Swedish Meatball Plate

Raquel StecherAbout Me
Blogger at Thoughtful Eating and Vintage Brand New. Please add my to your circles.

Swedish meatballs have been haunting me for the past few months. I have seen them everywhere. In the frozen food section. Plastered on big signs outside Ikea cafeterias. In the prepared food section at Wilson Farms. On food blogs. Everytime I turn around, it seems as though Swedish meatballs are staring me in the face. Maybe this was a sign that I should make them?

I am a lucky girl because one of my best friends just happens to be a Swede. Jonas, guest blogger and curator of All Talking! All Singing! All Dancing! is an excellent chef and knowledgable in everything Svensk. I sent him an e-mail asking for his advice on how to make Swedish meatballs. He sent me instructions plus this wonderful photograph of a plate with Swedish meatballs, mashed potatoes, gherkins (pickles) and a small bowl of lingonberries. Jonas makes his meatballs with ground beef and sometimes uses veal (which he affectionately calls "Satan" because he knows how much I loathe the existence of veal). His recipe is simple. Beef, onions, salt, pepper and water. That's it. I modified a few things. I replaced pickles with fresh, sliced cucumbers and lingonberries with the American equivalent, cranberries. The result was terrific! For me, egg noodles would have been more palatable but the beau loved the mashed potatoes. I sincerely hope you'll try out this plate!


Cranberry Sauce:
2 cups of cranberries
2 tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup of sugar

Mashed Potatoes:
6 Yukon Gold Potatoes peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 cup whole milk
3-4 tablespoons of butter
salt and pepper to taste

Swedish Meatballs
1-1/2 ground beef
1/2 onion finely diced
salt and pepper to taste
garlic powder to taste if you dare

Swedish Meatball Sauce
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup of beef broth
2-4 tablespoons of heavy cream*
(*depends on how light you want the sauce)

2 thinly sliced pickle cucumbers
Chopped fresh parsley or chives for garnish


Cranberry Sauce
Rinse your cranberries and remove any stems.

Add two tablespoons of butter to a sauce pan and heat at medium heat. Add your cranberries and 1/2 cup of sugar and stir until the cranberries are coated in melted butter and sugar. Heat on medium-high until bubbling then turn down the heat to low and simmer until sauce gets nice and thick. Stir occassionally to prevent sticking. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.

Mashed Potatoes

Peel and chop your Yukon Gold potatoes. Add to a large pot of water and bring to a boil. Salt the pot and let boil until the potatoes are cooked. A good test is to run a knife through a chunk of potato. At the point that a knife goes clean through the chunk with hardly any effort, the potatoes are done. Drain all the water out of the pot and turn heat down to low. With the potatoes in the pot, mash them with your potato masher and add the butter and milk. Mash until it's the consistency you want. Set aside. Keep warm at very low heat and with the top on the pot. There is nothing worse than cold mashed potatoes!

Swedish Meatball Sauce

Start with making a roux. Add your tablespoon of butter and tablespoon of flour to a sauce pot.

Whisk as the roux cooks making sure all the melted butter and flour is incorporated. Cook for a minute or two until the roux turns a nice golden color and starts to bubble.

Turn up the heat and slowly pour in your beef broth whisking as you go along. Do this in stages and make sure there are no lumps. Whisk whisk whisk. Add the heavy cream until it's the color you want. Cook until sauce gets thick, whisking all the while. Set heat to very low and cover. Set aside.

Swedish Meatballs

Mince your onion very fine. (See my tutorial on How to Chop an Onion). Sautee the onion in a skillet with a tablespoon of oil until the onions are soft and translucent. Set aside and let cool before mixing with the ground beef.

Mix your ground beef, minced onion, salt and pepper (and garlic powder if you are feeling frisky), in a bowl. Add water to soften the mixture. Test this out by adding a tablespoon at a time. Do this instead of adding a filler like breadcrumbs or a binder like eggs. Roll the mixture into one inch balls.

Heat a skillet with oil and cook the meatballs until they are brown on all sides.  Cook them in batches so as to not overcrowd the pan. If you want, you can keep already cooked meatballs warm in the oven by putting them in a baking dish, cover them with foil and adding them to a 325 degree oven.


Assemble your plate with a big scoop of mashed potatoes and several Swedish meatballs. Drizzle sauce over meatballs and add some sliced cucumbers on the side. Sprinkle some fresh parsley or chives over the top. In this shot, I have the cranberry sauce on the side in a separate bowl.


Swedish Meatballs

1 comment:

Jonas Nordin said...

This looks wonderful! Do you have Swedish genes? Your rendition of Swedish meatballs is now certified as "the real deal" by The Imaginary Royal Swedish Institute.

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