We have all been there. You have just dragged your corpus all around that Swedish furniture store. You meant to buy just a few small bits but now you seem to have a new wardrobe, a clock, and tonnes of kitchen stuff. All random and unnecessary just a few hours ago but now you need them all! Elated and shattered and there is only one thing left to do. The meatballs! And maybe the hot dog.
I have had Swedish meatballs in Sweden too and they are remarkably similar. The frozen ones that IKEA sells in their food shop is the brand that most people use in Sweden, I have been told. They have them with cream sauce and tart lingonberries, bright and subdued with a bit of sugar, sometimes a lingonberry jam. A vitamin injection on the side of your meatballs on a dark winters night when all is frozen over outside.
Swedish meatballs are traditionally a combination of pork and beef, served in a cream sauce which is essentially a bechamel made with stock (beef, but I like chicken too, a little lighter and I have a lot of love for a fresh homemade chicken stock), tart with sour cream, or cream and mustard.
To get a lovely bouncy meatball bread is essential (there must be gluten free options too, I will investigate), soaked in milk and mixed with the meat. Some seasoning, best salt, fresh cracked black pepper and allspice, which is a must for a proper Swedish meatball. I sometimes add nutmeg and / or mace too. Top with parsley. Joy of joys.
You can have these with mash and somedays there is no other option. But sometimes, all I want is a big old piece of toast to dip in the sauce and mop up the gorgeousness. It also means it is speedy.
This recipe makes a lot of meatballs. 36 on average. I make a big batch and freeze them, so that I can defrost and indulge on a later date where time is pressing and comfort is needed.
- 450g / 1lb minced pork
- 450g / 1lb minced beef
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- 1/2 tsp allspice
- 100g breadcrumbs
- 200ml milk
- salt and pepper
- butter and a little light oil for frying
- 50g butter
- 50g all purpose flour
- 750ml chicken or beef stock
- 75ml single cream (heavy cream)
- 1 tbsp mustard
- Toast or mash and a sprinkle of chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
If you don't eat pork, you can substitute veal very well here.