Swedish Meatballs (With Cream Sauce)
Time for the weekend! I'm going out tonight for a friends birthday and we are having Chinese Dim Sum! I can't wait. All the runny egg yolk buns will go in my belly! Does this have anything to do with Swedish meatballs? Not really. But I've been ill for the past week or so and I'm so happy to finally be feeling better and going out again.
On the upside of sick days, they are perfect days for comfort food. For me, true comfort food is warm, hearty, salty and rich in flavour. So last Monday, we had these Swedish meatballs with dill french fries and steamed broccoli (Cause comfort can still be healthy). All accompanied by a generous serving of the most delicious cream sauce. This is a meal that lifted my spirits in seconds.
So back to the Swedish meatballs. When I think of Swedish meatballs my mind instantly goes to Ikea. Because, honestly, are there people who have never had the Swedish meatballs at Ikea? They are a great, nostalgic childhood memory, I love those meatballs. I kind of order them every time I set foot into an Ikea store (which is not that often, though). So naturally, I've made an even better tasting version that I could make at home! Now everyone can have Ikea meatballs every day of the week if they would want to. I can not recommend that, but if you really really want to, just go for it! I won't stop you. ;)
40-50 mini meatballs
- 500 gr. mixed beef and pork mince
- 1 small onion (or half a medium onion), very finely diced
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 egg
- 20 gr. breadcrumbs (I use panko)
- 1 1/2 tsp. piment/ all-spice powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. white pepper
- 8 gr. (or half a bunch) fresh dill, finely chopped
- 50 gr. unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 tbsp. flour
- 150 ml. beef stock
- 200 ml. double cream
- Add the ingredients for the meatballs to a large mixing bowl. Combine the ingredients and form into balls. Protip: forming balls is easier when your hands are wet. I usually get around 40-50 meatballs out of this recipe, but I roll them fairly small.
- Heat up about 1 tbsp. of regular olive oil in a large pan on medium to high heat. Once hot, add the meatballs and colour them on the outside. Depending on the number of meatballs you rolled you may need to brown them in batches so the meatballs won't overcrowd the pan. Once brown on all sides remove the meatballs from the pan and set aside. It is okay if they are not completely cooked through yet because they will continue to cook in the sauce later on. Actually, it is better to not leave them to brown in the pan for too long to prevent them from drying out.
- In the same pan melt the butter until it starts to foam. Then add the flour and stir thoroughly to remove lumps. Add the beef stock and stir a few seconds until this sauce base thickens up. Bring to a boil and then turn the heat down low. Add the cream while stirring and once everything is well-combined leave to simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Add the meatballs and their juices back to the pan. The sauce should now have a slightly thickened, gravy-like consistency and should coat the outside of the meatballs. Simmer for a few minutes so the meatballs will heat through. then garnish with some chopped dill and enjoy!
- It is very important to not clean your pan between the cooking of the meatballs and the making of the sauce. The flavour that is left in the pan from cooking the meatballs will give the sauce an amazing depth. You'll thank me later.
- The Swedes usually eat these meatballs with the addition of lingonberry sauce. Ikea actually sells a lingonberry jam that I like to serve with these, but other than that, lingonberries are hard to find here. So, I've figured out that cranberry jam or a tart (homemade) cranberry sauce works quite good as well and is more readily available.
- I like to serve these meatballs with all kinds of side dishes. For example, serve with mashed potatoes or french fries. The meatballs and the cream sauce work wonders with steamed broccoli, or go traditional and add some pickled cucumber to your plate (recipe here).