This recipe is what we think of when someone says “meat and potatoes.” A childhood favorite of ours, these Swedish meatballs come by way of Minnesota where our 93 year-old grandmother has been churning out tasty two-biters for three generations. We took a couple of liberties in sprucing up of the mashed potatoes but there’s no need to mess with perfection otherwise.
Equipment Needed: 13 x 9 Baking Pan, 2 Mixing Bowls, Chef’s Knife, Cutting Board, Cheese Grater
Serving Suggestion: Family Style
Suggested Wine Pairing: Old Vine Zinfandel, Shiraz, Rioja, Sauvignon Blanc, Glögg
Suggested Beer Pairing: Brown Ale, Porter, Stout
- 2 lbs ground beef ($3.99/lb)
- 12 oz tube of breakfast pork sausage (about $3.99)
- 4 pieces of sliced bread (about $2.99/loaf)
- 2 eggs ($2.79/dozen)
- 1 1/2 C milk divided ($1.19/QT)
- 6 potatoes ($1.49/lb)
- 3/4 C sour cream, divided ($1.49/16 oz)
- 1 can cream of mushroom soup ($1.69/10.5 oz can)
- 1/3 C grated onion (about 1 small onion)($0.99/lb)
- 4 sprigs fresh rosemary ($1.50/bunch)
- 3 cloves garlic ($2.99/lb)
- 2-3 TSP allspice ($2/2.5 oz jar)
- 2-3 TSP sage ($2/2.5 oz jar)
Mashed Potato Preparation:
- Wash the potatoes and remove any eyes or bad spots. Cut then into halves (or quarters if they’re big) and put them in the pot.
- Peel the garlic and cut it in half as well. Cover the pot and put it over high heat. Once it comes to a boil add the garlic and rosemary sprigs and cook until you can easily slide a fork into the potatoes (about 20-30 minutes).
- When they’re cooked, drain the potatoes and remove the rosemary sprigs (you can take the garlic out if you please, but we leave it in). Add 1/4 C of sour cream, about 3 TBSP of milk and 2 TBSP of butter. Mash and mix thoroughly.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Tear your pieces of bread in half and put them in a mixing bowl. Pour in about a cup of milk so the pieces are covered evenly and let them soak for about 10 minutes.
- As the bread is soaking add the beef and pork sausage to another mixing bowl. Grate in the onion, crack the eggs in and add the sage, allspice and a pinch of salt and pepper. Squeeze some of the excess milk out of the bread you’ve been soaking (you want the pieces to still be pretty soggy) and tear the pieces into the meat and spice mix.
- Using your hands squish and mix everything together so it’s evenly distributed; there’s no other way to do this so get in there and play with your food a bit.
- Now the best part. You want to make sure the seasoning is right since it’s hard to readjust once the meatballs have been cooked. To do so, pull out a small lump of the meat mix (about the size of a quarter and 1/2 inch thick) and put it on a plate in the microwave. Cook it on high for about 45 seconds, let it cool and taste it. It shouldn’t be too salty, sage and allspice should be evenly balanced and there should be just enough pepper for a little bite. Adjust your seasoning to taste and retest if necessary.
- When you’re ready to bake them take a little less than a palmful of meat and roll it into a ball. The ideal size for Swedish meatballs is one to two bites, so make these smaller than you would if you were making their Italian cousins. Pop them in your baking pan and throw those bad boys in the oven for 30 minutes.
- When 30 minutes is up, mix the cream of mushroom soup, 1/2 C of sour cream and 1/4 C of milk together thoroughly. Pour the sauce over the top of the meatballs and make sure you’ve coated each one evenly. Pop them back in the oven for another 10 minutes to finish cooking. Serve with lingonberry jam, cranberry sauce (the closest American equivalent) and/or spicy mustard.