Thursday 25 July 2013


Our house is a mere 15-20 minutes drive from Ikea. We go there quite often, just to have coffee, a meal or just to meander around crockery, candles and flat pack furniture. The last stop is always the food shop where I get my stash of gravy mix, lingonberry jam, crab paste and the occasional pack of frozen meatballs. Yummy stuff those. I have heard that people smuggle them on the plane to bring to Ikea-less countries.

Why am I then making these meatballs? Just between us, there has been a rumour that the supplies has been "tainted" with horse meat. My son asks if it is "bad" to eat horse meat. I just explained that it wasn't exactly bad for our bodies but we wouldn't really choose to eat horses nor would we be happy to unknowingly eat it. 

So, I ventured on making Swedish meatballs and am so glad. After comparing recipes, I opted to follow Alton Brown's. I made a few minor adjustments, just to make it how I like it. Both the meatballs and gravy were easy to make and so delicious, especially with lingonberry jam (cranberry sauce would be nice, too). Nicer than I--A's. Please don't tell them. But do try this and spread the word (but not to I--A).

Recipe adapted from Alton Brown's Swedish Meatball Recipe.

Yield: about 40 meatballs; good for 4 servings


2/3 c. chopped onions
5 tbsps. butter
1 c. fresh white sliced bread, cut into cubes
1 tbsp. milk
2 egg yolks
375 gms. minced beef
375 gms. minced pork
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground all spice
1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg


Put the onions in a microwaveable container and top with 2 tbsps. of the butter. Cover and microwave on full power for 2 minutes. Alternatively, cook the chopped onions in the butter in a pan until soft and translucent. 

Put the onions (including the butter it was cooked in) in a food processor. Add in the bread cubes and milk. Puree  until smooth. I did this to make smooth textured meatballs.

Put the rest of the ingredients in a mixing bowl and add in the pureed mixture.  Alton used an electric mixer with a paddle attachment but I just used a wooden spoon. Stir the mixture very well until well blended and pasty. The mixture should be of more or less even in texture and colour. 

Alton says shape them balls weighing about 1 oz. each. I used a small ice cream scoop (level) to make the portions which is more or less 1 oz. each. Throw each portion once or twice against the palm of your hand to expel air and make a more cohesive meatball. 

Heat up a non-stick frying pan and put 3 tbsps. of butter when hot. Fry the meatballs in batches, a few at a time, leaving spaces between them. Turn as each side cooks until browned all over. It takes about 10 minutes for them to cook fully. 

Transfer to a dish and cook the rest in the same way. Set aside.

Cook the gravy in the same pan.

Ingredients for the gravy:

additional butter to make 3 tbsps.
1/4 c. of plain flour
3 c. beef stock (or water + 2 beef stock cubes)
1/4 c. of cream (whipping, double or heavy)
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. sugar


Using the pan used for frying the meatballs, add in enough butter to make about 3 tablespoons. 

Add in the flour and cook on low heat until medium brown. 

Add in the stock a little at a time, stirring well to incorporate after each addition, to make a smooth sauce. You can take the pan off the heat as you do this.

Add in the rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil and and simmer for about 10 minutes until a medium thick gravy is achieved.

Serve with the meatballs.

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