Swedish Meatballs are a classic dish from Sweden, characterized by a mixture of beef and pork with strong spicing, usually involving allspice. My family is actually Norwegian, and the recipe that we use has been modified by the realities of available ingredients in the United States. What I show below is the result of the negotiation between my mother and I over the course of my lifetime, so while it may not be strictly traditional in the broader context, this is what Swedish meatballs are to me. Enjoy!
This recipe is intended for parties or other large events. If you're just serving 2-3 people, reduce the meatball recipe to a third of the suggested ingredients, and the sauce to half.
- 1 lb ground beef (medium lean)
- 1 lb ground veal (see note 1, below)
- 1 lb ground pork (see note 2, below)
- 2 cups finely ground breadcrumbs, unseasoned
- 2 raw eggs
- 1 tbsp allspice + 1 tsp allspice
- 1 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 dash celery salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 cans Campbell's Cream of Mushroom soup
- 2 cans Campbell's Beef ConsommÃ© (see note 1, below)
Optional (to taste):
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 4-8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 small bunch fresh parsley, chopped fine
There are two parts to this dish: the meatballs and the sauce. The meatballs are prepared first, and then put into the sauce to finish in the oven. For cooking the meatballs, you will want a large frying pan, though if you wish to do the entire dish in a dutch oven, that will reduce cleanup by one large item. If you don't use a dutch oven, you'll want a casserole for the final stage.
In a large bowl, combine the beef, veal, pork breadcrumbs, eggs, 1tbsp of the allspice (1 tsp is for the sauce), and all other spices. Mix with your hands, folding and pressing until the mix is even, then shape the meatballs. They should be larger in diameter than a quarter, but smaller than a silver dollar. They're meant to be about right for one or two bites.
Once you have the meatballs formed, get them into the frying pan in batches. You want to avoid having so many in the pan that it's hard to turn them. Roll them around frequently with tongs or a fork and when they're all browned, add them to the cans of soup and the extra allspice in a casserole or dutch oven.
Place them into a pre-heated 350 degree oven and bake for 30 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked all the way through (you may have to make the supreme sacrifice and eat one to test ;-)
- If you don't like veal or just can't find any, you can substitute with regular ground beef and 1/3 of a pack or sheet of gelatin. Gelatin is also useful if you can't find beef consommÃ©. Just mix beef broth with 1/4 of a pack or sheet of gelatin (skip this if you have already put some in the meatballs to substitute for the veal). Gelatin gives a texture and flavor to meat-based dishes that enhances their flavor and both veal and consommÃ© have a fair bit of it by default.
- If you are trying to keep Kosher, you'll need to skip the pork. Since ground pork has more fat than beef, I suggest using a slightly fattier beef.