Besides the allure of new furniture, pretty textiles and the challenge of pronouncing their names (“Fyrkantig, “Flardfull” and “Smorboll” are a few of my favorites), nothing draws me and the husband nearer to IKEA than the promise of their Swedish meatballs.
Amiright?? There’s just something about the savory taste of each meatball doused in creamy gravy with sweet and tart lingonberry jam on the side that screams, “SMAKLIG!” (that’s “tasty” in Swedish. I think.)
Of course, there’s nothing quite like the home-cooked version, either, and my grandmother-in-law (whose family hails from the land of the Swedes) makes some of the best I’ve ever tasted. This recipe for Sage Swedish Meatballs
is loosely based off of her personal recipe, with fresh sage for an added savory, earthy flavor.
If you haven’t had the pleasure (or, ahem, adventure) of going to IKEA and trying their meatballs or you’re craving a solid Scandinavian meal at home, this simple, comforting dish is worth a try.
Pour all your ingredients for the meatballs into a large bowl. I love the combination of flavors rendered by ground beef and ground pork, so I use both – but if you can’t find ground pork or have an aversion to it, using all ground beef is fine, too.
I also throw in a bit of chopped fresh sage, which gives the meatballs an extra, unique flavor that I really love.
Mix all the meatball ingredients together, then roll it all up into 1 to 1 1/2-inch balls and place them evenly on lightly oiled baking sheets. You should end up with about 60 meatballs, which feeds a crowd (or if you’re like my meatball-monger husband, about 4-6 servings). Cover the meatballs and let them chill in the fridge for about an hour.
When the meatballs are done chilling, uncover them and bake them in the oven for about a half-hour. Meanwhile, make the gravy on the stovetop. Mix together butter and flour in a ginormous skillet to make a paste.
Then, add beef stock, whisk and bring to a simmer.
When the meatballs are fully cooked, add half the batch to the gravy along with some sour cream. Let the whole thing simmer over medium-low heat for about 10 minutes, then remove the meatballs and replace them with the second batch. Let the second batch simmer in the sauce for another 5 minutes or so, until the gravy thickens.
Finally, place a few (or a mountain) of meatballs on a plate, spoon the gravy over the top and sprinkle with fresh sage. Place a dollop of lingonberry jam on the side. You won’t be sorry.
There you have it! Comfort food fit for a Viking. Or anyone who loves a good meatball.Stephanie (aka Girl Versus Dough) joined Tablespoon to share her adventures in the kitchen. Check out Stephanie’s Tablespoon member profile and keep checking back for her own personal recipes on Tablespoon!