• STEP 1

    In a bowl, mix the mince with the egg, onion, breadcrumbs, dill and seasoning. Form into small meatballs about the size of walnuts – you should get about 20.

  • STEP 2

    Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan and brown the meatballs. You may have to do this in 2 batches. Remove from pan, melt the butter, then sprinkle over the flour and stir well. Cook for 2 mins, then slowly whisk in the stock. Keep whisking until it is a thick gravy, then return the meatballs to the pan and heat through. Sprinkle with dill and serve with cranberry jelly, greens and mash.

What are Swedish meatballs made of?

Our recipe is made using just pork mince, combined with breadcrumbs to soften, onions and dill to flavour and eggs to bind as well as seasoning, but you can also use a mixture of half pork and half beef mince or even just beef mince. These meatballs are normally accompanied by a rich, creamy gravy made from deglazing the pan juices with double cream as well as a good dose of beef stock or bone broth.

Tips for the perfect Swedish meatballs

  • Make sure you season the mince really well. You could also add in a clove of chopped garlic or some spices such as nutmeg and allspice.
  • Do not make the meatballs any bigger than a large walnut as this could result in them being undercooked inside.
  • For the same reason it’s really important the meatballs are a similar size so they cook evenly. Using an ice cream scoop to measure each ball is a good hack for this. You don't need to fill it up but it will help you judge the quantity each time.
  • Fry the meatballs in batches to ensure they are evenly browned. If there are too many in the pan, some of them will end up being steamed instead and not colour.
  • Browning is not just important for the meatballs, but has an important effect on the juices left behind in the pan. The juices and scrapings left by browning are what gives the gravy its characteristically deep meaty flavour.
  • If you don't have breadcrumbs you can soak a couple of pieces of stale white bread in the grated onion for 20 minutes and then use this in the mixture instead. It will make the meatballs super soft!
  • When shaping meatballs, wet your hands so the meat doesn't stick to them.

What to serve with Swedish meatballs

Swedish meatballs are classically served with a creamy mashed potato and lingonberry jam (or cranberry jelly if you can’t get hold of this). Alternatively, you could accompany them with boiled potatoes, chips, rice, tagliatelle or some crusty hot bread to mop up the gravy.

How to store Swedish meatballs

Let the meatballs cool down to room temperature, then place them in a ziplock plastic bag or airtight container and store in the fridge. They will keep for up to 3 days.

Can I freeze Swedish meatballs

Once cool, place the meatballs in a ziplock freezer bag and remove as much air as possible, or transfer to a tupperware container with a lid. They should keep for up to 3 months.

When ready to eat them, you can leave them overnight in the fridge, and reheat in the microwave, or over a low heat on the hob with a splash of water to stop the gravy drying out.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, May 2009


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