Swedish Meatballs – an authentic family recipe that’s quick and easy to make! These meatballs are soft, juicy, and smothered in rich and creamy gravy.
I pulled this recipe from my maternal family cookbook, a recipe which originally came from Erickson’s Delicatessen located in the once Swedish neighborhood of Andersonville, Chicago. The Swedish deli first opened it doors in 1925 – serving the Swedish community favorites from home such as herring, lingonberries, Swedish sausage, and of course meatballs. This is an adaptation of that recipe. (Update – sadly, after 90 years, Erickson’s Delicatessen closed it doors in 2015).
Swedish meatballs are a comfort classic in our home. Growing up with Jim Henson’s, The Muppet Show, anytime the Swedish Chef came on, I remember my mom saying, ‘Oh I love the Swedish Chef’ (no bias there on her part) 😉
I remember one particular sketch when the Swedish Chef made Swedish Meatballs. As he moved the meatballs around in the pan, one fell out with an audible ‘boing’. Realizing the bouncy quality of his meatballs, he then began hitting them into the audience using a tennis racket (video, here). As a child you can image how badly I wanted to do the same thing with my mothers meatballs, though I fortunately had enough sense not to try it.
These Swedish meatballs are soft, juicy, and perfectly sauced in rich and creamy gravy. For a stellar flavor and texture, you’ve got to use a combination of ground beef and pork (to keep the babies juicy and soft, don’t go for lean – if you’re making these, you might as well go all in).
Serve with egg noodles, potatoes, or lingonberry jam.
- 1 small russet potato
- ½ small yellow onion, grated
- ¼ cup plain bread crumbs
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon water
- ¾ pound ground beef
- ¾ pound ground pork
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ⅛ teaspoon of cardamon
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 3 cups beef stock
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon sherry vinegar
- kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped (optional)
- Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Peel and quarter the potato. Add to the boiling water and cook for 15 minutes. Drain and mash (if you have a potato ricer, that will work too).
- In a large bowl add the mashed potato, onion, bread crumbs, egg, water, beef, pork, salt, black pepper, allspice, and cardamon.
- Using your hands, shape the meatballs into 1-inch rounds and place on a large plate.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon of butter. Add half of the meatballs and sauté until golden brown on all sides, about 7-10 minutes. Remove, and transfer to a large plate tented with foil. Add another tablespoon of butter and cook the other half of the meatballs in the same manner.
- To make the gravy, in the same skillet add 2 tablespoons of butter and warm over medium heat. Whisk the flour into the butter and cook for 4 - 5 minutes until golden brown. Then slowly whisk the beef stock into the butter mixture to make a roux. Once combined, add the heavy cream, sherry vinegar, and season with salt and pepper. Increase the heat to bring it to a gentle simmer and cook until thickened, about 8 - 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed.
- Transfer the meatballs to the gravy and cook over medium-low heat until warmed through, about 5 minutes.
- Garnish with parsley, serve and Enjoy!