Updated: Jul 6
Meatballs are immediately reconcilable as Scandinavian and something that anyone who has visited Ikea will well know! But fricassée maybe not so much. Parts of Norwegian cuisine are an amalgamation of other cuisines and fricassée has its roots in France. As the famous French king William the Conqueror was 3rd generation Viking it's hardly surprising the connection. This delicious dish is a traditional favourite in Norway and something well worth trying if you are a fan of Scandinavian food and seasonal eating.
This is one of those wonderful autumn dishes that is fragrant and immediately comforting. It reheats really nicely and can happily be made the day before if you want to be able to just heat and serve.
In my recipe I frequently swap the vegetables around for whatever I have in the fridge and what is in season, so don't be afraid to change the ingredients slightly.
Bollefrikassé (Meatball Fricassée). Serves 4 hungry people
For the meatballs:
800g / 28 oz pork mince
3 tablespoons potato flour or potato starch
200ml / 6.75 fl oz milk
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley or chives
4 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons plain all purpose flour
2 onions, finely sliced
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
5 carrots, peeled and chopped or sliced into good sized pieces
1 parsnip, peeled, and chopped into good sized pieces. You can substitute another root vegetable such as rutabaga or celeriac if you wish
1 leek, white part cleaned and sliced into 2cm chunks
1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
1 teaspoon whole coriander seeds, lightly crushed
1500ml / 50 fl oz stock or bouillon
300ml / 10 fl oz double or heavy cream
1 tablespoon finely chopped dill
Put all the meatball ingredients into a large bowl and mix together well with your hands. If you prefer you can use a stand mixer with a paddle attachment. The mixture will be soft and slightly wetter than normal netball.
In a large saucepan melt 1 tablespoon of the butter and gently fry the onion until it starts to turn a golden brown. You will need to stir it regularly and it will take about 15 minutes.
Once the onion is turning brown, add the garlic and fry for a couple more minutes.
Whilst the onion is cooking make the meatballs by shaping walnut size pieces into smooth balls. It's easier to do if you dip your hands into a small bowl of cold water first. The mince will not stick to the palms of your hands. Put them on a plate to one side for a few minutes.
Add the stock, peppercorns and coriander seeds to the onions and bring to a gentle simmer. Carefully drop each meatball into the stock and simmer very gently for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes lift the meatballs out with a slotted spoon and put them on a plate.
Add the rest of the vegetables, except the leek, to the stock and bring back up to a simmer for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
Add the leeks for the last couple of minutes.
Strain the vegetables through a colander that is standing over a bowl. You will need the stock for the next process.
In the original pan, melt the remaining 3 tablespoons butter and stir in the flour. Allow it to cook for a minute or two before gradually adding the stock that you have kept to one side. Bring to the boil, stirring continuously for a minute.
Stir in the cream and chopped dill and carefully return the meatballs and vegetables to the sauce.
Reheat for about 5 minutes until piping hot.
Serve with some simple boiled potatoes for a delicious and traditional Norwegian dish.
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