Classic Swedish meatballs with lingonberry sauce
Makes 6 to 8 servings
Swedish-style comfort food at its best, these flavourful little meatballs are perfect accompanied by fresh lingonberry sauce. As the sauce is also an ingredient for the meatballs, make it first. Serve over egg noodles or with boiled potatoes.
Lingonberry sauce (Makes 3 cups)
21⁄2 lb. (1.125 kg) fresh lingonberries
1 cup (250 mL) water
1 cup (250 mL) sugar
Combine lingonberries with water in a large saucepan, stir well and bring to a boil. Boil for about 8 minutes, skimming off any foam that accumulates on the surface. Add sugar, mixing well with fruit. Return to a rolling boil for a few minutes until sauce is thick and glossy.
Ladle sauce into sterile jars, leaving 1⁄4 inch (6 mm) of headspace. Seal jars according to manufacturer’s directions. Refrigerate once opened and use within 2 weeks.
1 cup (250 mL) fresh bread crumbs,
air-dried on a baking sheet
3⁄4 cup (175 mL) milk
3 tbsp. (45 mL) unsalted butter
3 tbsp. (45 mL) olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. (5 mL) ground nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
1 lb. (450 g) lean ground beef
1 lb. (450 g) ground pork
1⁄4 cup (60 mL) chopped flat-leaf (a.k.a. Italian) parsley
1⁄4 cup (60 mL) chopped dill
2 tbsp. (30 mL) all-purpose flour
11⁄2 cups (375 mL) chicken stock
3⁄4 cup (175 mL) sour cream
1⁄4 cup (60 mL) lingonberry sauce
Stir together bread crumbs and milk in a small bowl; let stand for 5 minutes. Place half the butter and half the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add shallots, garlic, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Sauté until shallots are softened and fragrant, about 2 minutes, but don’t brown. Remove from heat and let cool.
Combine beef and pork in a bowl. Add shallot mixture, egg, parsley, dill, salt and pepper. Squeeze milk out of bread crumbs (discard milk) and add to meat mixture. Using your hands, combine ingredients well. Shape 1⁄3 to 1⁄2 cup (75 to 125 mL) of meat mixture into small meatballs, placing them on a large plate as you go.
Melt remaining butter with oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add meatballs, cooking in batches (don’t overcrowd pan, as meatballs will steam, not brown). Occasionally shake pan so meatballs retain their round shape. Fry for 6 to 7 minutes or until well browned on all sides; transfer to a paper-towel-lined baking tray.
Drain all but 1 tbsp. (15 mL) of fat from pan (add a little more butter if needed). Use a whisk to blend in flour. Add chicken stock, whisking continuously to prevent lumps and scraping up any bits clinging to pan. Simmer until stock is reduced and slightly thickened. Season to taste; add sour cream, whisking to blend well. Add lingonberry sauce and stir to combine.
Return meatballs to skillet and stir gently in sauce, turning them over with tongs. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until thoroughly cooked through.