Swedish Meatballs

Swedish Meatballs

Walking through a local Ikea my toddler noticed a poster of their lunch menu and begged for some Swedish meatballs.

We stopped by the restaurant, which was my first dining experience at Ikea. I was pleasantly surprised by the selection of foods available, the assortment of drinks and pleasant coffee with endless refills. I found it strange that the kid version of meatballs didn’t have any veggies in it (my toddler loves the veggies.) So I ordered a large adult portion, which my toddler, who just turned 3 successfully polished off. Oh poor me, keeping that kid full is not an easy task.

Naturally, I felt compelled to come home and replicate the dish. I tasted a hint of allspice, but I wasn’t too interested in create an identical replica. I was more interested in combining my cocktail meatball recipe with my gravy recipe, maybe a splash of cream, for an easy weeknight dish that can fill up the kid who never stops eating.

And you know what – my two already existing recipes combined very nicely into this dish. It was absolutely delicious and will now be added to our regular dinner rotation!

Hope you give it a try!

DifficultyIntermediate

Yields4 Servings
Prep Time20 minsCook Time45 minsTotal Time1 hr 5 mins

 1 lb ground beef
 1 lb ground pork
 2 cups cubed bread
 ½ cup milk
 1 onion, finely minced
 1 tbsp kosher salt
 2 eggs
 pepper, to taste
 butter or oil for cooking vegetables
 pinch of ground spice
 pich of nutmeg
 1 batch gravy recipe
 ¼ tsp Worcestershire sauce
 ½ tsp sugar
 3 tbsp heavy cream

1

To get started:
Combine bread and milk in the bowl of your stand mixer. If doing by hand, simply combine it in the bowl. Let stand while you prepare the rest.
Preheat the oven to 425.
Sautee onions over medium heat until tender and just beginning to brown.

2

Gently mix beef and pork with a fork. For tender meatballs, you do not want to overwork the meat. Chunks of meat should still be visible.

3

Add cooked onion (cool it first,) eggs, salt and pepper to the bread mixture. Beat it with a stand mixer (or by hand with a fork) until thoroughly combined. Add about a quarter of your beef and pork mixture and mix on low speed until well-combined.

4

Add the rest of the pork/beef mixture and gently mix it with a fork, remembering not to overwork the meat.

5

Shape the meatballs into the desired size. I shape mine in about 1.5-2 TBSP measure by volume, but you can definitely make yours bigger.

6

Bake meatballs in preheated oven until cooked through (the internal temperature must reach 160.) It should only take between 10 and 20 minutes. Another option is to broil the meatballs until done to promote extra browning.

7

Warm the prepared gravy in a large pot. Add Worcestershire, sugar and cream. Stir in meatballs and cook until heated through.

Ingredients

 1 lb ground beef
 1 lb ground pork
 2 cups cubed bread
 ½ cup milk
 1 onion, finely minced
 1 tbsp kosher salt
 2 eggs
 pepper, to taste
 butter or oil for cooking vegetables
 pinch of ground spice
 pich of nutmeg
 1 batch gravy recipe
 ¼ tsp Worcestershire sauce
 ½ tsp sugar
 3 tbsp heavy cream

Directions

1

To get started:
Combine bread and milk in the bowl of your stand mixer. If doing by hand, simply combine it in the bowl. Let stand while you prepare the rest.
Preheat the oven to 425.
Sautee onions over medium heat until tender and just beginning to brown.

2

Gently mix beef and pork with a fork. For tender meatballs, you do not want to overwork the meat. Chunks of meat should still be visible.

3

Add cooked onion (cool it first,) eggs, salt and pepper to the bread mixture. Beat it with a stand mixer (or by hand with a fork) until thoroughly combined. Add about a quarter of your beef and pork mixture and mix on low speed until well-combined.

4

Add the rest of the pork/beef mixture and gently mix it with a fork, remembering not to overwork the meat.

5

Shape the meatballs into the desired size. I shape mine in about 1.5-2 TBSP measure by volume, but you can definitely make yours bigger.

6

Bake meatballs in preheated oven until cooked through (the internal temperature must reach 160.) It should only take between 10 and 20 minutes. Another option is to broil the meatballs until done to promote extra browning.

7

Warm the prepared gravy in a large pot. Add Worcestershire, sugar and cream. Stir in meatballs and cook until heated through.

