, pub-1183232341631896, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 Anders Cooks: Swedish Meatballs

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Swedish Meatballs

Mom's Swedish Meatball Recipe

This recipe is from my mom Ruth. She is a fantastic cook and she learned how to cook back in Sweden as a young girl on the family farm.

Swedish Meat Balls being fried in a frying pan.
Swedish Meat Balls

Swedish Meatballs are so great to keep in the freezer for parties, lunches, dinner or just a snack. You can serve them at a party as an hors d’oeuvres..... or as a full meal for dinner. Accompany the Swedish Meatballs with mashed potatoes, gravy, and fried onion and your almost in heaven.

Making Swedish Meatballs is fairly time consuming and takes a bit of patience. When I make a batch of meatballs I always make a BIG batch, it does not take that much longer to fry up a few more, you have everything in a mess anyway. I mostly make about 200 at the time and then freeze some for parties or dinners. The following recipe makes just that.

Swedish Meatballs laying on a cutting board ready to be fried.
Swedish Meatballs Ready For Frying Pan

Just a few things to remember, Swedish Meatballs should be small, not the size of snowballs. Further it is important to have the right ingredients and have them prepared right. OK, here we go:

Ingredients for approximately 200 Swedish Meatballs:
  • 3 large free range or organic eggs
  • 4 - 5 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp of white ground pepper (fresh ground black pepper will work)
  • 50 ml or 3.4 oz of whipping cream
  • 2 large onions, grated or blended on fine in a blender/food processor or run them through the meat grinder. It is very important to get this step right, there should not be pieces of onion visible in the meatballs.
  • 2 large boiled potatoes, cooled and mashed or send them through the meat grinder.
  • 3.25 lbs or 1.5 kg or ground meat (lean, not extra lean)
  • 1.75 lbs or 800 grams of ground pork
  • 5 tbs of butter (for frying the meatballs. You may use more depending on how you fry them)
  • 6 large onions (optional) slice and to be fried later to go with gravy if you wish.

In a large bowl or in your mixer beat the eggs, salt, and white pepper. Once mixed, add the cream and the grated/blended onions, mix well. Add the mashed potatoes, mix well again.

In a really large bowl add the ground beef. Now the hard work begins and it's time to roll up the sleeves and mix it all well with your hands (remember to wash your hands first). You can also use latex gloves for this part.

Mixing All The Ingredients for the Swedish Meat Balls in a Large Bowl
Mixing All The Ingredients in a Large Bowl

If the meat mixture is too soft or runny add some bread crumbs. Sometimes I have found that the onions can contain a lot of juice and it can make the mixture soft making it hard to shape the meat balls.

Once it is mixed well make two meatballs using a tablespoon measure and fry them up over medium heat. It will take 4-5 minutes for the meatball to be cooked. You have to start turning after about 2 minutes to make sure it cooks evenly. After the two meatballs have cooled off, cut them in half making sure they are cooked and taste to your liking. Let someone else try one as well to get one more opinion. Adjust salt and or pepper accordingly and mix well again.

Now you are ready for the production line. Start making the meatballs and put them on plates or cutting boards. Using the tablespoon measure scoop out the meat. Each meat ball should be only one table spoon (tbs).

By using a tbs measure you will have all meatballs the same size and and they cook very evenly and quickly. They will be super moist and tasty.

Use a table spoon measure to scoop out just the right amount of ground beef for uniform size of the Swedish Meatballs.
Use a tbs measure to scoop out just the right amount of ground beef.

Roll the meat mixture between your hands in to a nice little ball (10-15 seconds), then put on plate or cutting board. Continue to do all of them till done.

Swedish Meat Balls rolled out on cutting boards, ready to be fried.
Roll all the Swedish Meat Balls Before You Start Frying.

Once all are done, melt and brown the butter. With browning the butter i mean to get it good and hot without burning, just so it changes colour a bit. Then turn the heat down to medium-low (varies with all stoves) and add meatballs to the frying pan.

You can use two frying pans but for your first try I would do only one, working two frying pans full of meatballs is a lot of work (forget text messaging or answering phone calls). I use a 10" and one 13" frying pan (commercial grade with non stick) when making meatballs.

Swedish meat balls frying in a frying pan. Spaced in the pan so they do not steam.
When Frying The Swedish Meat Balls, Make Sure Not to Have to Many in The Pan

Make sure not to add to many meatballs to the frying pans, if you do the meatballs steam and they will be tough. There should be at least ½" between each meatball. The frying pan should be good and warm and it should sizzle. I use 4-5 minutes on the timer for the meatballs to be done, during this time they should have been turned several times and be nice brown colour on most sides.

Check the first batch to see how it is cooked and adjust your timer accordingly. Do not over cook, they will dry out.  With a large batch like this you will more then likely freeze some of them and then you will heat them up again.

I set the meatballs on a cooling rack with some wax paper under it and let the butter drip off and for the meat ball to cool down. Later transfer to cookie sheet.

You have another three options for cooking the Swedish Meatballs. You can use a deep fryer, use more butter and oil in the frying pan so it covers the meat balls (sort of like deep frying) or bake them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

(Optional) Once you have all the meatballs cooked, cut up the other 6 onions in slices and add to the frying pans and brown and cook for approximately 20-30 minutes on low to medium heat. Once cooked down to 1/3 of the size and nicely browned remove from heat and spread over the meatballs.

Two frying pans full of onions to accompany the Swedish meat balls.
Fried Onions to Accompany The Swedish Meatballs

Serve with boiled potatoes and gravy. Also goes great with pasta but I prefer potatoes.

Wine Pairing and Recommendations:

For meatballs I like a good Cabernet Sauvignon. Go out and try something new and let me know. I would probably crack open a bottle from the Santa Rita Winery in Chile, try a Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon from the Valle Del Maipo.

This wine has soft tannins and has a really long finish, I just love it and it is really good value as well. Might as well just buy a case.

Kiss the Cook,


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