A total comfort food dinner in its traditional form, I wasn't sure how the veggie balls, made from bulgur wheat, chickpeas, shiitake mushrooms, breadcrumbs, egg and lots of seasoning would compare, but honestly they had pretty convincing texture and were full of earthy flavours thanks to the mushrooms.
I also whipped up a quick mashed potato and then plated the whole thing up with a sweet topping of cranberry jam - in Sweden lingonberry jam is used but cranberry does pretty much the same job, and even though the mix of the creamy, rich sauce, mash, balls and jam sounds odd it works SO WELL, trust me on this one.
I absolutely adored this dinner and at no point was I thinking that I was eating an inferior version of the real deal, indeed I think even a committed meat eater would be won over by this dinner.
A dinner perfect for colder autumn nights and one that will evoke memories of IKEA trips with no animals harmed!
INGREDIENTSFOR THE MEATBALLS
- 75g (½ cup) dry bulgur wheat (cooked and cooled, excess water removed)
- 125 g (4.5 oz.) shiitake mushrooms
- 1 (400 g/15-ounce) can chickpeas
- 50 g (⅓ cup) breadcrumbs
- 60ml (¼ cup) sour cream
- 1 large egg
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
FOR THE SAUCE
- 30 g (2tablespoon) unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 350 ml (1 ½ cup) vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoon sour cream
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- Pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Buttery potato mash
- Lingonberry or cranberry jam / sauce
MAKE THE "MEATBALLS"
- Heat the oven to 190C
- In a food processor, pulse the mushrooms until finely chopped, but not pureed.
- Remove them from the food processor into a large bowl.
- Do the same with the chickpeas.
- Add all the remaining ingredients into the bowl over the mushrooms and chickpeas and mix well with a spatula until blended.
- Form into meatballs, arrange them on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and bake for approximately 20 minutes until golden brown.
- You can spray them with a bit of oil if you want and turn them halfway so they bake evenly.
MAKE THE SAUCE
- Meanwhile, heat the butter in a large saucepan and add the flour when it's melted.
- Whisk constantly for 1-2 minutes until it thickens and starts to change color.
- Add the vegetable stock, and simmer for 2-3 minutes until it thickens.
- Add more stock if you want the gravy thinner.
- When the sauce reaches the desired consistency, add the sour cream, Dijon mustard and onion powder. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add the meatballs to the sauce and make sure they are coated by gently spooning the gravy over them. Serve immediately over mashed potatoes and topped with the berry jam of your choice!