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Swedish Meatballs (Köttbullar)

Prep time
20 mins
Cooking time
20 mins
6 people
Swedish Meatballs (Köttbullar)

Meatballs are traditional Scandinavian fare particularly associated with Sweden.

Recipes tend to vary from region to region, with family recipes handed down through the generations. This one is a result of trying many of these recipes and incorporating the best of the subtle twists!

In Scandinavia meatballs are served as a complete meal along with a cream gravy, mash and lingonberries as part of a smorgasbord or served cold, sliced onto open-faced sandwiches.


For the meatballs

  • 30g porridge oats (GF oats if you want to make the dish gluten-free)
  • 150ml beef stock (shop bought ready-made stock or stock cube is fine)
  • 500g minced beef
  • 250g minced pork (not too lean)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 medium egg
  • 2 tablespoons flour (GF-free if you like)
  • 1 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • Good soy sauce, a dash
  • Salt & white pepper, pinch of each
  • Milk, a splash (if required)
  • Oil & butter, for frying

For the gravy

  • Beef stock (shop bought readymade stock or stock cube is fine)
  • Flour (GF-free if you like)
  • Sour cream

To accompany

  • Potato, boiled and mashed
  • Lingonberry jam (can be purchased from Ikea)
  1. Soak the porridge oats in the beef stock for 15 minutes until soft. Whizz the onion in a food processor, add the pork and beef mince to the food processor, and whizz again until combined.

  2. Combine the soaked oats, egg, flour, soy sauce, spices, salt and pepper in a bowl. Add the meat mixture and combine using a clean hand. The mixture should be sticky and firm enough to mould. If too wet add a bit more flour. If too dry add a little stock or a splash of milk. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

  3. Shape into 2.5-3cm balls in your hands. You may need to flour your hands slightly to stop sticking and a little flour on the outside of the meatball makes for a crispier coating. Refrigerate for a further 15-20 minutes.

  4. Melt butter and oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Fry meatballs in batches, leaving room in the pan so you can shake and move them around for even cooking.

  5. Cook for around 8 minutes - cut a meatball from the first batch to ensure cooked through - then transfer to a heated dish and keep warm in the oven until ready to serve.

  6. Make the gravy in the same pan. You may need to add a little more butter if there isn't enough fat to make a roux. Add the flour and stir into the fat with a wooden spoon until cooked through.

  7. Add a splash of stock and mix, then continue adding stock until you have a thickened gravy. Add 2-3 tablespoons of sour cream to give a creamy, light brown gravy of pouring consistency.

  8. Season to the gravy taste, pour over meatballs and serve with mashed potato and lingonberry jam.

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