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Serves 4-6

I double or triple this recipe all the time! There isn’t such a thing as too many Swedish meatballs!

For the meatballs-

  • 3 slices white bread, crusts removed, cut into cubes (about 2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/2 large yellow or white onion, grated using the large holes of a box grater
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

For the sauce-

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1/4 cup sour cream (use full-fat or the sauce may curdle)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Soak the bread in milk, then shred: 

Place the cubed bread in a large bowl and mix with the milk. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Once the bread has soaked up all the milk, shred with the tines of a fork or by hand.

1-Sauté the grated onion: 

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a pan on medium-high heat. Stir in the grated onion and cook until translucent and softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool for a minute.

2-Make the meatball mixture: 

Stir the cooled onions into the milk bread mixture. Add the egg, ground beef and pork, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cardamom. Use your (clean) hands to mix everything together until well combined.

(If you have extra time, chilling the mixture for 20 or so minutes will make it easier to form the meatballs.)

3-Form the meatballs: 

Use your hands or a cookie scoop to form the mixture into meatballs about 1 1/4-inch to 1 1/2-inch wide and place them on sheet pan. I line my sheet pan with foil it makes clean up easier. This recipe makes about 40 meatballs. Note that the meatballs will be a bit on the wet side.

4- Cook the meatballs:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the sheet pan with meatballs on the center rack and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Meatballs should be juicy, but not pink inside. The internal temperature should be 165 degrees with a quick read thermometer.

5-Make the sauce:

Add 3 tablespoons of fresh butter to a pan. Heat the butter in the pan on medium heat until it melts.

Slowly whisk in 3 tablespoons of flour. Stir until smooth. Continue to stir, allowing the flour mixture to cook, several minutes, until the roux is the color of coffee with cream. Be careful not to let it burn.

When the roux has cooked to a lovely shade of light brown, slowly add the beef broth, stirring as you do.

The broth will sputter at first and may seize up, but keep adding the stock slowly and keep stirring. Eventually the sauce will loosen and become silky.

Remove the pan from heat and stir in the sour cream.

At this point, you can either add the meatballs to the sauce to serve or serve them separately. I like to serve them with mashed potatoes and a green salad because that is how my Swedish friend Christina Palomaki served them to me. I love these with lingonberry jam.