Swedish Meatballs

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!

Swedish Meatballs

The classic Swedish dish of pork and beef meatballs.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Nordic
Servings: 8

Equipment

  • heavy bottom or cast iron frying pan, large mixing bowl

Ingredients

Meatballs

  • 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.

Gravy

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

 

Summary
Recipe Name
Swedish Meatballs
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