SWEDISH MEATBALLS

Whenever I think of meatballs I either think of meatballs in spaghetti or Swedish meatballs (of course made quite popular here in North America by Ikea). When I was a little girl I remember going with my parents and my little sister to Ikea, standing in line and my daddy asking "what would you like to have for lunch?" my answer pretty much always was "Swedish meatballs of course!". Ahhh what fond memories I have going to a furniture store for lunch. You may laugh but for me it was something to look forward too, since it was a family day out. Fast forward many years later, and although I still have a soft spot for Ikea's meatballs I learned to make my own. Here is my favourite version of Swedish meatballs. Enjoy!

Serves 4

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb lean ground beef or pork
  • 1 small onion, grated (along with it's juices)
  • 2 slices of white bread
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp olive oil or butter

Sauce Ingredients:
  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • half a quart of beef stock (or more if needed)
  • coarse salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (can use half fat)
  • 1 tbsp raspberry or cranberry jelly (optional)

1. In a large mixing bowl, add in the ground beef or pork and grated small onion. In a separate bowl, take the 2 slices of bread and break it up with your fingers. Pour in a 1/4 cup of milk to soak for a couple minutes. Once the bread has absorbed the milk, go ahead and add it into the ground meat mixture.

2. Add in the egg, parsley, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Using your clean hands, gently mix all of the ingredients until just combined. Do not overmix, otherwise you will have tough meatballs. Form the meatballs using a tablespoon, and place them on to a foil lined baking sheet and set aside.

3. Preheat a large non-stick skillet on medium high heat, drizzle the oil and place the meatballs to sear on all sides. Lower the heat to medium if you find the meatballs cooking too fast. Cook for 2 minutes and flip them over gently. Make sure not to overcook the meatballs. Once seared, place the meatballs back on the large baking sheet (removing the foil).

4. Lower the heat to medium, and add in the 3 tablespoons of butter. Let it melt slightly and then add in the flour. Using a whisk, combine the two ingredients and let the flour cook until it is a light brown colour (about 2 minutes or so). Pour in the beef stock and keep whisking until the sauce starts to thicken. Add more stock if you find the sauce too thick for you. Season with salt and pepper.

5. Turn the heat down to low, and then add the meatballs back into the sauce and let it cook through. Turn the heat off and place the meatballs on a serving dish. Stir in the sour cream and jelly, and then pour the sauce over the meatballs. Sprinkle a bit more parsley on top and serve it immediately.


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