Taste WA Week 4: The Don & Gramma Dorothea's Norwegian Meatballs
Updated: Mar 23
With this week's theme narrowing in on Red Blends & Family recipes, we could not think of a more special pair than Gramma Dorothea’s Norwegian Meatballs and Gård's most beloved red blend, The Don. We are excited to share a recipe so dear to our family which pays homage to Josh’s grandmother, Dorothea (Hegg) Lawrence, whose parents immigrated from Norway in the early 1900s. Eventually settling in Hoquiam, Washington, which is where she married Hervey Lawrence. Dorothea raised her family with some amazing stick-to-your-ribs home cooking, featuring Norwegian favorites like her meatball recipe – still a fixture at all Lawrence family gatherings. It is our honor and pleasure to now share the recipe for this family favorite with you in week four of Taste WA Wine Month.
If you are following along with our Taste WA Wine Month weekly recipes series, be sure to check out Gård's Taste WA 5-pack, comprised of one carefully selected wine for each week/recipe.
We would love to see your version of Grandma's meatballs! If you give them a try and feel like sharing on Facebook or Instagram, don't forget to tag @gardvintners or email pics to marketing manager Jen. This week we raise a glass of The Don to accompany our family meatballs in honor of Taste WA – skål!
2 lbs ground beef
12 oz pork sausage
2 slices of bread ½ c evaporated milk
1 egg ¼ c onion, grated
1 tsp salt 1/8 tsp pepper 1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp Allspice
½ tsp ginger
¼ tsp mace
22 oz cream of chicken soup
32 oz beef broth
2 tbsp flour + 4 tbsp cold water whisked together for slurry
1. Meatballs: In mixing bowl, pour milk over bread, then add egg, onion, spices and cornstarch and mix gently with hands to combine. Add sausage and mix well, then add beef a little at a time gently mixing well with hands with each addition. If necessary, add up to 1 tbsp of water to make mixing easier.
2. Heat Dutch oven on medium heat. Form meat mixture into medium-sized balls, add to Dutch oven in batches to brown on all sides then remove from pan. (Meatballs will not be
cooked through, but will finish cooking in oven later.)
3. Gravy: Once the meatballs are browned and removed, deglaze pan with a portion of the beef broth, whisking to get tasty bits off bottom of pan. Whisk in cream of chicken soup and rest of beef broth. Bring to boil, add slurry and return to boil while whisking – add more or less slurry if thicker or thinner consistency is preferred.
4. Gently add the browned meatballs to the gravy and bake in oven at 350 degrees for at least an hour, or until meatballs are well cooked and soft. (Alternatively, the gravy and meatballs can be put in a slow cooker to simmer for several hours.) Serve over boiled potatoes, our family’s tradition, or noodles or rice, if preferred. Add lingonberry jam to accompany, if preferred (somewhat akin to pairing cranberry sauce with turkey at Thanksgiving). Meatballs are excellent served as leftovers for several days.
Much like Grandma Dorothea's Meatballs, The Don is a very special wine to our family, as well as our farm. The Don is named for our vineyard manager, Isidro Mondragon, and has been in production since 2007 as a Gård fan favorite. This tasty Cab Sauv blend excels as an everyday accompaniment to just about any meal, from a juicy filet to Grandma's meatballs. You'd be hard-pressed to find a more balanced and complex wine at this price point.
77% Cabernet Sauvignon 13% Syrah 6% Cabernet Franc 2% Merlot 2% Malbec | Royal Slope AVA | Lawrence Vineyards | 1500 cases produced
Dorothea’s best friend - equally impressive in the kitchen and adored as a grandmother figure in the Lawrence family - was her sister Helen Southard (shown to the right of Dorothea in left photo). Both widowed relatively early in life, these two matriarchs were warm and sweet, quick-witted and smart, and maybe just a skosh stubborn at times. Josh and Lisa fondly remember dropping in to Gramma’s house unannounced on several occasions and somehow Dorothea always had a warm, homemade meal ready before they could say “no, thank you,” usually accompanied by homemade rolls, and of course a homemade dessert and lively discussion with a healthy dose of grandmotherly advice.
Photo on the right pictures Dorothea’s parents, Pete and Hannah Hegg, who immigrated to the US from Norway.