Simmering meatballs in a rich gravy with mushrooms and herbs is a classic meatball recipe. There's nothing crazy or out of the ordinary here, except that I'm using some wild mushrooms instead of ones from the store, and some nice ground pork shoulder from a pig I butchered.
I used ground pork here, but you could use just about anything as long as it has a decent amount of fat. Ground lamb and goat work well too. I don't like to use lean ground beef.
Feel free to use your favorite mushrooms here. I used a wild one I like called the Resinous Polypore (Ischnoderma resinosum), but golden chanterelles or morels make will make a really good version too.
Using dried mushrooms
This is a great place to use dried mushrooms. To do that, you'll need to soak ½ oz of dried mushrooms in the stock called for in the recipe to cover until hydrated, about 15 minutes. Add some extra water if the mushrooms aren't completely covered.
Agitate the mushrooms to remove any grit they may contain, then strain the liquid and reserve both separately.
Squeeze the water from the mushrooms and add them to the pan after cooking the meatballs as directed and cook them for a few minutes to put some color on them. Finally
The Ischnoderma is really the focal point here-the meatballs could be whatever you want. I was using ground venison that was very lean, so these are long-cooked meatballs, and will need about 45 minutes to get nice and tender.
How to Serve
This can be an appetizer, as you would serve Swedish meatballs. I like it fine as a snack, but it's even better with mashed potatoes and a side of wilted greens. A light green salad can be nice too.
If you want to serve it as an appetizer, I like to serve it with toast or a soft roll to soak up all the juices.
Meatballs with Mushroom Gravy
- 1 large mixing bowl
- 1 large skillet
Meatballs (you can use 1 lb prepared meatballs instead of making your own)
- ¼ cup dried, powdered mushrooms such as porcini or chanterelles
- ½ cup breadcrumbs
- 1 lb ground pork preferably shoulder
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 large egg
- 1 Teaspoon Kosher slat
- 1 small clove of garlic, grated
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 oz yellow onion, minced
- 1 splash Brandy
- 4 Oz Fresh mushrooms chopped or sliced depending on the mushroom
- 2 cups meat stock preferably homemade
- ½ cup sour cream at room temperature or use heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour or equivalent
- 3 tablespoons light olive oil or butter
- Splash of brandy optional
- Kosher salt to taste
- 1 large shallot finely diced or ½ cup finely diced yellow onion
- 1 dash Worcestershire sauce
- Sweat the garlic and onion in a small pan with 1 teaspoon of oil for 2-3 minutes or until translucent. Remove them to a bowl you will mix the meatballs in (I like to use a stand mixer).
- Mix the breadcrumbs and dried mushrooms if using. Heat the cream until hot, then pour over the mushrooms and breadcrumbs. Cool for a minute, then beat in the egg. Mix in the ground pork and remaining ingredients, roll in to balls and reserve.
- Brown the meatballs well, until golden brown, then remove and reserve. Add the mushrooms and cook in the fat for 3-4 minutes, or until they've released their water, then add shallot or onion and cook for a few minutes more. See note*
- If the pan looks dry, add some more fat. Add the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring to coat with the fat. Add the brandy if using and cook for a minute.
- Gradually add the stock, dash of Worcestershire. Add themeatballs back to the pot, and and simmer on the lowest heat possible until the meatballs are tender, about 45 minutes (if you want to use heavy cream instead of sour cream, add that now).
- Before serving, stir in the sour cream, thyme, and heat through, but do not boil. Taste for salt, adjust as needed, then serve. These would love to be alongside mashed potatoes.