I was a young teenager working my first job at a Swedish banquet hall, when I first ate Swedish meatballs. I have loved them ever since! In fact, I get serious cravings for them. I’ve kept this recipe as simple and as close to authentic as possible. Like many traditional recipes, there are a huge number of variations on these meatballs, but I will not waiver from these few, key ingredients. Nutmeg, fried onions and sour cream. To me, those are the flavours that make this dish what it is.
A couple of technical notes:
Fry the onions until they are golden and just starting to crisp at the edges. This adds sweetness and a ton of umami to the meatball mixture.
Once you add the ground meats, bring it all together with your hands, but do not over mix!
Make sure your meatballs have a nice, golden brown colour. The caramelised crust will dissolve into the gravy and infuse it with tons of flavour.
The teaspoon of mustard in the gravy is purely optional. I find that it doesn’t affect the flavour very much, but it does make the gravy more silky and also helps to improve the colour. I can’t stand a grey-ish gravy!
- heavy bottom or cast iron frying pan, large mixing bowl
- 1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 large eggs
- 1 large onion
- 1 lb ground pork
- 2 lb lean ground beef
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 3 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/2 stick butter divided in half. Add more if necessary.
- 3 tbsp flour
- 3 cups beef stock
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup lingonberry jam
- Add bread crumbs to large mixing bowl. Drizzle with milk and set aside to soak.
- Finely chop onion in a food processor or grate by hand.
- Heat pan on medium high and add 1/4 stick of butter. When foam subsides, add chopped onion and fry until golden, about 10 minutes. Let cool.
- Add 2 eggs, salt, pepper, nutmeg, beef and pork to the bread crumbs. When onions are cool enough to handle, add them as well.
- Mix all ingredients in the mixing bowl with your hands until combined. Be careful not to over mix, as this makes the meatballs tough.
- Form into balls that are about 1 inch in diameter.
- Bring the frying pan back up to medium high heat and add extra butter if necessary.
- Fry meatballs in batches of about a dozen each, browning well on all sides, for about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a fire proof dish and fry the next batch until all are golden brown. Cover with foil and keep warm.
- Add remaining butter to pan, setting aside a couple of pats. Heat until nut brown in colour.
- Add flour and cook in the butter to form a roux, about 2 or 3 minutes.
- Add beef stock and stir constantly, while bringing it to the boil and until thickened.
- Add dijon mustard, salt and pepper.
- Before serving, add pats of butter, one at a time and swirl into the gravy.
- Add sour cream, lingonberry jam and parsley to the gravy. Pour over meatballs and serve over mashed potatoes, or rice or noodles, with an additional dollop of jam.