Swedish meatballs

And for the gravy:

DifficultyBeginner

Yields4 Servings
Prep Time10 minsCook Time30 minsTotal Time40 mins

 3 tbsp butter (you may even use olive oil)
 2 celery stalks, chopped finely
 1 medium carrot, chopped finely
 1 yellow onion, chopped
 ¼ cup flour
 4 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)
 2 bay leafs
 pinch of dried thyme leaves
 1 tbsp soy sauce
 kosher salt to taste
 freshly ground black pepper to taste
 trimmings, wings, chicken carcass, optional (if you are using it, check the note in Step 1)
Optional ingredients:
 a splash of heavy cream, for additional richness

1

Heat butter in a pot over medium to medium-high heat. Add your mirepoix - onion, celery and carrots. Cook for 5-8 minutes or so until well browned, stirring often. Be careful not to burn.

Turn the heat to medium, sprinkle the flour over the veggies and continue cooking, stirring constantly, for another 5 minutes or so, to cook off the raw flour taste and allow the flour to slightly brown (aim for golden brown colour, but do not burn.)

NOTE: if you have trimmings, bones, chicken carcass - sear it until golden and well browned before searing the veggies, remove to a plate and add in step 2 after you have added the stock. The addition of these things will further intensify the flavour of the gravy, however, add another 20 minutes to the preparation.

2

Pour about 1/3 cup of stock very slowly while stirring vigorously. The goal is to work out all the little bits of flour into thick paste. Keep adding stock in a steady slow stream while stiring vigorously and working out any lumps that may form. THIS IS IMPORTANT - DO NOT RUSH ADDING THE LIQUID. Add bay leaves and dried thyme. Bring everything to a boil, reduce to simmer and simmer uncovered for 25-45 minutes, the longer - the better, but the flavours will start coming together after just 20 minutes or so for this delicious quick gravy. Keep stirring your gravy every couple of minutes to prevent scorching the pot. If the gravy reduces too much, you can always add more stock to thin it out and reach your desired consistency.

3

Pass the gravy through a fine mesh sieve, pressing down on the vegetables to extract as much liquid as possible. Add soy sauce, if using. Season your gravy to taste with salt and pepper. You may add the optional cream at this time. Serve.

NOTE:
4

The amount of flour is correct in this recipe. Some recipes call for double the amount of flour. But this recipe extracts the flavour with a lengthy simmering process (at least 25 minutes as per step 2,) so your gravy will reduce and thicken.

Ingredients

 3 tbsp butter (you may even use olive oil)
 2 celery stalks, chopped finely
 1 medium carrot, chopped finely
 1 yellow onion, chopped
 ¼ cup flour
 4 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)
 2 bay leafs
 pinch of dried thyme leaves
 1 tbsp soy sauce
 kosher salt to taste
 freshly ground black pepper to taste
 trimmings, wings, chicken carcass, optional (if you are using it, check the note in Step 1)
Optional ingredients:
 a splash of heavy cream, for additional richness

Directions

1

Heat butter in a pot over medium to medium-high heat. Add your mirepoix - onion, celery and carrots. Cook for 5-8 minutes or so until well browned, stirring often. Be careful not to burn.

Turn the heat to medium, sprinkle the flour over the veggies and continue cooking, stirring constantly, for another 5 minutes or so, to cook off the raw flour taste and allow the flour to slightly brown (aim for golden brown colour, but do not burn.)

NOTE: if you have trimmings, bones, chicken carcass - sear it until golden and well browned before searing the veggies, remove to a plate and add in step 2 after you have added the stock. The addition of these things will further intensify the flavour of the gravy, however, add another 20 minutes to the preparation.

2

Pour about 1/3 cup of stock very slowly while stirring vigorously. The goal is to work out all the little bits of flour into thick paste. Keep adding stock in a steady slow stream while stiring vigorously and working out any lumps that may form. THIS IS IMPORTANT - DO NOT RUSH ADDING THE LIQUID. Add bay leaves and dried thyme. Bring everything to a boil, reduce to simmer and simmer uncovered for 25-45 minutes, the longer - the better, but the flavours will start coming together after just 20 minutes or so for this delicious quick gravy. Keep stirring your gravy every couple of minutes to prevent scorching the pot. If the gravy reduces too much, you can always add more stock to thin it out and reach your desired consistency.

3

Pass the gravy through a fine mesh sieve, pressing down on the vegetables to extract as much liquid as possible. Add soy sauce, if using. Season your gravy to taste with salt and pepper. You may add the optional cream at this time. Serve.

NOTE:
4

The amount of flour is correct in this recipe. Some recipes call for double the amount of flour. But this recipe extracts the flavour with a lengthy simmering process (at least 25 minutes as per step 2,) so your gravy will reduce and thicken.

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