Swedish meatballs must be the most famous "export" recipe from this fascinating country. I like to think that these are a little bit different, and more authentic than most recipes you see. This is REAL Swedish home cooking at its best - and if you can manage to get hold of Lingonberries, you will notice a wonderful & very subtle difference; however, cranberries will do just as well. These meatballs are perfect served with piles of mashed potatoes or broad ribbon pasta.
Lingonberry or Cranberry Sauce
- 500 g lingonberries or 500 g cranberries
- 1 lemon, juice and zest of, finely grated
- 150 g caster sugar
- 50 g butter
- 1 onion, peeled and very finely diced
- 2 teaspoons allspice
- 100 g fresh brown breadcrumbs
- 150 ml milk
- 1⁄2 kg fresh minced beef
- 1⁄2 kg fresh ground pork
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 400 ml beef stock
- 200 g sour cream or 200 g creme fraiche
- 4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
- To make the sauce, put the lingonberries or cranberries into a heavy bottomed saucepan with about 100 to 120 mls of water, the lemon juice and zest & bring to the boil.
- Then turn the heat down to a gentle simmer and cook for 10 to 15 minutes. As soon as the berries have started to burst - add the caster sugar and cook until the sugar has completely dissolved. Take off the heat and allow to cool. Check for sweetness, if it is too sour, add more sugar to taste and cook until dissolved.
- To make the meatballs, first melt a little of the butter in a frying pan and add the finely chopped onion - sauté until soft & then add the allspice.
- Soak the breadcrumbs in the milk - until the milk has been absorbed, about 30 to 45 minutes. Mix the fried onion in with the soaked bread and then add the meat and beaten egg, season and mix well.
- Dampen your hands and form the mixture into balls about the size of large walnuts.
- Heat half of the remaining butter with half of the oil and fry the meatballs in batches - until they are golden brown in colour and hold their shape.
- Allow to meatballs to cool slightly.
- Heat up the remaining butter and oil in the pan and add the flour - cooking over a low heat until the flour is golden and sandy in appearance (like a roux base).
- Take the pan off the heat and gradually add the beef stock, stirring and blending well after each addition. Put the pan back on the heat and bring to the boil - then add the sour cream (creme fraiche). Turn the heat down and add the meatballs - cover and cook over a low heat for about 15 to 20 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.
- Check and adjust the seasoning before adding the chopped dill to the meatball and sauce mixture.
- Serve with the Lingonberry or Cranberry sauce, and mashed potatoes or broad ribbon noodles.