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Course: Mains
Keyword: Beef, Comfort Food, Meats, Swedish Meatballs, Weeknight Dinner

Swedish Meatballs

ACTIVE TIME: 30 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 55 minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
A blend of pork and chuck keeps these meatballs moist, while allspice and nutmeg give the beefy bites their signature flavor.
I've questioned some Swedes quite pointedly about the origins of their delicious meatballs, or kottbullar (do not ask me to pronounce this, for not even my Swedish acquaintances can pull it off without producing a great deal of airborne spittle), which have apparently been part of the standard smorgasbord for at least a couple hundred years and are traditionally served in a cream gravy with lingonberries.
They were adopted by modern housewives here in the 1950s and '60s because they allowed the use of two beloved attributes of the age: chafing dishes and frilly toothpicks.
This recipe first appeared in Season 9 of Good Eats.
Photo by Lynne Calamia
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  • 2 slices fresh white bread
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons clarified butter, divided
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 teaspoons plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 12 ounces ground chuck
  • 12 ounces ground pork
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/4 cups unsalted beef broth
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon chopped, fresh parsley if desired

Specialized Hardware

11-inch straight-sided saute pan
Digital kitchen scale
ACTIVE TIME: 30 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 55 minutes
Yield: 4 to 6 servings


  • Heat oven to 200ºF.
  • Tear the bread into pieces and place in a small mixing bowl along with the milk. Set aside.
  • In an 11-inch straight-sided saute pan set over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter. Add the onion and two pinches of salt and sweat until the onions are soft. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the bread and milk mixture, ground chuck, pork, egg yolks, 1 teaspoon of kosher salt, black pepper, allspice, nutmeg, and onions. Mix on medium speed for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Using a scale, weigh meatballs into 1-ounce portions and place on a sheet pan. Using your hands, shape the meatballs into rounds.
  • Heat the remaining butter in the saute pan over medium-low heat or in an electric skillet set to 250ºF. Add the meatballs and saute until golden brown on all sides, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove the meatballs to an ovenproof dish using a slotted spoon and place in the warmed oven.
  • Once all the meatballs are cooked, decrease the heat to low and add the flour to the pan or skillet. Whisk until lightly browned, 1 to 2 minutes. Gradually add the beef stock and whisk until sauce begins to thicken.
  • Add the cream and continue to cook until the gravy reaches the desired consistency. Taste and season with the remaining salt if desired. Retrieve the meatballs from the oven, cover with the gravy, and serve (garnished with parsley if desired), to a very cool and mod world.
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