Recreating Famous Swedish Meatballs From Taste | Bon Appétit

Recreating Famous Swedish Meatballs From Taste | Bon Appétit

– Hey guys, it’s Brad Leone and I’m here for a secret conversation about Chris Morocco. Once again, we’re going to put Chris’s superstar abilities to the test. This is Marcus Samuelsson’s Swedish meatballs.

We’re challenging Chris to replicate this exact dish, with every ingredient in just one day. He’ll be able to taste it, touch it, smell it, but at no point will Chris ever be able to see this dish. Because he only has one day, we’re going to give Chris three lifelines.

But here’s the catch, using them will dock points off his final score. At the end of the day, we’ll be coming back to see his final creations. And I will be the guest judge giving him his final score.

– Throughout like all of, kind of, like quarantine and COVID and everything. I think I’ve been eating like nothing but like burgers, pizza, and nachos. So if it’s anything, but those things, like, I probably don’t have a chance of getting it at all.

First thing that came to mind is that I smell pickle, almost like you’re getting like special sauce, you know. Whoa, we got some squidge, some bouncy possibly meaty kind of thing here. Can’t count, four.

And then there’s like a whole separate, oh, God, soft things everywhere, you know, like when you did your first haunted house as a kid. What? What was that? Let’s go back to these. Mmh. I was like, what I was smelling is not at all what I’m tasting right now.

I’m getting, I would wanna say like a beef meatball but with like a pretty high proportion of bread in it, like the sweetness is very pronounced. I think that’s what was kind of giving me that, like, that sweet and sour kind of pickle aspect, like almost like a bread and butter pickle.

But, I never in a million years would have guessed that it was coming from a meatball. I think I just got a piece of parsley in the meatball or outside of the meatball. So I’m moving on from the meatballs.

Wait, hold on. Oh, there was a pickle there. Ah, okay. So like I’m feeling slightly relieved and gratified that there does seem to be a full sour pickle. It’s too quiet in here. And you’d like, can you just pipe in Brad’s voice? Just like booming around in the back, like clattering and screaming fermentation crocks.

And then there was like a pool of some kind of saucy thing over here. I’m guessing that that’s lingonberry jam with some kind of like Swedish meatball or something. The only issue being, I have no idea what goes into Swedish meatballs or what in fact makes them Swedish.

Whatever amount of crispiness that was on the exterior of this meatball has been reduced by the fact of, you know, being kinda simmered in that sauce. That would it make sense for it to all be stove top? It probably would, right.

I feel like there’s a little bit of like really finely chopped onion in there somewhere. What’s in the sauce though? What’s in the sauce? Like I’d wanna say that there would probably be some beef broth.

This fruit preserve. It’s like almost not as sweet as the sauces. So point being like, how much of that do you have to put into the sauce in order to get the sauce to read as sweet as it is? You know, do you just put outright sugar in the sauce of like a meatball? I mean, maybe.

All right. I don’t know. I think that’s like as far as I can go with it. What is that? – Do your kids have a Nintendo Switch? – I’m hoping they make it well into teenager-hood before they ever even realized that such a thing as a Nintendo even exists.

Are you kidding? I feel like I wouldn’t pass to you all to give me a Marcus Samuelsson recipe. So that I have to like fail at it and then have to like look him in the eye for like the next, like, you know, five years at Bon Appetit and never live it down, that like I don’t know what a Swedish meatball is.

Oh, let’s just back up for a second. You know, we have a whole new kind of like sort of format where I have like basically a day to taste the dish and execute the dish. A couple of times. I’m gonna come up with a list here, we’ll get ingredients and then I’ll have kind of a couple of shots at doing this.

Ground 20%, beef, panko or bread. Maybe we’ll go with bread on this. We’ll try bread first, onion, garlic, egg, for the sauce, let’s say beef broth. White wine. I’ll put brandy with a question mark. And let’s see if anybody happens to have a bottle of brandy lying around, red or white wine, then, flour, question mark, sugar, lingonberry jam and sour pickles.

I mean, there’s just, there’s not that many ingredients here. We’re gonna come back. Hopefully I’ll have all this stuff here and we’ll be ready to go with the first pass. So, we’ll see. You know, they gave me a bottle of wine that has some wine gone from it, but not that much wine, same thing with our good old E&J brandy here.

Like, did you specifically direct them to take some of the liquid out of there? You know. And just like pour it right down the drain just to mess with my head. I don’t know. This is kinda what I’m wondering.

