Swedish Meatballs

I’m not going to lie. One of my favorite reasons to go to IKEA (which is thankfully far away) is to overindulge in those delicious little meatballs covered in white/brown sauce. I.can’t.help.myself.

Since moving to the very edge of the south shore those trips to eat those babies have dramatically reduced (as has my houseplant selection and my colorful selection of straws) so, like most things, when I get desperate enough I try to recreate it.

I pinned two or three recipes on how to do this, but none of them really did the trick, primarily because their sauce looked too watery or there were no herbs. This is Sweden folks, they use herbs in a lot of their cooking, think gravlax, think herring. So I just couldn’t get behind them. Plus, I’m not a fan of frying meatballs. primarily because I seem to burn myself and stain my clothing, but also because, why fry when you can bake? Pop them in the oven and then you don’t have to worry about them and can do something else. Win!

So last week I made Swedish meatballs. I had to thicken the sauce a couple of times but oh my god-I got it SO right. I may never have to go to IKEA again (cheap furniture aside).

This is what you need (Serves 4)

For Meatballs

1 pound ground beef

1/2 medium onion chopped very fine

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 egg

1/2 tea allspice

1/2 tea nutmeg

1/2 tea salt

1/2 tea pepper

For Sauce

2/3 cup sour cream

4 cups beef broth

1/3 cup flour

1/4 cup butter

salt and pepper to taste

1 pkg wide egg noodles

5 tbsp chopped fresh dill

Start your meatballs. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a lipped baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a medium sized bowl add all meatball ingredients (I normally let my meat come almost to room temperature so my hands don’t freeze when I mix -I’m a wuss about cold) and mix with one hand quite vigorously (use the other hand to hold the bowl) until all ingredients come together and look nicely mushed and combined. Next, make about 1 inch meatballs by rolling in between your palms, then place on baking sheet (this made about 35). Bake for 20-25 minutes.

While meatballs are baking, start your sauce. (I started about 10 minutes into meatball cooking time). Add butter to sauté pan and allow to melt but not bubble. Add flour and whisk to make a roux. On medium-low heat slowly add in your 4 cups of beef broth, whisking as you go. Let sauce start to thicken, whisking every minute or so. Thickening should take 4-6 minutes. Reduce heat to low and stir in sour cream. Your meatballs should be just about done. Add to the sauce and cover. Turn off heat and cook your egg noodles per package directions. Plate egg noodles, then meatballs and sauce. Gently mix sauce through noodles (this makes a TON of sauce, great for potatoes on another day!) and top with dill. Serve immediately.

We ate almost all of this, and there was a lot. It was a little embarrassing to see the state of our plates afterwards and the groan to make a quick digestive espresso could be heard throughout the house. Very, very successful recipe. One to add to my hearty winter meals rotation.



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