meatballs are finished up Kalle mentioned lingonberries, or more specifically lingonberry jam. You can purchase the jam at Whole Foods or you can make it with a one-to-one combination of berries and sugar.
The berries go mix with the potatoes and the meatballs perfectly; in fact all I really wanted was more jam. The conventional potatoes that I was raised with would never have been mixed with a fruity flavor, but let me make you a promise: I was wrong. Everything worked well together. And that’s an understatement.
To top it all off, Kalle required all of the servers to bring beer around to go with the meal. As he put it, “you have to drink beer with this. It’s one of the other laws of nature.”
Is that a law that I grew up with? No, but at this point I’m willing to trust Kalle’s word on anything.
Due to a mysterious accident at the article factory (aka we’ve been experiencing some internet issues), all event content will be pushed back one day later than scheduled. No worries, though; you’ll still be receiving fresh content daily. This just means you get to hold a good Nordic taste in your mouth a little longer.
Post by Ian Sims. Photos by Ian Sims and Kaitlyn Spotts