Let’s make our meatball mixture. I’ll serum and then we can talk about how to construct our sauce. So I still don’t really know. I just wanna make this like super fine, cause I don’t really want much texture from it.

It sucks to have to cook off onion or other alliums before putting them in a meatball, feel like you want just really finely chopped onion or something in there. Am I 100% on that? Not 100% on anything today, you know.

Garlic, I would put it in a meatball. Is it 100% in there? I don’t know. I never know with meatballs. Is it bread or is it bread crumb? Maybe we should just see if Summer has breadcrumbs. You know what I mean? Summer do you have just plain breadcrumbs.

– I do. – Okay. I feel like we’re finally getting somewhere. All right. So that was a cup of just regular breadcrumb. That’s a half a cup of milk. This is called a pinade, it’s a mixture of, you know, bread, you know, an egg or other liquid.

It’s like, that’s a lot of business, you know, kinda going into ground beef. There could be another meat mixed in with ground beef but I just feel like it’s pretty annoying to call for, 1/3 of a pound of beef, 1/3 of a pound of pork, 1/3 of a pound of veal.

But anyway, if you know, that’s what’s going on in this recipe, I apologize in advance for saying that. We’re gonna add some salt to this. Wait, is this the curse Mortons? They come back to like haunt my soul.

It’s like gravel. Black pepper, anyway, or are they really just this simple? Oh, thanks for reminding me to put the onion in, John. I like seriously. I just expect a little more. I think we’ll do kind of like three tablespoons maybe.

So like something like in that range. All right. These are starting to get a little big. This is like the Italian in me coming out. All right. So that is, now, right. A nice even, 17. No recipe ever calls for a prime number of anything.

So I’m just using some neutral oil. I feel like I could have made them even smaller. The nice thing about browning meatballs on the stove top is just that you have a ton of control, right? It can kinda cook through sort of gently in the sauce.

Like after the fact. When I’ve seen Swedish meatballs, I’m thinking like seriously, like, you know, Ikea cafeteria. I think of something that’s like in a little bit more of like gravy, but I don’t feel like I tasted gravy this morning.

I think we’re gonna want to pull these out after they’re all like really nicely browned, you know, Brown the other half and then these are really gonna have to finish cooking through in our sauce. Feels a little crazy to even be thinking about putting brandy in this.

But I think we’re gonna do it. Almost smells like caramel, like that vanilla kinda quality to it. I mean, at least you guys got a show, right? Maybe it’s a question of like wine and vinegar going in, like at the same time, I don’t know.

We’re kinda all over the road here, but you know, let’s go with like white wine vinegar, hold on, I’m throwing it back, throwing it back. We’re going with red wine vinegar. Let’s do a couple of tablespoons of this now.

Let’s cook this right out. Beef broth is gonna go in on top that. And we’ll see. What else makes things sweet? Not more of this. Right off the bat. Like I wanna throw some sugar in there. Sour and it’s flat and pretty bad.

Potential black salt. It’s still kind of burns with acidity, but now that we’ve got some beef broth in there, if the flavors are in a reasonable place, then we’ll drop the meatballs in and then just let it cook down around them.

It’s really weird. The broth in there, it’s like it almost wants to be sweeter and more sour. The lingonberry could definitely be part of it. What I do think is interesting about these, is that it’s not very sweet and it’s not super sour.

So I don’t know. Let’s just like, go for it. Screw it, right. It can only get worse. Definitely made it better. Made it a lot better. All of a sudden like the sweet and sour character is like way more present.

I wanna cook these meatballs through but I also want to take this mixture like right down until it’s kinda glazey. I think the biggest doubt that I have, is just about when you taste sweet and sour, what’s it coming from? Like if you’re looking for something kind of like, you know, briny and salty, like obviously like pickle brine is great.

And do I feel like pickle brine makes sense though? Like not really, I’m gonna give myself a knocking bad with this one. Let’s plate it up. I think, I think we’re good. I mean, we’re a little short on sauce but for a first pass it’s okay.

I think I got a little bit lost in the woods when it comes to the sources of sweet and sour, the sauce instantly became so much better. Once the lingonberry preserve went in there. I’d say like an ingredients, like I’m maybe around like a 78 right now, the vinegar or the brandy or the wine, like one to two of those probably can come out.

Also there very well could be onion or shallot kinda sweated down in the sauce that is also missing. So taste, you know, I think we have that kinda crispy gone soggy, edge very well-represented here. Some of that browning, it’s a little too far.

