My Senior year of high school our class had an exchange student from Denmark. She and I became fast friends. Wherever one of us was you knew the other was close by. We were inseparable and all these years later we are still very good friends.
We weren’t big on cooking as teenagers, but we did cook a Danish meal for our Home Economics class (because we had to) and invited my mom to join us. It was a success and we made an “A” on the project.
The main course for our meal was “Frikadeller” which loosely translated means “Meatballs”. You can have them with or without gravy. They are delicious either way. You can make them with all pork or a mixture of pork and beef. Some folks prefer to use veal instead of beef, but I prefer beef. If you want it to be super savory use all pork. Again, I prefer half & half. Serve these along with Brunede Kartofler (Caramelized/Browned Potatoes) and/or Rødkål (Red Cabbage).
For leftovers (I was told if you really want to do it like the Danes) slap a few of these onto some toast (or bread) with some mayo. It is good!
I haven’t made these in years, but recently I had a craving for them so I got busy in the kitchen and whipped some up. Mine never look like meatballs. They’re more like patties, but they were still good and brought back some good memories as well.
FRIKADELLER (DANISH MEATBALLS)
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
1 large onion – grated
1/2 c. breadcrumbs
4 Tbsp flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
2-3 cloves of garlic
half & half (or milk) for consistency (1/4 to 1/2 c.) I use milk
3/4 – 2 Tbsp drippings from Frickadeller
a little butter if needed
3 Tbsp flour
1 c. heavy cream (Milk works too)
1 Tbsp. beef bouillon
salt & pepper
Combine beef, pork and onion. Add breadcrumbs, flour, eggs, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and garlic, (it works best if you mix it with your hands).
Slowly add half & half or milk for consistency (you want them to be slightly sticky, you shouldn’t be able to form them into a perfect ball). Coat large skillet well with butter. Drop clumps of mixture (a heaping tablespoon-size) onto the skillet.
Fry on medium to medium low heat until brown (press the meat down lightly with a fork so it flattens out a little.. it should look like a fat hamburger, then flip (approx 3-5 minutes per side). Add more butter with each batch.
Serve with gravy (see below). **Don’t wash the skillet– you will want the brown bits and drippings for the gravy**
For the gravy:
Add the flour to the drippings (add butter if needed). Slowly add cream (or milk) until mixture reaches gravy consistency. Add beef bouillon, salt & pepper to taste.