February 22, 2013

Köttbullar (Swedish Meatballs)

1/2 lb very lean ground beef
1/2 lb gound pork
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/3 cup milk
1/2 small onion, minced
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven to 350. In a small pan, saute the onions until just browned. Set aside.

Place the breadcrumbs and milk in a medium bowl. Allow to soak 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until well combined. Form into very small (walnut-sized) meatballs. Heat some oil in a oven safe pan (I used a cast-iron skillet). Add the meatballs and saute until browned on all sides. Place the pan in the oven and bake for 10-20 minutes or until the meatballs are fully cooked. Serve immediately.
My thoughts:
In Sweden, meatballs aren't always served with creamy gravy, a trait I quite enjoy. While I like a good gravy topped meatball (see my lightened up version here) and will even indulge in them at the local Ikea, I don't always feel like making a sauce after spending my time making a bunch of tiny meatballs. I honestly don't miss it. I serve the meatballs with Swedish beet salad* (that can be made a day ahead), lingonberry jam and boiled potatoes. Simple but so satisfying!

If you want to be extra Swedish, you can turn leftover meatballs and beet salad into a sandwich (köttbullssmörgås) the next day for lunch.