But I feel pretty good about just the overall kinda construction and approach. I think I’m like, you know, at like an 88 there. It feels pretty good to me. I think overall technique like, stove top method for browning the meatball, cooking out in liquid, the construction of the meatball, the breadcrumb.

I would give myself an 85. I mean, appearance, come on. That’s pretty good. It’s like three distinct elements on a plate. Maybe they’re a touch big, like 95. Come on, come on. So for round two, we’re gonna brown the meatballs, but less.

No brandy. Can we get there just with like the beef, a little wine and lingonberries. Do you remember like what sweet little innocent dubs we were back in the spring thinking that like June was a long time to wait to see a “Top Gun Maverick”, watching the first trailer and then watching the second trailer.

Okay. – Okay. – That we live in a world that is so cruel that we have to wait until June to see that movie. I just don’t know that I can take it. – It’s okay, it’s gonna be here before you know it. – The world is just like, ha ha Chris, you know, like you’ve waited, what? 30, some odd years for a sequel.

Why don’t you wait another year? You know. Like that just feels cruel to me. So we’re just gonna cut up some shallots. So it’s good to go in our sauce. Where does like sweet and sour and where does gravy intersect.

If they do. I don’t know. I feel like I’m missing something. We’re gonna have our diced onion from before. Still gonna go with a cup of this fine breadcrumb here and do two eggs again. Should we go for one handed? Boom.

I like them apples. Two for two. Somebody has been busy during quarantine. Huh? All right, we want salt and pepper. So we’re going with a 100% beef. There could be pork in there, but I don’t know. It just doesn’t make sense.

Not a prime number. So we’re going for a little less browning this time. Did y’all miss the moment where I guessed which Pokemon was on Morgan’s shirt. Did you miss that? Alolan Marowak. Okay? So that’s three point bonus, before Matt tries to take it away.

You guys, you guys were there now. You can only learn so much with an eight months being locked inside with your children. Okay. So brown, but like not as brown. I’m gonna air on the side of doing shallot.

White wine, take it down. Gonna take it up a notch. How come when Emeril says it, it’s like, there’s cheers from like the back of the room. And I say like, let’s take it up a notch. And it’s like nothing.

Nothing. Nothing. Throw a little black pepper in at this stage. More volume of sauce this time. So I’m gonna do more like a cup and a half of stock. Lingonberry is going in right now. And we’re gonna see where we’re at flavor-wise.

It’s nowhere near enough. Let’s double it. And we have like plenty of fat here. We have plenty of gelatin from like that nice beef broth, you know, like we don’t need more fat from dairy, you know, but it fits a little bit more in the back of my head, in terms of like what I recall seeing at the Ikea dining hall.

If I wanna ask if there’s a dairy product that needs to go in here. Is there a dairy product that belongs in this sauce? – Yes, there is a different dairy product. – There’s a dairy product. Hmm.

Hey summer, do you have cream? – Oh, yeah. – Like this is a quarter cup of cream. That seems closer to Swedish meatball, right? Little weird. It’s like the red of the lingonberry combined with the cream just makes this sort of lob maybe.

All right. We can take us down just a little bit further. And then I think we’re there. Cut up some parsley. Means it’s good. You really get the sweetness and the tartness and it’s very rich, even just like the littlest bit of drizzle on your plate and you know, you’d really taste it, really prevalently the way I did.

Also, if it were a little cooler it would be a little more clingy. So brandy came out, red wine vinegar came out, sugar came out, cream went in, shallot went in. So, I think we got closer on ingredients.

I can’t remember what I was at before. Maybe a 78. I’d say I’m like up at 83 now. Flavor I’d say like, we’re really close. I’m gonna hold steady at 88 for flavor, something about the meatball. I feel like that that might be slightly off.

Technique, I don’t think anything really changed that significantly here. So whatever I gave myself before I’m happy to take that again. And then appearance. Certainly the sauce looks a good bit different this time.

I gave myself a 92 before. – 95. – really? Oh, I was just like giving them out them, then, huh? Yeah, I don’t know. I let’s back off to like a 92 on that. Feel like it could have been a little bit stickier this go around.

But, yeah. – Oh, sorry. We’ll do that again. All right. From the top. Buddy. It’s good to see ya’. – It’s good to see you. It’s been a little while. – I’m really glad you’re back in.

You’re back on the saddle. How do you think you did this round? – I don’t know. I mean, I feel like I have a good sense of what the dish is, but whether or not I exactly nailed the original. Yeah, I don’t know.

