How to Make Kjottkaker (Norwegian Meatballs) with Brown Gravy


Like all classic dishes every family has a slightly different version of kjottkaker (Norwegian meatballs), and everyone's mother always makes the best. This recipe has been handed down for generations but, the truth is, any recipe for this Nordic specialty is delicious.

Things You'll Need

  • Meatballs:
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 cup chopped bread or breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon each salt & pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Gravy:
  • 2 cubes margarine
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 to 2 cups water (preferably potato water)
  • Corn or potato starch (optional)
  • Mix all the meatball ingredients together in a large bowl. Smooshing with your clean hands is easiest.

  • Form into large meatballs, about 2 inches in diameter.

  • Fry them in a large skillet with some vegetable oil on medium heat until cooked through. Then put aside.

  • For the gravy, melt 2 cubes of margarine over medium heat in a large cooking pan.

  • Add around 1 cup (a little more or less) of flour, by large spoonfuls, blending well after each with a whisk until it is a thick, slightly grainy consistency. A flat bottom whisk works best.

  • Add sugar and blend it well with a whisk. The sugar will enhance the browning process. Continue stirring constantly while the mixture browns.

  • When the gravy is a rich, dark brown (be careful not to let it burn), remove it from the heat and add water slowly while still blending. Potato water is preferable as the starch in the water helps it thicken ... you should save the water from boiling your potatoes to use for this. If you don't have potato water, regular water will be fine.

  • Add enough water to make the gravy creamy, but be careful not to get it too thin. Allow it to heat to a near boil to thicken. If the gravy is too thin, you can mix a tablespoon of cornstarch or potato starch with 1/2 cup of warm water and add it to the gravy to thicken. The gravy needs to heat to a near boil to thicken after you add the starch.

  • Place the meatballs in the gravy, along with some of the drippings. Add salt and pepper to season. Let the meatballs steep in the sauce for about 1/2 hour on low heat.

Tips & Warnings

  • Serve with boiled potatoes, and Norwegian red cabbage and/or mixed vegetables.
  • Use this brown gravy recipe for anything from turkey to roast beef or anything else! Flavor it with the drippings from your meat for a delectable flavor.

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