Baked Swedish Meatballs
Are you a nut for Ikea meatballs?? I must admit that they are like a food-drug for me. I seriously cannot get enough! There really isn’t much of anything as comforting and snugly to nosh on than Swedish meatballs. Maybe it’s because I am partial to my ancestral cuisine, but who can resist hot meatballs swimming in rich gravy served alongside mashed potatoes or fresh bread. Let’s face it, when the temperatures dip low outside, no one wants a salad. Crisp and chilled are not on the list of must eats in December and January. Nope, these little decadent meatballs are exactly what I crave on a cold night. And I say “Hip, hip, hooray” that they are pretty darn simple to make!
1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground pork
soft center of 1/2 a loaf of french bread (or two soft slices)
1/2 cup of greek yogurt
1 onion, finely chopped
1 bunch of parsley, finely chopped
1/4 tsp of grated nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup flour
3 cups broth
1/4 cup cream
Rip your french bread loaf in half, and disembowel it. Too colorful? Sorry…but it is kinda fun playing with your food 😉
Combine the greek yogurt, eggs, parsley, salt, pepper, onion, and nutmeg with the soft bread.
Give the ingredients a good stir-up. You want the bread to get nice and mushy.
Next, add the pork and beef. I tend to mix all the ingredients together by hand, but if you are looking for that perfect Ikea meatball texture, then you will want to use some electric beaters. I think I just hate adding to the washing list at the end of a recipe! But mixing everything in a mixer for a minute or two will give you that classic texture, for sure.
Whichever technique you use for mixing your meatball recipe, in the end, you will shape the mixture into one or two inch balls. You can continue to keep things traditional by frying these little bad boys in butter or oil, but I try to cut some of the crazy calories by baking them in a 400*F oven. Just place them on a cookie sheet and cook until they are golden, about 20-30 minutes, depending on how large you made your meatballs.
While they are baking away, it is time to make your classic Swedish meatball gravy. Again, trying to cut some of the “classic” calories, I use a 1/4 cup of olive oil along with the 1/4 cup of flour to make a béchamel. Quite simply, I warm my olive oil over medium heat, and then I add the flour and stir for a couple of minutes to cook off the flour taste.
Next, whisk in the three cups of broth.
Cook and stir until you achieve the desired thickness. I usually add a bit more salt and nutmeg at this point, and then stir in the 1/4 cup of cream.
Last step is to add your baked meatballs into the rich, and creamy bath of gravy!
Yep! I am my family’s hero after this meal!
Comfort food at it’s finest!