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Weeknight Dinners: IKEA-Style Swedish Meatballs

Photo by Steve Webel on Flickr.My kids love to visit IKEA and we never miss the chance to have a plate of meatballs with lingonberry sauce! Here's a take on traditional Swedish Meatballs that a close substitute for those at IKEA. The recipe makes over 100 meatballs, so plan to freeze two bags of cooked meatballs for later. For those who need a quick gravy, use a canned brown gravy (or even the brown gravy packet mixed as directed) and just add the jelly and sour cream. It's still homemade...even with a few shortcuts!




IKEA-Style Swedish Meatballs


1 cup milk

2 cups bread crumbs

2 eggs

3 pounds ground beef (or pork, veal, turkey or equal combination -- your preference)

2 teaspoons salt

2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg (can substitute cinnamon)

1 teaspoon ground allspice

2 teaspoons black pepper

Flour (to coat meatballs before cooking)


Sauce (enough for 1/3 of the cooked meatballs; increase ingredients if you are serving more meatballs):

2 Tbsp butter

1/4 cup flour

1 can beef stock

1/4 cup sour cream

2 Tbsp of lingonberry, cranberry, grape or raspberry jelly, more or less to taste

Mix bread crumbs with the milk and set aside for 15-20 minutes, or until the bread soaks up all the milk. Mix in eggs and seasonings. Add ground meat to bread/egg mixture, and mix with hands just until combined. (Overmixing makes meatballs too dense.) Using a small cookie scoop or tablespoon, roll out meatballs and place on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle balls with flour to lightly coat. Heat a dollop of butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add about 1/3 of the meatballs, browning them slowly on all sides. Repeat twice, adding more butter with each batch. Once browned, remove them from the pan, setting them aside so you can make the gravy. (This makes over 100 meatballs -- at this point I usually divide and freeze 2/3 of the meatballs in freezer zip bags for later use.)

To make the gravy, heat the butter on medium until hot. Slowly whisk in the flour. Stirring often, until it is the color of light coffee. Slowly add the beef stock a little at a time, stirring and adding stock slowly. (Or skip the homemade gravy and use prepared brown gravy from a can or powdered mix.) Add the jelly to hot gravy and stir to melt/blend. Add about 1/3 of the cooked meatballs to the sauce and turn the heat down to low. Cover the pot and cook on low heat for 5 minutes. Stir in the sour cream just before serving. (If gravy seems too thick, add a little water to thin.)

Serve with noodles, mashed potatoes or rice.

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