Elk Swedish Meatballs

I grew up in a mostly normal family and like most families we had holiday traditions. My grandparents had a house on Leech Lake and many years we would head up there for Christmas. My Grandmother would hook up an old dog sled to the snowmobile and we would all pile on. We would drive down to Harold Price's house because he was the forest warden for the area and by a one dollar permit to cut a tree. Grandma would take us off into the woods and we would pick out the tree we wanted for Christmas and she would cut it down. It is one of those childhood memories I wish everyone could have.

We would go home and set the tree up in the garage and turn some space heaters on to melt off any ice and snow and then bring it in and decorate it. My Grandparents house was the perfect setting for Christmas. the snow was always deep and the lake was a vast sheet of white that seemed to go on forever. There was always hot chocolate and sugar cookies and my grandmas gingersnaps that are out of this world amazing.

My grandfathers was Swedish and when it came time to eat the Christmas meal it was a Swedish Smorgasbord. Pickled herring with rye bread and Krumkake. There was always a little Glugg being poured and of course Grandpa always had a little dish of Lutefisk. The highlight every year was the Swedish Potato sausage and the Swedish meatballs. I have played around with sausage recipe over the years and I believe that I have improve it and I make Glugg and krumkake every year. I have never attempted to make lutefisk and I have also never made Swedish meatballs.

When I was looking through some of the recipes that my grandmother gave me I found her recipe for Swedish meatballs and I finally decided to give the meatballs a try. The only question was going to be what kind of meat to use. Grandma's recipe it mostly pork with some beef mixed in. When I remade the sausages I changed the meat to venison with a little pork mixed in so I was going to go with venison on these meatballs as well. The only problem is I didn't have any deer in the freezer. I did have a bag of elk stew meat so I decided to use that. The seasonings are mostly the same but in different proportions.  I was also going to try and make the gravy a little fancier but sometimes you just shouldn't reinvent the wheel.  This is a recipe that makes about 12 pounds of meatball mix I freeze it into 2 pound bags so that I can give it away as gifts and then have several make ahead meals ready.

Swedish Meatballs

6 lbs venison (elk, moose, deer)
4 lbs fatty pork butt
3 large onion
6 eggs
3 cups whole milk
2 cups plain bread crumbs
6 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon black pepper
1 whole nutmeg grated
4 tsp ground sage
4 tsp allspice

With a medium grinding plate on your grinder grind the meat and the onions together. Once the meat and onions are ground mix in the rest of the ingredients and mix until the meatball mix binds together.  Make a sample patty and fry it in butter and taste, adjust seasoning to your liking.

to make the meatballs rolls out as many meatballs as bog or as little as you like. Brown the Meatballs on all side and then transfer to a baking dish.

To make the meatball gravy mix one can of Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup with 1 1/2 cups of milk.  Add 1tsp nutmeg and 1 teaspoon allspice to the soup and pour over a pan of meatball.

Cover the pan with tin foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for one hour.

Serve your meatballs with boiled potatoes and enjoy.