Swedish Meatballs

Swedish Meatballs are one of Mr TBTAM’s specialties, made from a recipe given to him by my mother-in-law Irene, who modified it from The Casserole Cookbook. We usually serve the meatballs with buttered noodles, but they are also traditionally paired with boiled potatoes.

Perfect for those cold winter nights, which I hear they have a lot of in Sweden.

Meatballs Stockholm (Swedish Meatballs)

3 slices toasted rye bread
½ cup milk
1 lb. ground beef
1 egg, slightly beaten
½ small onion, grated
½ small onion, sliced
½ tsp. salt (or more, to taste)
¼ tsp. pepper
¼ tsp. grated nutmeg, ½ tsp. paprika, 1 tsp. dry mustard
4 tbsps shortening
2 cups beef bouillon
2 tbsps. flour
2 tbsps chopped parsley

Trim crusts from toast, break into small pieces and soak in milk for 10 minutes. Mash with a fork until smooth. Mix with meat, grated onion, egg and seasonings. Form into small balls about 2 inches in diameter. Heat shortening in saute pan. Add meatballs and sliced onion to pan and saute until meatballs are nicely browned on all sides. Pour off excess fat from pan and add bouillon. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove balls from gravy and keep warm. Mix flour with a little water and carefully add to gravy. Add parsley. Replace balls in gravy and heat just to boiling. Serves 4.

Veal and pork may be used in place of some of the beef. The meatballs are especially good if made early in the day and then reheated just before serving.
Swedish Meatballs from around the web

There are lots of ways to make Swedish meatballs. Variations include using white instead of rye bread, substituting potatoes for bread, adding pork, and even using soy sauce in the gravy. Here are just a few recipes I found –

– Cooks Illustrated’s recipe at What’s on My Plate

Ikea’s recipe, from their cookbook. Like their furniture, not quite as well-made as one would have hoped. Assembly required.

Kevin Week’s recipe uses dill and mixes ground pork with the beef. I may try this one next time…

Jamie tweaks Alton’s recipe by using a tablespoon instead of a scale to portion out the meatball, making the recipe accessible to non-obsessive compulsive cooks.

Twinkle at Yum Sugar does a streamlined version without gravy, served with lingonberry jam. She gets points for actually being in Sweden while making them…

Cheap Talk spends way too much time wondering why Swedish meatballs are smaller than their American counterparts. (Very funny…)

Swedish Meat Balls on Foodista

6 Responses to Swedish Meatballs

  1. I will have to try your recipe next time I make Swedish meatballs. My husband loves rye bread, and I love the addition of the sliced onions.

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  4. cant wait to try the recipes with the meatballs. Just stumbled upon this blog. I hope your keep up the good work.

  5. …way too much time wondering why Swedish meatballs are smaller than their American counterparts…

    My mother is Swedish. I learned to make meatballs from her and never knew any other size – until a friend helped me make meatballs one day. Half-way through the project, she exclaimed that she never would have offered to help if she'd known that I was making meatbeads instead of meatballs 🙂

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