Swedish Meatballs - Chef Regina Lee - Quarantine Cooking
Swedish Meatballs, Sauce from scratch and Fluffy Mashed Potatoes
There are many different versions of meatball dishes in Europe but none more famous than Swedish meatballs, popularized by Ikea. In fact, there is a debate about whether Swedish meatballs actually originated from Turkey and was brought home by Swedish King Charles XII. Politics and history lessons aside, the difference in making your own Swedish meatballs versus buying frozen ones is HUGE. You will taste the difference, the meatballs will be more moist and have a nice bite largely because you can control the quality and type of meat you use. You can even swap the meats in the recipe for ground chicken or turkey based on your own food preferences/restrictions. Vegetarians can follow the recipe and replace ground meat with ground plant based meat substitute and swap the beef stock for vegetable stock.
The sauce (I call it gravy!!!) is the key 'nom nom" factor in this dish! You'll want to drench the meatballs and potatoes in it after you have tasted this easy made from scratch sauce instead of using the instant powdered sauce mix with preservatives and artificial flavourings.
You can serve these meatballs with fluffy mashed potatoes as per the recipe below or with boiled potatoes, pasta or rice. Pick your choice of greens and definitely serve with a side of fruit preserve such as Ikea's lingonberry jelly. I like to add some fruit for crunch and texture to my fruit preserve so if you have any fresh or frozen redcurrant or lingonberries, try adding them.
This is a great dish to cook up in a big batch and freeze for later, making for a fast and delicious go to meal, or when you just want to reheat, great for school and office lunches.
This is my first attempt at a home cooking video. I am so proud of my 12 year old daughter who helped me edit the video while mummy is desperately learning as fast as she can. No fancy budget, no fancy equipment but guaranteed good food from my recipes.
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From my kitchen to yours,
Chef Regina Lee
Yields : 24 x 2 inch sized meatballs
Time : 45 minutes * see time saving tips below
300g ground pork
300g ground beef
4 tablespoons breadcrumbs
4 tablespoons milk
1 small brown onion grated
8 whole allspice crushed or ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
Pinch of ground white pepper
½ teaspoon ground sea salt
1 egg medium lightly beaten
Olive Oil and 2 cubes of butter for frying
60 grams all purpose flour
500ml Beef stock (I used organic “Better than Bouillon” organic beef stock paste but you can use 1 beef stock cube mixed with hot water)
1 tablespoon soy sauce ( I used Wan Ja Shan brand - naturally aged without preservatives)
1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
50ml heavy or whipping cream
Freshly ground black pepper
Chopped Italian Parsley leaves
1. Add milk to breadcrumbs and soak for 3 minutes in a large bowl.
2. In the bowl of soaked breadcrumbs, add both ground meat, grated onions, allspice, salt and pepper and mix gently.
3. Then add beaten egg to bind it together and mix gently. Do not be too heavy handed in mixing the meat mixture as it will toughen the meatballs up.
4. Roll about a tablespoon of meatball gently till round and continue with the remaining meat mixture. Wet your hands with water to prevent meat mixture sticking to your hands. (At this stage, you can choose to keep these meatballs in the fridge till you are ready to cook it)
5. Preheat oven to 350F or 180C.
6. Heat a frying pan with butter and olive oil. Over medium heat, brown the meatballs in a few batches. Do not fry all meatballs at once as you will be steaming instead of having a nice brown pan-fried meatball. Meatballs will not be fully cooked as it will be finished in the oven. Do not wash the frying pan! This will be used to make the sauce in step 8.
7. Put browned meatballs in a baking pan and bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and keep warm or serve immediately with fluffy mashed potatoes, peas, a large drizzling of sauce and lingonberry jam or any preserves you have in your pantry.
Sauce From Scratch Method
1. Add the 20g butter to the pan that was used to panfry the meatballs.
2. Add flour to the pan and stir it with the melted butter till it becomes a paste. (This is called a roux in French terms and great for thickening the sauce while collecting the flavors from the Maillard reaction of the browned meatballs on the pan).
3. Add beef stock gradually stirring to dissolve the paste. Then strain this mixture into a saucepan.
4. Add seasonings of mustard, soy sauce and pepper over medium heat.
5. Finally add cream and do not boil. Bring to a light simmer, stirring to get the right consistency. You want it to be a pouring consistency but not too thin.
Fluffy Mashed Potatoes
3 large Russet Potatoes peeled (if using organic potatoes , you can keep the skin on)
100-200 ml Milk
30 g butter
Salt and freshly grated black pepper for seasoning
1. Boil water in a large saucepan.
2. Add potatoes when water comes to a boil.
3. Pierce the potatoes with a bamboo skewer. Potatoes are ready when it pierces through easily. Should take 10-15 minutes.
4. Remove water from the saucepan and add butter and half of the milk and seasoning Mash with hand masher or an immersion blender. If using a blender, blend in 3-5 seconds frequency and do not over blend or it will become starchy and not fluffy.
Cube of butter
Salt and fresh ground black pepper
1. Boil water and a pinch of salt in a saucepan
2. When water is boiling, add the frozen peas and wait for peas to float. Drain out peas.
3. Add a small cube of butter, a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper and mix.
4. Serve with Swedish meatballs and fluffy mashed potatoes.
Time Saving Tips:
This a great dish to make a big batch of and freeze. You can cook the meatballs up to step 6 and freeze these meatballs when cool. You can also freeze the sauce in portions so you can defrost the number of meatballs you need for future meals and bake them in a preheated oven at 350 F or 180 C for about 15 minutes. Insert with probe thermometer to read 165 F or 74 C. Reheat sauce in a saucepan and thin it with more beef stock if needed.