Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I Have Some Really Big Balls

I told the Blog Tech this and his response was: As if we didn't know that already. And there you have it, my job description.

Back when I lived in Toronto, there was a restaurant in a small town called Port Credit. The restaurant served Dutch/Indonesian food. Back in the day, the Dutch occupied Indonesia and thus, the combination of foods. My favorite dish was and still is risstafel. It literally translates as rice table. A large bowl of rice is placed on the table which usually has a Lazy Susan in the middle. (why is suzan lazy?) Many small bowls filled with all sorts of wonderful food are placed around the rice. You spin the Lazy Susan around and choose from the assorted dishes and eat them with the rice. There can be as many as twenty or more dishes offered. One of our favorite offerings was always the gehaktballen. I haven't had risstafel in years but I still sometimes crave the gehaktballen. So, I make them myself. This is a recipe that without exception, everyone seems to love. Especially men and children.

You can cut this recipe in half but if I were you, I would not. You will want leftovers. These are especially wonderful sliced and used on sandwich buns. They taste like the best meatloaf sandwich. I will post a great new bun recipe tomorrow.

Place 2 pounds of ground pork in a large mixing bowl.

Add 2 pounds of ground beef.

Finely dice a medium white onion and add it and 2 eggs to the meat.

Add 2 T. cracked black pepper. Add 2 tsp. of salt.

Add a tiny bit of cayenne. You don't want these to be spicy. The cayenne just highlights the other flavors.

If you can find this spice use 7 tsp. of it. If not, use 1 tsp. ground coriander,1/4 tsp. ground mace, 2 tsp. nutmeg and 1 tsp. ground marjoram.

It seems like a lot of spices but that is what makes these so good. The combination is perfect so don't cut back on them.

Add 2 tablespoons of stone ground mustard. You really can't taste the mustard as it blends in to give an overall flavor with the other ingredients.

Add 2 tablespoons of Maggi or Kitchen Bouquet.

Add 2 tablespoons of a sweet Asian chili sauce.

Combine the mixture together with your hands. Mix it very thoroughly until everything is combined and you have a uniform consistency throughout. Americans tend to mix their ground meat for meatballs and meatloaves on the course side. That does not work in this recipe. When you cut the meatballs you want a fine texture, so dive in there and mix that meat hard.

Prepare a flat bowl with some flour.

This is where the big balls part comes in. These meatballs need to be slightly smaller than a baseball. They should be at least 3 inches in diameter. It helps to wet your hands with water as you make each ball so they do not stick to your hands. As you form them. press tightly to push out any extra air to keep the balls from splitting during cooking.

This recipe made 13 meatballs.

Cover them lightly with flour.

Butter is important to this recipe. Melt 8 tablespoons of butter.

Also, just before starting this recipe, bake some potatoes to make mashed potatoes. I bake mine at 375 degrees for about an hour and 15 minutes.

When the butter is bubbling, place the meatballs in the pot.

Keep turning them until they are golden brown on all sides.

Once they have evenly browned, add 4-5 cups of beef broth.

Bring them back to a slow boil.

Cover the pot.

Turn the heat to low, slightly crack the lid (you don't want these to steam) and let them cook for about 40 minutes. Try to time this so you can make the mashed potatoes while the meatballs are cooking.

Remove the meatballs and keep warm and add a bit more beef broth. Bring to a boil and cook and whisk until it reduces enough to use as a light gravy.

When the potatoes are done baking, cut them in half and scoop the potato from the skins. Add 4 tablespoons of cream cheese and 4 tablespoons of butter. Add some cracked butter and salt to taste. Mash and add milk until you reach your desired consistency. I like to add some freshly chopped parsley too.

Nothing much better than baked mashed tators!

Serve one giant gehaktball on top of some potatoes drizzled with the gravy. This is such a heavenly dish.

Not the type of meatball you can eat with a toothpick. A fence post maybe but not a toothpick!

Check back tomorrow for the bun recipe. If you have a meatloaf sandwich lover in your family, that is the way to use these leftovers!