Whether or not a person can claim any Swedish heritage has little bearing on their knowledge of Swedish meatballs.
Swedish meatballs. Everyone seems to know about them — and whether they prefer them with or without gravy. Of course those of us with Swedish heritage also know that they’re in fact best with lingonberry sauce. There are actually many variations of Swedish meatballs (köttbullar), and like all beloved foods, most cooks have a favorite recipe, perhaps with secret ingredients, handed down for generations. A key component of any genuine Swedish meatball, however, is its size: köttbullar should be small, bite-sized. They can be made with any kind of ground meat, often mixing together beef, veal and pork, and they can be broiled or fried.
The following recipe is the most basic of köttbullar recipes, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t delicious — and while it packs in the flavors of the authentically Swedish dish, it also allows for some creative variations. But we think you’ll be happy with this as is, from our God Jul cookbook:
1-3/4 pounds minced beef and pork
2/3 cup breadcrumbs
1-1/4 cups milk
1 brown onion
1/2 tbsp salt
1 pinch white pepper
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp ground ginger
butter for frying
• Mix breadcrumbs and milk and let stand 15 minutes • Finely chop onion and brown in skillet, let cool • Mix all ingredients well • Wet a chopping board and your hands with water to make forming the meatballs easier • Brown the meatballs in a frying pan, then finish off in the oven at 350°F for approximately 10 minutes.