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Grandma's Swedish Meatballs

Serves 4
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

"Meatballs is a very famous Swedish dish, which is served as a part of the Christmas dinner, as well as an everyday meal. Every family has their own recipe and this one is based on my grandma's. Forget the meatballs from IKEA, this is the real thing!"



  • 350 g beef mince
  • 150 g pork mince
  • 1 brown onion
  • 1-2 Tbsp of breadcrumbs
  • 3 Tbsp cream
  • 3 Tbsp milk
  • 5ml salt
  • 5ml white pepper/black pepper
  • Ground all spice
  • Ground ginger
  • 1 egg
View the method
  1. In a big bowl, mix breadcrumbs with cream and milk. Leave the mix to thicken.
  2. Chop the onion finely and fry in butter on low heat until golden (not brown).
  3. Add the mince into the breadcrumb mix, together with the spices and the onion.
  4. Stir the mix with a wooden spoon. The mix should have quite a smooth texture. It if is too "chunky" or dry/thick, add a bit more milk until you are happy with the mix.
  5. If the mix is not holding together you can add an egg but often this is not needed.
  6. Now it is time to roll the meatballs. To do this. Rinse a chopping board or similar in cold water and also rinse your hands in cold water before you start. This will stop the meatball mix to get stuck to the board and your hands. Roll the meat into balls of desired size and put on the board.
  7. Add butter into a frying pan. A cast iron pan makes the best meatballs but any pan will do.
  8. When the butter goes from yellow to white and starts to form "islands" in the pan and then goes slightly brown, the pan has the right temperature and you can put the meatballs in.
  9. Fry the meatballs until dark brown. Move the pan so the meatballs are rolling and get evenly fried.
  10. When all meatballs are fried leave in a pot on the side and start on the sauce, which according to all Swedes is the best part of the entire dish.
  11. To make the sauce. After frying the meatballs you will have lots of lovely flavour stuck to the bottom of the frying pan. To release these flavours, add a cup of water to the frying pan and reduce to about a third of the amount and the liquid is brown and a little bit thick. Now turn the heat down and add cream. Add some of the same spices to the sauce as you used in the meatball mix. Let the sauce simmer until it is thick and nice.
  12. Serve the meatballs with boiled potatoes and any of the following: loganberry jam, grated carrots, pickled cucumber, sautéed onion rings. And of course the sauce!
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