Swedish Meatballs with Gravy and Mashed Potato Recipe

November 13, 2012 by

Swedish Meatballs

Image courtesy of Saveur


Swedish Meatballs have been made popular by IKEA’s cheap and cheerful cafeteria lunches. I’ve only had IKEA’s Swedish Meatballs once, but they were actually quite nice and I’ve been looking for alternate meatball recipes for awhile. I’m not a fan of the lingonberry jam with it but I know lots of people do like it, so if you want to include that you can buy it at IKEA.

I don’t know what greens they eat in Sweden, but we just served this with green beans, broccolini and wilted English spinach, and of course, mashed potato. I didn’t get to take a photo because after our move I still can’t locate the camera charging cable, so I’ve borrowed the one from the original recipe.

I made this recipe to the letter as it was a new dish for me, but it does have a fair amount of calories, even if you use low fat cream (or Philly Cream for Cooking) and only a tiny amount of butter like I did. I’ve adjusted the recipe to reflect the slight changes I made. The meatballs were incredibly delicious, and I think the cream did help them stay moist, but I think you could reduce the amount of cream in the meatballs to 1/2 cup, as it did make the mixture quite wet and somewhat difficult to roll. You could also make a normal meatball recipe without the cream, just make sure you don’t overcook them and make them dry. I don’t think you could just replace the cream with any other liquid, as obviously the texture/fat in the cream really helps it bind and stay juicy, not watery.

I’ll leave it up to you – if you use less/no butter, low fat cream and have the recommended serving size of 5 meatballs, a heaped tablespoon of mash and lots of steamed greens, it is a rich but not wholly unhealthy dinner. The recipe is pretty forgiving, so don’t worry if you have a little bit of extra mince, or less cream, or less breadcrumbs.

Serves 6

  • 20g unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black or white pepper, to taste
  • 2 slices crustless bread, torn into small pieces or 1/2 cup ¬†fresh breadcrumbs (I used gluten free seeded bread without an issue)
  • 500g lean pork mince
  • 500g lean beef mince
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 onion, very finely chopped or minced in a food processor
  • 300ml/1.25 cups cream (low fat is fine, and a 300ml tub will leave you a bit leftover for your mash)
  • 3 tablespoons plain flour
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • Lingonberry preserves, mashed potato and steamed greens, to serve

Place 1/2 cup of cream and the bread in a small bowl and let sit until soft, about 5 minutes. In a large bowl place pork, beef, allspice, egg, onion, and bread/cream mixture. Season with salt and pepper, and mix well with your hands until evenly combined (to combine the cream you have to ‘kneed’ it for a few minutes).

Shape mixture into small, bite-sized balls. You will get 30-50 from the recipe, depending on how big you make them. Obviously the smaller they are, the more people your recipe could potentially serve.

I made about 70 ping-pong sized balls and kept 20 or so back to put in some leftover osso buco sauce we had. I can now have these on pasta for another dinner!

Heat butter and oil over medium heat, and working in batches, cook meatballs until browned all over. I always have my pan too high and end up darkening the outside before the inside is cooked, so I recommend just colouring the meatballs to your liking, then placing on an oven tray. Bake, uncovered, for 10-15 minutes at 180 degrees (no fan) until cooked through. I think you get the best result cooking them this way.

With all the meatballs out of the pan, turn the heat up to medium-high. Add flour and whisk until combined with the pan juices and the flour is bubbling (about 2 minutes). Pour in the beef stock, 1 cup at a time, and whisk until smooth. Bring to a boil to thicken slightly, season with salt and pepper to taste, then lower the heat and stir in remaining 1/2-3/4 cup cream. Add meatballs and any resting juices to the gravy and stir to combine.

Serve meatballs and gravy over mashed potatoes, with steamed greens, and a generous dollop of lingonberry preserves.

If you only served two people with this dish, you can use the leftovers to make Beef Meatball Stroganoff, or simply serve them on crusty bread rolls as a meatball sub for lunch.

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  1. Tim

    I looooooooooooved the lingonberry jam on these. They go so (unexpectedly) well together!

  2. Cat

    I cooked these again but reduced the cream and they were a bit dry, so I think next time I would definitely still use the almost the whole amount of cream. The key is obviously the liquid moisture, so I don’t know if another substitute might be appropriate… condensed milk? Personally I’d just rather use the cream and eat a smaller serve! Also another tip – I found commercial white bread didn’t break up very well so I would advise turning the bread to crumbs before soaking it in the cream.

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