Swedish Meatballs

It’s been a long, long time since I’ve had a Swedish meatball. I think my grandmother made some as a side dish for Thanksgiving or Christmas some 25 years ago. Considering I was only a kid at the time, they must had made some impact on me to remember loving them so much, so when I found this recipe in Food Network Magazine I had to give it a go.

I started off with some butter, onions and garlic sauteing in a saucepan. Season with salt, white pepper and allspice. I have two issues here…

First, white pepper, to me, smells like my old nylon sleeping bag from when I was a kid. That musty old basement smell . I generally don’t like to use it unless in small quantities. This was a small quantity so it turned out okay.

Second, these meatballs ended waaaay too salty. The recipe calls for 2 tsp here, yet I would recommend using just one because damn.

Adding milk and Worcestershire sauce. Say Worcestershire Sauce 3 times really fast!

I just say Wuhstah sauce – a few years ago I worked as a temp for Talbots taking orders for their big spring catalog sale. I was taking an order from this woman from Worcester, MA, and when I read her shipping address back to her she corrected my pronunciation:

Woman: “It’s Wuhstah Mass!”
Me: “Okay”
Woman: “No, you say it”
Me: “Wer-chest..”
Woman: “No! Wushtah”
Me: “Wuhstah”
Woman: “Wuhstah!”
Me: “Wuhstah!”
Woman: “Wuhstah Mass!”
Me: “Wuhstah Mass”
Woman: “Wuhstah Mass!”
Me: “Wuhstah Mass!”
Woman: “Good! Now when am I getting my clothes?”

So, screw the chestershire, it’s just wuhstah sauce.

And after simmering for a few minutes we add the liquid to a cup of breadcrumbs forming sort of a crumbly paste.

Due to messy meat-filled hands I skipped a couple of steps with the photography, and through the magic of cooking on a blog the ground beef and pork got mixed with the breadcrumb mixture, along with a couple of eggs, and formed into one inch balls. Those meatballs then miracled their way onto a baking sheet lined with parchment and covered with plastic wrap. The baking sheet then levitated onto a shelf in the fridge, that mysteriously cleaned itself off, where it stayed for approximately 1 hour.

Who would have thought cooking or blogging would have been this simple?

After an hour, the meatballs go into the oven and I start making the gravy. Here we have butter with a little flour. I was going for a little bit darker but it wasn’t moving, so for fear of burning this I proceeded with the next step.

Add beef broth and Worcestershire sauce and whisk the hell out of it! Add heavy cream..
I ended up using quite a bit of salt and pepper to give this gravy some flavor. I put a little more Worcestershire in it too so I didn’t just have salty gravy. I turned out okay as it thickened more, and when the meatballs came out of the oven I let them simmer in the gravy a bit before serving. I think that helped flavor the gravy some too.
I also added a little dried parsley leaves – maybe a teaspoon I rubbed with my fingers while dropping in.
Who doesn’t love a meatball. 20 minutes in a 400 degree oven worked out perfectly.
So, altogether not too big of a process for this dish. I sauteed some zucchini and yellow squash along with some mushrooms as a side and served the meatballs and gravy over some wide egg noodles.
The flavor of this was spot-on, but my only complaint is how salty the meatballs are. They tasted great underneath all that salt, there’s just no need for it. I almost wonder if the recipe has a typo. I stored the leftover meatballs in the gravy, so I’m hoping the gravy will draw some of that salt out for tomorrow’s lunch.
Anyway, give this one a try if you like Swedish Meatballs. The recipe can be found over on Food Network.
Later this week I shall be continuing the meatball theme!


  1. Looks delicious! Ironically, I discovered Swedish meatballs only when I moved from Europe to the United States. I had Swedish elk meatballs, though…

  2. I have never had Swedish meatballs. I am intrigued now. Will have to try them out…maybe with a different recipe with less salt.

  3. Delicious! I love it…with the magic of blogging the steps were done even without the pictures!

    The recipe is fabulous! Thanks for sharing!

  4. I would like to have this for dinner tonight! I haven't had swedish meatballs for a while and yours look so good, now I'm wondering why. I love how the people from Wuhstah say it, I could never get it quite right either!

  5. Oh yum, who doesn't love a meatball indeed!? You've just reminded be of an amazing recipe I tried a few years ago,it's going to be meatballs for dinner!

  6. Wow fantastic. I love Swedish meatballs, although I've never made them myself. Its been a while since I stopped by and I have to say that I love the improvements on your site. Plus, your photos are awesome! Keep up the great work 🙂

  7. M-M-M! I love meatballs but I would totally take your advice on the salt. I bet the W~ sauce adds that subtle flavor too! Whenever I use W~ sauce it seems to add something, but not enough to pin point the source. I don't think I have ever had Swedish meatballs before.

  8. Dionne – pssst, I think it's the anchovies 🙂

    They add a richness to sauces, sort of similar to how butter adds a richness to cream sauces. The word "breadth" comes to mind, but I'm not exactly sure if that's correct lol.

    As an aside – I really need to add a mod so I can reply to everyone's comments.

  9. I notice the Food Network recipe calls for Kosher salt which measures differently than table salt because of its large grains. The rule of thumb is half as much table salt as Kosher. If you used table salt, that could explain why the meatballs were so salty. The recipe sounds good.

  10. These look really good, I haven't had much luck with meatballs, but I may give these a try! Although I'm pretty sure that the Worcestershire sauce is the thing that's pushing the salt taste over the edge. I think I'd omit the salt altogether and let people salt their dish instead.

    And being from Springfield Mass, I know all about trying to explain to people that Worcester is not pronounced the way it looks lol! Even those of us that live outside of the city call it "Wuhstah" 😀

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