Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Swedish Meatballs

I LOVE meatballs.  I even like the store bought meatballs in the bag.  These are NOT those kind of meatballs.  This recipe takes some work, but it is SO worth it.  The meatballs are almost fall-apart tender and the gravy is rich and creamy.  I used a Emeril recipe and took a Martha Stewart tip to improve it.  It's a winner!
Meat mixture:
  • 1 lb. of ground chuck
  • 1 lb. of ground pork
  • 1 C. onions, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 T. kosher salt
  • ½ t. cayenne pepper
  • ½ t. ground allspice
  • 1 ¼ C. Panko bread crumbs
  • ¾ C. whole milk
  • 4 T. butter
  • 1 C. onions, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ¼ C. all-purpose flour
  • 2 (14 oz.) cans of beef broth or 3 1/2 C. homemade beef stock
  • ¾ C. sour cream
  • ¼ C. red currant jelly 
  1. In a small bowl, combine the Panko and the milk, mix and allow to sit for 5 minutes
  2. Mix all ingredients for the meat mixture in a large bowl, including the bread crumbs
  3. Make meatballs and place on a wax paper lined, cookie sheet
  4. Add ½ T. of butter to a Dutch oven over medium heat and brown off half of the meatball, cook them for about 8 minutes total, turning to brown all sides
  5. Remove the batch and set aside
  6. Add another ½ T. of butter and brown the second batch
  7. Remove, then add 2 T. butter and sauté the onions until limp
  8. Add garlic and cook 1 minute
  9. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly for 2 minutes
  10. Whisk in the beef broth a little by little and cook until smooth and thick, about 5 minutes
  11. Whisk in the sour cream and the jelly, and bring to a gentle boil
  12. Add the meatball back to the Dutch oven, reduce the heat to a simmer, and cook for 1 hour
  13. Stir occasionally, very gently, the meatballs are very fragile
  14. Serve over egg noodles as a meal, or in a chaffing dish or crockpot as an appetizer
Tips and Tricks:
  • Meatloaf mix is ground beef, pork, and veal.  It is more expensive then buying the ground chuck and pork, but it makes great meatballs.  It’s your choice.
  • I make these meatballs with a 1 ½ inch scoop.  The meatballs are smaller than a traditional Italian meatball.   This recipe will make about 50 meatballs.
  • Don’t skip the step of browning the meatball in the Dutch oven.  I KNOW you might think, it’s easier to just brown them in the oven.  It IS easier, but the flavor for your gravy is coming from all the bits of browned meat on the bottom of that Dutch oven.  If you can’t fit the meatballs in 2 batches, make 3, just add ½ T. of butter each time.
  • If you don’t have allspice, you can substitute ¼ t. ground cinnamon, 1/8 t. ground cloves, and 1/8 t. ground nutmeg.


  1. So, swedish meatballs = brown gravy and italian meatballs = red gravy?

    I'm not sure I'm brave enough to do the allspice.

  2. I guess that is a basic breakdown. The allspice makes the Swedish Meatballs very unique and I think you will like the taste. It gives them a more ethnic taste. You're an adventurer! Try it!