I feel like there’s a few things kind of escaping me in there. – You know, maybe I’m just a little too easy but if you can pick what the dish is, I mean, that’s a win where I come from bud. – Call me old fashioned.

But like when I was growing up, that was a win, you know. – That’s a W all day pal. – I’m sticking with what I said this morning, which is that, this is Swedish meatballs. And I think the chef is Marcus Samuelsson, because it would be just like this bunch of jerks.

– I present to you. Drum roll, please. Marcus Samuelsson’s Swedish meatballs, bud. That’s a W. Good job, Chris. – I mean, the thing that I knew looking at it that was just sort of like, this can’t really be right, is like the color of the lingonberry jam in the gravy.

This is sort of the look that I kind of like have in the back of my head from like the Ikea Cafeteria. It’s a meatball in a very tight gravy, but how do you get there? – So we’ll just start with ingredients, all right.

You know, the powers that be, they gave you an 80. All right. That’s a B Chris. That’s all right. What was your meatball mixture? – My meatball was 100% beef, because, you know, who wants to buy 1/2 a pound of beef and 1/2 a pound to anything else? And I did a breadcrumb.

A little bit of onion. A little bit of garlic. – What kind of onion? – It Wasn’t like, I didn’t… Yellow. – Maybe you should’ve went red, but you know what, how were you supposed to notice? – Red? Are you kidding me? – Hey, Hey, this is a family show.

– Red onion? – Red onion. And you know what? 1/2 a pound who wants to buy that? Chris, a lot of people, it was 33 and a 1/3, three ways. Pork, veal and beef. Yeah, it’s annoying. – We talked about it.

Okay. – But it’s gonna cost you a couple of points. – All right. – In the sauce, there’s chicken stock, heavy cream. lingonberry preserve. – Yeah. – All right. Nailed it, bud. Maybe just dial back a little bit.

Cucumber pickling liquid, love that, Marcus. Love that. And a little bit of salt and pepper. – But all the sweetness is coming from a lingonberry, there’s no additional sugar? – In the meatball? – No, I got sweetness from the sauce.

I did not get a ton of sweetness from the meatball itself. – Just for your mental head space, there is some honey in the mediums. – What else makes things sweet? – Yeah. That’s just the way the cookie crumbles.

Technique, Chris. All right. On a scale to one to 100. All right. First of all, I just wanna say, I didn’t have any part in this, okay. And in the grading of this, but you know, we have a great team. – What are you setting me up for? – Technique 70.

You had a 70. – A 70? – I knew you wouldn’t be happy with it. – 70? What is happening? – It’s called high school for Brad, Chris. You gotta see it’s called you’re moving on, to bigger and better things.

Okay. I’m assuming you used the skillet or a cast iron. – Yes. – Good old Marcus though. Did them on the grill, Chris. – What grill? – I know, you were set up for failure. You know. And it’s fine. I blame Marcus.

What kind of a monster. I’m just kidding. It’s a great idea. – What kind of monster? It’s a great idea. That’s what’s so annoying about it. Let’s go, Marcus. He sweat out the onions in the meatball and a little olive oil beforehand.

Soaked his bread crumbs in heavy cream. You nailed everything else. – That’s a C minus, a C minus? That’s like a Morocco F, come on. – I respect that, Chris. And you know what? That brings us right to appearance.

Okay. And we’re gonna pick it right back up to the Morocco, the Morocco, what he’s used to here and we’re gonna get a 90, okay. And that’s an A. – 90? – Write on the paper put it on the fridge. – That is A minus that like, Oh, this is like terrible.

What grill was I gonna use by the way? Like where, you know, like where, which drawer is the grill in? – It’s in the oven. – Well, it’s fine, Summer`. You keep your grill. I’ll remember this tomorrow though.

– And then, planning forward, right. Flavor. Given the current circumstances, Chris, it looks like you’re a table for one there. How do you think you did flavor wise comparison. Pretty good. Isn’t it? – It’s pretty good.

And the things that really matter most, I’m like 85. The sweetness of the meatball, I think is really like why I’m docking myself the most point. – The meat blend is a big one. Final score, all right.

Of this dish, of this project. And it is an 80 Chris. Eight zero, flat 80. – Okay. – I think it’s a great number. Personally, I would have gave you an 86, sticker, B plus. You get home. You enjoy the weekend.

All right. You earned it buddy. That’s what I’m talking about. – Dude, thank you. I appreciate it. – That’s what I’m talking about. End of credit. End credits, baby. Whoo! – Boom, just for you, Brad.