Pheasant Swedish Meatballs

Time for another pheasant recipe. I’m cycling through meatball recipes and today’s is Swedish. Unlike the savory meatballs I made recently, I’m not adding any other meat to this meatball, but letting it stand on its own with the allspice and nutmeg and sour cream sauce. I see that some people use regular cream and some use sour cream. I guess the sour cream lends a Stroganoff air to the meal, which I think we will like. If I were using plain heavy cream, I would add a little soy sauce to the gravy.

I love meatballs in appearance and for eating, but I must say that I really hate standing around trying to brown them all over, and I usually end up with two flat browned sides and a greyish band around the middle. The next meatball recipe will likely have them simmering in a broth or sauce to cook.

Pheasant Swedish Meatballs

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

This recipe is a variation of Alton Brown’s recipe on the Food Network site.

2 slices fresh white bread, torn in small pieces

1/4 cup milk

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

6-8 tablespoons butter, divided

Olive oil for browning

1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided

2 lbs ground pheasant (boneless, skinless breasts from 5 pheasants)

2 large egg yolks

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

6 tablespoons flour

3 cups beef broth

3/4 cup sour cream

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, soak the bread pieces and milk. Set aside.
  2. Sauté the onions in 1 tablespoon of the butter and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt until translucent. Set aside to cool.
  3. Add the ground pheasant, egg yolks, remaining kosher salt, black pepper, allspice, nutmeg, and cooled onions. Beat on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes. I find it kind of odd to mix meat like this, but it did not come out overworked, as I feared it might.
  4. Shape the mixture into small meatballs—I used a 2 teaspoon scoop— and brown in a combination of butter and olive oil over medium-high heat until brown on all sides (of course a round meatball doesn’t really have sides). Remove the meatballs to a dish while you make the sauce. If you think the meatballs are not cooked through, you can set the dish in a 250°-300° oven while you make the sauce, but they should be small enough to cook in the pan.
  5. Pour off any oil remaining in the pan. Decrease the heat to low and add 6 tablespoons of butter.
  6. Stir in the flour until there are no lumps and it is lightly browned. Add the beef stock, stirring until it thickens. Stir in the sour cream. Add the meatballs and heat for 1-2 minutes.

Serve as an appetizer or as a main dish with noodles.


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