Swedish Meatballs

There are Swedish Meatballs and then there are SWEDISH MEATBALLS.  I make the latter.  A rather big batch is needed this year, because I'm bringing them to my sister-in-law's for Christmas Dinner tomorrow, and there will be around 30 people.  Most of them are Swedish in origin, some of them rabidly so.  For some reason, they trust a Norwegian woman to make these for the special meal.

What makes them authentic?  Scratch.  If you buy a bag of frozen meatballs at the store, you might as well buy a jar of spaghetti sauce and boil up a pot of pasta.  Seriously!  Those meatballs, other than being full of yucky ingredients, lean toward Italian in flavor.  The other thing that just won't do is the 'can of cream of mushroom soup and some sour cream' for the gravy.  Nuh-uh!  Gravy from the drippings, sweet and salty and laced with nutmeg and creamy goodness.  This is not a fat free dish, friends.  Fat free has no place at Christmas dinner.

Don't worry, New Year's is right around the corner and you can resolve to deal with the Holiday Hams that have mysteriously appeared on your backside.  ;)

This recipe is based on one I got from the Byerly's Cookbook.  Byerly's is a wonderful grocery store in our area, rather specialty and staffed by some terrific people who love food and love serving their customers.  I've tweaked the recipe some to suit my style.  I recommend YOU do the same.

My brother in law, who is also Norwegian and knows what he's doing, would put the meatballs and gravy on a heap of mashed potatoes.  And he'd recommend YOU do the same.

Merry Christmas, God Yul, Bless You All!

Swedish Meatballs

1 cup minced yellow onion
2 tablespoons butter
1 large egg
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup bread crumbs, fresh or dried
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1 pound medium lean ground beef
1/2 pound pork sausage, or ground pork

Saute onion in the butter until soft.  In a large bowl, combine egg, milk, bread crumbs, salt, sugar, allspice, and nutmeg.  Add sauteed onions and the meat.  Mix well (with your hands, works best).  Shape into 1 inch meatballs.  Place on a lightly buttered jelly roll pan or 9x13 pan.  Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.  Remove to a casserole or crock pot.  Scrape every bit of the drippings out of the baking pans into a saucepan on the stove for the gravy.


Drippings from baked meatballs
1 tablespoon butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
generous grinding of pepper
1 cup water
3/4 cup half and half (or cream)

Add the butter to the drippings, bring to a boil.  Stir in the flour, sugar, salt and pepper.  Add the water, bring to a boil and simmer for one minute, making sure all the lumps are gone.  Add the half and half and heat through.  Pour over the meatballs, and heat in a 325 oven for 20 minutes, or in the crock pot on low for an hour.

Creamy Goodness
JillMain Dishes2 Comments