Friday, August 21, 2009

Swedish Meatballs

These gloppy-looking round things are supposed to be Swedish meatballs. They taste a whole lot better than they look in the photo, though! I've been wanting to eat Swedish meatballs for some time - I first ate them at Ikea (of all places) - and finally decided to make my own. The great thing about this recipe is that the meatballs are baked, not fried (that sounds like an ad), which means less oil and fat! It also means less time standing at the stove, frying batches of meatballs, which can be time consuming. The meatballs can also be frozen - I made 40 in one batch, so there was enough for dinner, lunch the next day, plus two more batches in the freezer for another day...

Continue reading for the recipe...

Swedish Meatballs
(makes around 40 meatballs)

600g minced beef (as lean as possible)
400g minced pork

You can use half minced beef and pork if you prefer - I just find minced pork (in my area) quite fatty, so I use more beef)

2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 cups breadcrumbs (preferably panko - Japanese breadcrumbs)
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
salt and pepper

For the sauce:

3 Tbsp butter
1/3 cup plain flour
1 cup milk
500ml beef stock (once I substituted this for lamb stock, as I could only find lamb stock cubes. I added two stock cubes into 500ml water)

1. Preheat your oven to 225 degrees C.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the minced beef and pork, eggs, milk, garlic, cinnamon, nutmeg and breadcrumbs. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper or foil. If you are using foil, lightly grease the foil so the meatballs don't stick.

4. Using a tablespoon or small ice-cream scoop, form the meat mixture into round balls and place them onto the lined baking tray.

5. Bake for 12 minutes, or until browned and cooked through.

To make the sauce:

Melt the butter in a small saucepan, then slowly add the flour and stir rapidly. Cook, stirring constantly for about a minute. Slowly add the milk, and then the beef stock. Bring the mixture to a boil, then simmer for a few minutes until the sauce has thickened a little.

To serve, dunk the meatballs into the sauce, coat them, and place them onto a plate. Serve with boiled potatoes and steamed vegetables, as well as with a scoop of berry jam. The Swedish traditionally eat this with lingonberry jam, but you could also use grape, red-currant or some other tart berry jam. Cranberry sauce would work, too...

Freeze any extra meatballs together with the sauce in freezable airtight containers or bags.



Danielle said...

Hi Claudia. You mentioned back that I'll be cooking minced meat next but I have a question on what exactly that is: is it the same as ground beef? I live in the States so sometimes I get a bit confused at the supermarket (I have an Asian mother and sometimes things just aren't translatable in terms of cooking); can I buy minced meat at a typical Kroger?


Claudia said...

Hi Danielle,
Sorry for the confusion! I grew up in Australia, so we tend to use different terms... you are right, minced beef is ground beef.

I, on the other hand, had no idea what a Kroger was! Had to look it up on the internet and yep, I saw they have ground beef there. Try to get the leanest type possible - look for the beef with the least amount of little white bits mixed in it!

Moa said...

Hi, I was wondering something about this recipe.

This is your take on swedish meatballs, right? Like, a tweaked version?

Because I actually am swedish (and make meatballs myself by the standard recipe used here), and your recipe isn't very much like the one that is in Sweden.. for example, we DO actually fry them(in a frying pan).
Also, the sauce that you serve to the meatballs has soy in it. It's called roughly translated "creamgravy" in swedish, and is the sauce that is traditionally served with our meatballs.

I'm sure it tastes good, the recipe you wrote here :) I just wanted to point out that it isn't actually the same.

Claudia said...

Hi Moa,
Yes, this is certainly my take on swedish meatballs. I don't think I've claimed anywhere that it is a traditional recipe, nor that I am Swedish in any way! I also stated that the meatballs in this particular recipe were baked, not fried, and not that Swedish meatballs in general were always baked rather than fried.

Thanks for writing in, and if you don't mind sharing, I'd love to have a copy of the authentic Swedish meatball recipe that you make!

Moa said...

Well, alright then. I just assumed :)

I usually make them a bit at random(this might be wrongly put as I try to translate a swedish phrase, what I mean is that I make them so they "feel" right), so I can't give you the exact recipe.

I can however write down some notes the next time I make them and get back to you about that recipe :)