Arguably one of the best meatballs in the world: Swedish Meatballs!!! Juicy meatballs with a hint of fragrant spice and smothered in a creamy gravy. Follow my two little tips that make all the difference for truly soft, extra tasty meatballs. And watch how I roll them – fast!
I’ve declared before and will declare again: we need more ball shaped food in this world. Every ball shaped food I know is delicious. I am pretty sure that it’s my favourite food shape. If there was to be such a thing. ? It sounds ridiculous, I know – but think about it! Arancini Balls (I die). Chinese Sesame Balls (One of the best items on the Yum Cha cart). Takoyaki (Japanese deep fried balls with octopus inside – I’m dying again). Doughnut Balls (OMG OMG). Cheese Balls (Oh yeah….). Truffles and all other manner of sweets in ball shapes…
OK, I know I’m missing a million others, but the list is long and I can’t think of a single one I don’t go mad over.
The thing with balls shaped food is that it’s just so darn easy to pop into your mouth. Is that the appeal, I wonder?
Anyway. The point I’m leading to is that for someone who loves ball shaped food so much, there is a serious lack of them on my site.
So I decided to do something about it. Announcing….Meatball Mania!!!
OK….so Meatball Mania is not a real thing. It’s something my friend Jo from Jo Cooks and I made up. We both concur that ball shaped food is awesome, and that of all ball shaped food, meatballs are probably the best. To which I confessed disappointment that I had so few meatball recipes on my site.
And thus Meatball Mania was born. On the last Monday of every month, both Jo and I will post a meatball recipe. Oh imagine the possibilities…… ?
On the meatball front, I’m drastically behind schedule because when you search Jo Cooks, she has no few than 18 meatball recipes on her site. EIGHTEEN!!! (Update: It’s now 19. Here’s her offering for today: Taco Meatball Ring. OMG OMG!)
So I have some serious catching up to do. I want to release the demon within and come up with some outrageous meatballs, but the sensible side of me says to do classic favorites first. Italian Meatballs – tick! Now onto the next epic one: Swedish Meatballs. ?
Are you ready for the Meatball-athon? I am. BRING IT ON! – Nagi xx
PS Don’t miss the first 2 seconds of the video. It is just everything! Oh, and you’ll also see how I roll them – fast. ??
PPS Have you ever before read such ridiculousness of an entire post talking about ball shaped food and the awesomeness of meatballs??
PPPS If you have a view on cream vs sour cream for the gravy, tell me in the comments below!!
- 2 slices sandwich bread, crusts removed, chopped into small cubes (Note 2)
- 1 medium onion (Note 3)
- 300 g / 10 oz ground beef (mince)
- 300 g / 10 oz ground pork (mince), or sub with beef (Note 4)
- 1 egg
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp All Spice powder
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp oil
- 40 g / 3 tbsp butter, preferably unsalted
- 3 tbsp flour
- 2 1/2 cups beef broth / stock ( salt reduced), or sub with chicken
- 1/3 - 1/2 heavy / thickened cream (Note 5)
Grate onion using a standard box grater (see video).
Scrape onion and juices into bowl. Add bread and mix well, set aside to soak for 1 minute. (Note 6)
Add remaining Meatball ingredients EXCEPT oil. Mix well.
Using a tablespoon measure and measure out a slightly heaped tablespoon, dollop on work surface. Repeat with remaining mixture: 25 - 30 meatballs. Then roll into shape.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add half the meatballs and brown all over (but raw inside still) - about 3 minutes. Remove onto plate, then brown the remaining batch.
If there is lots of oil, pour off excess and discard. Lower heat to medium.
Add butter into skillet and melt. Add flour and stir in. Cook for 1 minute.
While mixing, add about 1/4 of the beef broth - it will thicken quickly. Then gradually add remaining beef broth, stirring as you go. Switch to whisk if required to make it lump free.
When the liquid is simmering, add meatball and juices pooled on plate.
Turn up heat slightly to keep it at a rapid simmer. Cook for 8 - 10 minutes or until the liquid thickens into a thin gravy, stirring occasionally.
Add cream, simmer for a further 2 minutes then remove from stove.
Serve over noodles or mashed potato! For a truly authentic experience, add a dollop of ligonberry jam on the side!
1. These Meatballs are made using the same technique as my Italian Meatballs of soaking diced bread in grated onion. I find this works better than other methods (soaking breadcrumbs / panko in milk, adding chopped and/or sautéed onion into the mixture) for a few reasons:
- chopped bread makes softer meatballs than breadcrumbs because I think it kind of "puffs up" when it cooks
- milk adds no flavour to the mixture, whereas the onion juices do;
- grating onion makes it finer than chopped onions so it melds better into the mixture;
- chopped onion that's not cooked before adding into the mixture can have a tendency to not cook through properly. Chunks of raw onion is not nice.
Refer to myItalian Meatballs recipe for more information and also testimonial from the many people who have tried and loved them!
2. White or wholemeal is fine, not one with grains or seeds in it.
3. Just smaller than the size of a tennis ball. White, brown or yellow.
4. I really encourage you to use a mix of pork and beef, it's part of the authentic flavour of Swedish Meatballs. But you can use all beef or all pork. You could also make this with chicken or turkey!
5. The jury is out on whether it should be made with sour cream or normal cream. I've scouted around and it varies, and I haven't found a definitive answer. I mostly make this with heavy cream - and most of the recipes I checked (dozens!) use heavy cream.
However, I know to some people, a gravy with the slight tang from sour cream is familiar. So take your pick!
The more cream used, the lighter the colour of the gravy. In the photos, I used 1/2 cup. For the video, I used 1/3 cup. I really truly do not notice the difference in flavour, so for the sake of being a bit healthier, I use 1/3 cup. Actually, usually I don't bother measuring properly. Just depends how generous I'm feeling on the day!
Reduced fat and pouring cream can also be used. The gravy just needs a couple of minutes longer to thicken.
6. Onion juices should soak bread, making it disintegrate (if not, add a touch of milk or water).
7. Nutrition for meatballs only, and all gravy. This doesn't take into account fat discarded from skillet.
Swedish Meatballs recipe video!
Swedish Meatballs nutrition per serving.
LIFE OF DOZER
No surprises here – Dozer loves ball shaped food too. Care to take a guess if he got that meatball? ?