Elegant Austerity Food: Swedish Meatballs

Swedish Meatballs in Traditional Cream Gravy with Yukon Rose Potatoes and Lingonberry Jam
      ©M-J de Mesterton

3) See below for second and first steps in the process. Make gravy by adding butter and flour to the pan just after removing your meatballs, and letting the flour and butter bubble as you stir it with a wooden spoon. When the mixture has browned a little, add cream and/or milk gradually stirring it together until smooth. The amounts will differ according to the number of meatballs you have made. I never use a recipe; so, as my grandmother taught me to do, I simply use my innate sense of proportion. Serve the Swedish meatballs on top of gravy for an elegant look, accompanied by boiled potatoes and a lump of jam, preferably lingonberry, but raspberry preserves or cranberry sauce are fine as well.
©M-J de Mesterton

2) See photo below for the first step. Fry the Swedish meatballs in butter. I have used my largest pan, which is quite flat. Grandmother said to keep the meatballs from touching one another; this keeps them crispy on the outside. Turn them until they are cooked brown on all aspects. I boil my new potatoes (in this case, they are Yukon Rose, a yellow Finn-type specimen that is red-skinned and tasty) while the meatballs are frying. If you cannot find small new potatoes, you can cut up larger red-skinned ones. The peel of the red or new-type of potato is very nourishing; scrubbed up well they are pleasant to see and delicate to eat. For added taste, you may add a bit of salt or chicken bouillon to the pot.
©M-J de Mesterton

1) Mix ground meat (I use only beef), bread (I use bits of rich brioche), cream, egg, chopped onion (dried or fresh) and spices (nutmeg and/or allspice, salt and optional white pepper). Using a meat-baller or your hands, shape the mixture into balls, dust them with flour and fry in butter. The meatballs don’t have to be perfectly round. Our friend Dr. Sundström makes them oval-shaped; that is his personal style. As long as they are small enough to fit into the centre of your partly-opened palm, they will be right.  See photos above for more steps in making Swedish meatballs.
©M-J de Mesterton

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Elegant, Economical Swedish Meatballs

An elegant way to stretch your meat budget in these austere times is to make Swedish or Scandinavian-style meatballs. Each household cook has his or her recipe, but the basics are ground meat such as beef, veal and/or pork mixed with bread crumbs or bits of bread (I use bits of brioche pulled out from my brioche hamburger buns, which have been reserved in a freezer-bag), an egg and some cream or milk.  Finely-minced onion is optional. Spices include nutmeg and/or allspice, salt and optional white pepper. Onion powder can take the place of minced onion, or that flavour may be omitted altogether. Meat mixtures are shaped into small balls and rolled in flour, then fried in butter. A pan-gravy is made while the finished meatballs rest in a warm oven until serving time. I prefer to use ground beef, brioche bits, sour cream, minced onions or onion-powder, nutmeg, salt and white or green ground pepper.
©M-J de Mesterton 2011

Serve Swedish meatballs with new potatoes and perhaps a little lingonberry or cranberry sauce on the side.
This Danish baking-dish has the traditional cream gravy at its bottom, topped with the meatballs (this type of meatball recipe is found in Swedish, Danish and Finnish cookbooks).
Very small new potatoes are usually just boiled in salted water, and not cut into pieces.
These Yukon Gold new potatoes have been cut and boiled, then sautéed in butter and smashed lightly.
©M-J de Mesterton 2011

Elegant, Economical Swedish Meatballs

An elegant way to stretch your meat budget in these austere times is to make Swedish or Scandinavian-style meatballs. Each household cook has his or her recipe, but the basics are ground meat such as beef, veal and/or pork mixed with bread crumbs or bits of bread (I use bits of brioche pulled out from my brioche hamburger buns, which have been reserved in a freezer-bag), an egg and some cream or milk.  Finely-minced onion is optional. Spices include nutmeg and/or allspice, salt and optional white pepper. Onion powder can take the place of minced onion, or that flavour may be omitted altogether. Meat mixtures are shaped into small balls and rolled in flour, then fried in butter. A pan-gravy is made while the finished meatballs rest in a warm oven until serving time. I prefer to use ground beef, brioche bits, sour cream, minced onions or onion-powder, nutmeg, salt and white or green ground pepper.
©M-J de Mesterton 2011

Serve Swedish meatballs with new potatoes and perhaps a little lingonberry or cranberry sauce on the side.
This Danish baking-dish has the traditional cream gravy at its bottom, topped with the meatballs (this type of meatball recipe is found in Swedish, Danish and Finnish cookbooks).
Very small new potatoes are usually just boiled in salted water, and not cut into pieces.
These Yukon Gold new potatoes have been cut and boiled, then sautéed in butter and smashed lightly.
©M-J de Mesterton 2011