Swedish Meatballs are considered to be the national dish of Sweden. They are known throughout the world to be a symbol of the country. They are simply delicious! These are made with a sauce and to be honest there is a lot of controversy whether it should be a brown sauce or cream sauce. To me, the cream sauce makes the dish, especially when served with mashed or boiled potatoes.
Lingonberry sauce is somewhat similar to a cranberry sauce and is typically served with the meatballs as well. It isn’t the easiest ingredient to find here in the states, but you can order it here online if you want to be authentic.
The Swedish meatballs are made with a combination of pork and beef and then flavored with seasonings like nutmeg, and allspice. The meatballs get an airiness from day old bread soaked in cream. The meatballs are browned in butter and then finished in the oven.
I did not include a recipe to make mashed potatoes, but they are super easy to makes just boil peeled cut up potatoes until tender, drain and mash with a potato masher, add in some cream or milk and butter with a little salt and pepper. They go perfect with little Swedish meatballs.
Another side dish that is typically served with the meatballs and potatoes is a cucumber salad. The sweet and sour side salad adds a refreshing bite and balance to the meal.
Did you know that the Swedish company Ikea which was founded in 1943 serves an average of 1,836,000 Swedish meatballs daily in its 313 store worldwide? No wonder they are known throughout the world! If you would like to learn more about this intriguing nation, be sure to check out “Our Journey to Sweden” to learn more. There you will also find more authentic Swedish recipe like Toast skagen and Kladdkaka to name a few.
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Swedish Meatballs (Kottbullar)
- 2 pieces day-old white bread crumbled
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon butter plus 1 tablespoon butter divided
- 1 small onion minced
- 2/3 pound ground beef
- 1/3 pound finely ground pork
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup beef stock
- 2 tablespoons Swedish meatball pan drippings
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups beef stock
- 4 ounces sour cream
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 350º F
- Place the bread and cream in a small bowl, mix, and let stand about 10 minutes until absorbed.
- Melt the teaspoon of butter in a large, shallow skillet and cook the onion for approximately 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Transfer browned onion to a large mixing bowl and add the meats, brown sugar, salt, spices, and egg, then mix until nearly combined. Add the moistened bread and mix gently until combined.
- Melt the tablespoon of butter in the skillet over medium heat. Form meatball mixture into 1 1/2 tablespoon-sized balls and cook in batches until the outsides are evenly browned, approximately 5 minutes. The meatballs will still be pink inside. Transfer to a baking dish when browned and add more butter to the skillet as needed to cook all of the meatballs.
- Pour 1/4 cup of broth into the baking dish, cover with foil, and bake for 40 minutes, until the meatballs are fully cooked and tender.
- Transfer meatballs to a serving dish and pour gravy over (recipe follows).
- After making the Swedish meatballs, transfer their drippings to a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour and cook until light gold in color, then slowly pour in stock while whisking constantly.
- Simmer the gravy until thick, about 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Just before serving the meatballs, stir in the sour cream.
- Serve warm with mashed or boiled potatoes, lingonberry sauce and Swedish cucumber salad.