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Norwegian Meatballs
© Raymond Hom

Norwegian Meatballs


In Scandilicious, her new cookbook, London-based Signe Johansen shares her unusual cocoa-sauced meatball recipe.


  1. 3/4 cup milk
  2. 1 tablespoon whole-milk plain yogurt
  3. 3 slices of white sourdough bread, crusts removed
  4. 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  5. 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  6. 1 tablespoon ground allspice
  7. 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  8. 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  9. 1 pound ground lamb
  10. 1 pound ground veal
  11. 1 large egg yolk
  12. 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  13. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. 1 quart beef stock
  2. 1/3 cup brandy
  3. 1 1/2 cups crème fraîche (12 ounces)
  4. 3 ounces gjetost cheese, shredded (1 cup); see Note
  5. 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  6. Mashed potatoes and rutabagas, for serving
  1. Prepare the meatballs In a medium bowl, mix the milk and yogurt. Add the bread and press to submerge. Let stand until saturated, about 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet, heat the oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until softened, 8 minutes. Add the allspice, ginger and nutmeg and cook for 1 minute.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the ground lamb and veal with the bread mixture, onion and egg yolk. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper and blend thoroughly. Form into 80 rounded-teaspoon-size meatballs.
  4. Preheat a grill pan. Oil the pan and grill the meatballs in batches over moderate heat, turning, until lightly charred, about 5 minutes per batch.
  5. MAKE THE GRAVY In a large, deep skillet, boil the stock over high heat until reduced to 2 cups, 10 minutes. Add the brandy and boil for 2 minutes. Whisk in the crème fraîche, gjetost cheese and cocoa powder and bring to a simmer.
  6. Add the grilled meatballs and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the meatballs are cooked through and the gravy is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Serve with mashed potatoes and rutabagas.

Gjetost,a sweet, semifirm Scandinavian cheese, is available at cheese shops and online at

Suggested Pairing

Spicy, berried Rhône red.



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