This recipe for Polish meatballs in sour cream with mushrooms is known as klopsiki w śmietanie grzybami (klohp-SEE-kee vef shmeh-TAHN-yeh zhih-BAH-mee). They can be made with any combination of ground pork, beef, and veal.
The meatballs stay tender if they're browned in a skillet on the stovetop and then transferred to the oven to finish cooking. They can be served with a pan gravy or mushroom sauce and a side of mashed potatoes, dumplings, or rice.
- For the Meatballs:
- 1 slice white bread (stale)
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup milk
- 3/4 pound ground beef (chuck)
- 1/4 to 1/2 pound ground pork (lean)
- 1 small onion (finely chopped)
- 1 large egg (slightly beaten)
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- Optional: 1 to 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons beef stock (or water)
- For the Optional Pan Gravy:
- Defatted pan juices
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups water
- For the Optional Mushroom Sauce:
- 2 ounces dried Polish mushrooms (or dried porcini mushrooms)
- 2 cups boiling water
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 large onion (coarsely chopped)
- 8 ounces button mushrooms (fresh or canned with liquid reserved, sliced)
- 1 teaspoon Vegeta (or beef or chicken base)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Make the Meatballs
In a large bowl, soak bread in milk until soft. Add beef, pork, onion, egg, salt, and pepper to taste and mix thoroughly. If the mixture feels too mushy, add 1 to 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs. To make sure your seasonings are on point, fry up a tiny patty, taste, and adjust as necessary.
Heat oven to 325 F. Using a medium cookie scoop, portion out meatballs, giving a final roll with dampened hands.
Lightly coat a skillet with cooking spray and brown meatballs on all sides. Transfer to a baking pan with a lip, add 2 tablespoons water or stock and bake, uncovered, 30 minutes.
Make the Optional Pan Gravy
If you choose to make a pan gravy instead of a mushroom sauce (see below), defat the pan juices and add 3/4 cup sour cream fork-blended with 2 tablespoons flour and 1 1/2 cups boiling water, whisking until smooth. Cook until thickened. Serve along with meatballs and the starch of your preference. Alternatively, serve the meatballs with mushroom sauce.
Make the Optional Mushroom Sauce
Place dried mushrooms in a heatproof bowl and pour 2 cups boiling water over. Let steep for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, sauté 1 large chopped onion in butter until caramelized. If using fresh mushrooms, add to the saucepan once the onions are translucent. Otherwise, place undrained canned mushrooms in the pan once the onions have fully caramelized.
Using your fingers, lift the dried mushrooms out of their soaking liquid and add to the pan with onions. Carefully add the soaking liquid to the pan, making sure not to disturb the sediment at the bottom.
Add Vegeta or beef or chicken base, salt, and pepper to taste (if using canned mushroom liquid, you probably won't need to add any salt). Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, 30 minutes.
In a medium bowl, fork blend 2 tablespoons flour into 1 cup sour cream. Temper the sour cream by adding 3 ladles of hot mushroom liquid, 1 ladle at a time, and whisking until smooth. Slowly pour the tempered sour cream back into the mushroom sauce, whisking constantly.
Simmer 5 to 10 minutes until thickened and raw flour taste is cooked out. The cooked meatballs can be immersed in this sauce, reheated and served over noodles, mashed potatoes or rice.