Recently the world was shocked when it was discovered furniture giant IKEA was serving their famous Swedish meatballs laced with horse meat. Well I’ll be a horse’s patootie. They have since removed the meatballs from stores in Europe, Asia and the Dominican Republic. IKEA has also admitted that horse meat has been found in their stuffed cabbages and veal burgers.
Labeling food in Europe is not a science and the Czech inspectors that stumbled on to the scandal also found horse meat in the frozen food sections of European supermarkets in everything from Bubba burgers to lasagna.
But the consumption of horse meat may not be as uncommon as you think. It is a significant food source in many Asian countries along with cats, dogs, pet gold fish and Shanghai wharf rats. About 5 million horses were slaughtered last year for consumption. Horse meat is low in fat, sweet in flavor and can be substituted for just about anything for beef. China and Mexico lead the world in consuming horse meat and interestingly enough, the US butchered horses until2007.
Back to IKEA. Since the news broke I have walked around my house eyeing my IKEA furniture with suspicion. Is that real wood used in my IKEA futon? What other ingredients have been used in making my stainless steel and leather high-top table and captain’s chairs?
Here’s a tip IKEA. This is the real way to make Swedish meatballs.
1 Lb. Ground Beef
1 Lb. Ground Pork
2-3 Slices Day Old Bread, Torn into Pieces
¼ Cup Milk
1 Onion, Sliced Thinly
1 Tsp. Allspice
1 Tsp. Ginger
1 Tsp. Garlic Powder
2 Tbs. Fresh Parsley, Chopped
Salt/Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2 Cups Beef Broth
2 Tbs. Flour
2 Tbs. Butter
¼ Cup Heavy Cream
Fresh Parsley, Chopped
Soak the bread in the milk. Drain off excess milk and combine all ingredients up to the olive oil and large bowl, mixing well. Shape the meatballs in to golf-ball sizes.
Heat olive in a cast-iron skillet and brown the meatballs on all sides. Do not over crowd the skillet, work in batches.
When finished browning the meatballs, deglaze the skillet with 14/cup of the broth. Pour in to a medium sauce pan. Mix the melted butter and flour in the cast-iron skillet forming a blonde roux. Add to sauce pan along with rest of ingredient. Simmer sauce, stirring well. Arrange meatballs on a platter and pour sauce over them. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley.
A horse is a horse of course, of course and the old days of a horse finishing last in a claiming race at the track and getting shipped to the glue factory are hopefully over. No word yet if IKEA has withdrawn its sponsorship from the year’s Kentucky Derby.
Be careful what you eat everybody.