A few weeks ago, I learned that most of the world is pronouncing Ikea the wrong way. We met a Swedish woman who told us that Ikea is pronounced “Ee-kay-ya” in Sweden, not “I-keeya”. Random fact of the day!
Speaking of Ikea, we used to drive forty minutes to the other side of the city (when we lived in Edmonton) just to have a $1 Ikea breakfast (the cheapest powdered eggs ever!). Then we’d wander around the showroom and finally finish off with a $3 lunch – and invariably, we’d get the meatballs with gravy. I’ll admit it: we loved Ikea meatballs.
That is, until we tried this recipe for Swedish meatballs (adapted from Jamie Oliver’s Jamie Does…).
Although this recipe takes a bit of time, it is one of the most popular recipes in my hosting arsenal – a real crowd-pleaser! The meatballs are tender and tasty (and infinitely better than the ready-made, frozen variety), flavoured with thyme and the barest hint of dill. The gravy is unique: while it is beef-based, it’s also made with a lot of cream and turns out more white than brown. Make a lot of gravy – it’s delicious!
Swedish Meatball Recipe
Serves 4. Adapted from Jamie Does… by Jamie Oliver
- 6-7 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves only
- 2-3 sprigs of fresh dill, chopped
- 400 grams ground/minced pork
- 400 grams ground/minced beef (lean)
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon all-spice powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- oil for frying
- juice of 1/2 a lemon
- 1 cup of beef stock
- 3 heaped tablespoons of flour
- 1 cup heavy/double cream
- 3 tablespoons cranberry jelly
Prepare a large (9′ by 14′) pan by lightly oiling the bottom. Prepare the meatballs by mixing all of the ingredients (except the oil) in a large metal bowl. I like to use my hands to turn the meat in a kneading motion. I also have a bowl of hot water nearby to dip my hands in when they get too cold. Mix the meat until the spices are evenly distributed.
Wet your hands to prevent the meat from sticking. Take about 2 tablespoons of the meat mixture and roll it between your palms to form a meatball. Place the meatball on the oiled pan. Repeat with the rest of the mixture. Cover the pan with cling film and refrigerate for at least forty minutes.
When you’re ready to cook, heat the oil in a large skillet. Brown the meatballs on all sides (in batches if necessary) until they are fully cooked through (about 15 minutes). Set the cooked meatballs aside. Keep the same pan (with all the juices) hot on medium heat. Pour in the stock and lemon juice. Bring to a boil and whisk in the flour. Stir vigorously and constantly for a few minutes until the gravy thickens. If it becomes too pasty, add a few tablespoons of water – but don’t over dilute the gravy. Add the cream and cranberry jelly. Stir for a few minutes until the gravy thickens.
Return the meatballs to the pan with the gravy. Turn to coat them.
We always eat this with rice, but it would be lovely with mashed potatoes, fries or roasted potatoes as well.
Enjoy your Swedish meatballs!
On a personal note, I probably won’t be posting anything new for the next couple of weeks because Jay and I are taking off on a holiday to Kenya and we’ve decided to leave the laptop at home. Have a great two weeks everyone!