Maybe it’s the genetic influence of my Swedish Great Grandfather, but my favorite meal has always been Swedish Meatballs. My husband’s first exposure to this delicacy happened while escorting me on a shopping trip to Ikea and, despite the barely adequate quality of their cafeteria-style food, he was hooked too! Over the years, the frequency of which I actually cooked the dish declined in direct correlation with the number of trips we took to Ikea. It became a matter of convenience. Then suddenly I realized that I couldn’t remember the last time I’d cooked it! …and my epiphany came just in time for our 5th wedding anniversary, so I’m sure you can guess what we had for dinner on September 29th! This recipe is dedicated to my husband who told me to never EVER change it because it’s absolutely perfect. Let me know if you agree.
3 slices wheat bread, crust removed
1/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter, divided
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound ground pork
1 pound ground beef
3 large egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 cups low sodium beef broth
2 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon dried parsley
16 oz package wide egg noodles
1 can whole cranberries sauce
1 bag frozen long green beans
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
2. Pour the milk and egg yolks over the slices of bread. Set aside.
3. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a large sauté pan or pot. Add the onion and a pinch of salt. Allow onion to “sweat” over medium heat until the onions are soft and just barely transparent, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and let cool.
4. In a large bowl, combine the cooled onions, the milk/egg/bread mixture, ground beef, ground pork, salt, black pepper, allspice and nutmeg. Take off your rings, wash your hands and use your hands to thoroughly squish and mix the ingredients until completely blended.
5. Get your hands wet (so meat doesn’t stick to them) and roll the meat mixture into 1″ meatballs.
6. Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the meatballs and saute until golden brown on all sides, about 7 to 10 minutes. Remove the meatballs to an ovenproof dish using a slotted spoon, cover with foil and place in the warm oven. Depending on the size of your sauté pan, you may have to do a few batches but DON’T drain the juices from the pan in between batches.
7. In a separate pot, cook egg noodles as instructed on package. Strain and set aside. Pop the green beans into the microwave as instructed on package so they can cook while you make the gravy for the meatballs.
8. To make the gravy, add the beef broth to the juices in the meatball pan. Let it simmer for 5 minutes while scraping the bottom of the skillet with a spatula to release any stuck meatball yumminess.
10. Whisk the flour mixture into the warm beef broth mixture. Let simmer, whisking constantly to prevent lumps, until thickened slightly, about 3-5 minutes. Add the heavy cream and season with salt and pepper.
12. To serve, scoop a serving of egg noodles onto each plate then use a ladle to pour meatballs and sauce over the noodles. Plate it with some cranberry sauce (since authentic Swedish lingonberry is expensive and hard to find!) and long green beans (because traditional potatoes AND noodles is an awful lot of carbs!).