Friday, September 19, 2008

Real Swedish meatballs

I have only one family recipe that has been handed down to me. My Swedish grandmother's Swedish meatballs have been a favorite of mine for as long as I can remember. I actually don't remember having ever tasted "grammy's" version, but my mother made them several times a year and as a child they were my favorite meal. I've eaten many versions, including many of the "cream of mushroom soup" types that would go better with a bong than with a Swedish meal. I've also read dozens of "traditional" recipes and only found one that was similar to our family's. The distinguishing thing about them is that they are seasoned with dill weed and nutmeg. No canned soup, no cream sauce, no dried fruit, just seasoned meatballs with brown gravy.

2/3rds beef, 1/3rd pork, egg, white bread soaked in milk, dried dill weed, fresh ground nutmeg, dried onion (my mom would have used fresh but I'm weird like that) salt and white pepper rolled into balls the size of your choosing.

Brown the balls. I'll save my "brown doesn't mean grey things boiled in there own juices" tirade for another day but if you brown them correctly, not only will they have great texture, but you wont need to add beef stock or bullion to your fond to make a great gravy.

Remove them from the pan and sprinkle the fond with flour. (my mom uses Wondra and so do I) add water and let sauce thicken. Check for seasoning including dill and nutmeg (add Minors beef base if your gravy is weak). Return the balls to the pan and simmer slowly until they are cooked through.


lifeinrecipes said...

Now THOSE look fantastic - nothing like the insipid canned soup versions I choked down as a kid.

This recipe is going into the files. And I just happen to have shaker of Wondra in my cupboard - my mom always used it, too.


I would love to find out if this, or any, Swedish meatball recipe is truly authentic. Anybody have an opinion? I do love this one though. You should really try it. I like using Wondra for gravies. I reluctantly admit to using Minors as an occasional crutch, but the shit works alot better than those crappy old bullion cubes.

OhioMom said...

I don't remember my mom ever making these, and I know I haven't either. The ones I have had at weddings etc. are probably the ones soaked in soup :)

They sound delish!

Dave said...

I always loved the ones with the cream of mushroom soup sauce, but my Mom browned them first and just covered them with the gravy. I guess I'm a simpleton.

Anyways, I followed your recipe tonight and they turned out good. How do you properly brown them? Do you cook them in oil? The balls themselves were very tasty & had a nice brown to them. I used 1/2 venison & 1/2 veal though so not much cooked off to make the sauce. I wound having to use a bullion cube to give it flavor. I guess I will need to use some beef in the future to make the sauce.