The Swedish meatball in Swedish Köttbulle [pronounced cheutbulle] is very different from the German or known Italian meatball here in the US. Swedish meatballs which are a smaller size then the Italian ones are severed with cooked potatoes, creamy brown gravy and lingonberry. Some history that I found on the Internet:
- In northern Scandinavian countries beef was considered a luxury item, which meant meatballs were highly prized.
- Meatballs are traditionally in served at Swedish smörgåsbord and other festive occasions.
- Swedish meatballs were brought to the USA by Scandinavian immigrants; many of whom settled in America’s northern mid-west states. Other Northern European countries also have meatball/gravy recipes. Regional variations are often a reflection of taste and ingredient availability.
- In the US, Swedish meatballs were very popular in the beginning of the 20th century, and again in the 1950s-1960s.
Here is a recipe for my Swedish meatballs, again there are many variations to this, some don’t add the heavy cream, some add ground veal as well, some only have ground beef, some add carrots etc. But this is my version of them and this is how I like them.
Yield: About 24 meatballs, serving 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 20 minutes
½ cup breadcrumbs
½ lbs of ground pork
½ lbs of ground beef
1 onion finely chopped
1 cup heavy cream
1 tsp salt
1 tsp ground white pepper
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp of soy sauce
Take the ground beef and mix them together. Chop the onion very fine and put it into the mixture then add the egg, heavy cream and breadcrumbs and mix well. Then add all the remaining ingredients salt, white pepper, and allspice and soy sauce and mix well. I usually use a fork for that and then at the end use my hands.
Once you have it mixed it is time to roll them meatballs. Again, Swedish meatballs are small and should be about 1 inch in diameter. Fry on a frying pan with butter until brown on the outside. You can also make them in the oven as well.
Serve with Lingonberries (lingonsylt) which you can find in many local stores and in IKEA but this is a must item. The potatoes I usually like are the smaller red potatoes because they don’t flake when you boil them. And I will boil them with their skin on them. You can also do other flavors of potatoes like potato au gratin or roasted poratoes as well.