We are back from our getaway. It was a really short one, but memorable. We did a road trip to Central Coast, California. The views were incredible. I am amazed those places exist in California. I will write about the trip later this week and post some pictures.
After the trip, the weather back home is finally cooling down. This past October was the hottest October ever on record in Southern California. It had been feeling like summer mostly. These few days are the first time I actually put on a jacket. Colder weather means more hearty foods. These meatballs were very satisfying.
Most of us probably tried Swedish meatballs through Ikea. Those warm and meaty little meatballs were waiting for you at the check out. Oddly enough, I have never tried them. Maybe I was never really hungry while at Ikea or I prefer sweet treats instead of savory food. But according to Bryan who has had Ikea meatballs before, he said this recipe is very “authentic”. I am not sure how authentic Ikea meatballs are to Swedish meatballs. All I know is that these meatballs are wonderful!
This recipe is adapted from my blogger friend Oana from Adore Foods. She shares some of the best food recipes from around the world. She is also a very talent photographer. Her photos will sure make you drool. I am sure you will find something you like on her blog. I was drawn to this meatball recipe. I tried it and it was so good. I have already made this a few times.
How are Swedish meatballs different from regular meatballs? It is all about the spice and the gravy. I use less allspice than Oana, because I am just not a huge fan of strong spices. But in my opinion, little goes a long way. I think this amount is good enough. One thing to pay attention to is to make sure you season the meat well with salt and pepper. No one likes bland meatballs. There is a way to test the seasoning. Take a little bit of meat mixture and make into a small patty. Cook it in a small pan and taste it. Adjust the seasoning if needed. That would guarantee flavorful meatballs.
These meatballs were nicely seared and browned. They were very moist and tender. And that gravy was to die for. Little tart from the lemon juice, little sweet from the jelly, and savory from the broth and meat juice. Scoop that over the meatballs and rice… Dinner is all good! Everyone is happy.
- ½ pound ground pork
- ½ pound lean ground beef
- 1 large egg
- ½ cup whole milk
- ¾ cup Japanese panko or breadcrumbs
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley (finely chopped)
- ½ tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1¼ cup low sodium beef broth or chicken broth
- juice of ½ lemon
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 2½ tablespoons lingonberry jam or grape jelly
- In a large bowl, combine ground pork and ground beef with hand. Add egg, milk, panko and allspice. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well. Divide the meat mixture into about 30 portions (about 1½-inch diameter). Roll the meat portions into meatballs with wet hands. Place the meatballs on a baking sheet or large plate. Cover with plastic wrap and cool in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
- When ready to cook, in a large skillet over medium heat, warm up 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add the meatballs and cook until cook through and golden brown, about 13 – 15 minutes. Make sure to rotate them for even cooking. Transfer the meatballs to a clean large plate. Set aside.
- Discard all the fat from the skillet, except for about ½ tablespoon. Return the pan over medium-low heat. Add and melt ½ tablespoon butter. Sprinkle in the flour and stir with a whisk. Slowly pour in the broth while whisking. Whisk until slightly thicken and pretty smooth, about 5 minutes. Add lemon juice, heavy cream and jam. Whisk to combine, about 2 – 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Return the meatballs to the skillet. Coat the meatballs with gravy and cook for 2 more minutes. Transfer the meatballs to serving plates. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately with rice or pasta.
- In general, I used 1 teaspoon of salt & ½ teaspoon ground black pepper for each pound of ground meat. But to ensure tasty meatballs, test the seasoning by cooking a little meat patty in a small pan. Taste it. Add more salt and pepper if needed.
- The meatballs need time to firm up in the fridge. Do not skip this part.
- Lingonberry jam can be bought at Ikea in the grocery isle. But grape jelly would work too. I used grape jelly, because I always have that in the fridge.
- When you first add the lemon juice, it may taste pretty sour. Continue to whisk until the jam is melted. The jam will sweetened up the sauce a bit. Also, adding salt will also help. Keep in mind though, you do want the sauce to be a little bit sour at the end.