Just before Christmas I was walking through Home Goods through the aisle where they have spices, sauces and jellies of all kinds and I saw a jar of lingonberry preserves. It’s not something you see at all around this area at any time and I did pick it up and put it in my cart but then upon second thought I put it back .I kept thinking I was never going to use this very often and didn’t really want to spend the extra money on it. Upon hindsight I should have made the purchase when we decided we wanted to make Swedish meatballs on Christmas Eve as an appetizer and I wanted to make them as authentic as possible. I found this recipe from Marcus Samuelsson of Food Network and Red Rooster fame and since he was from Sweden I figured he knew what he was talking about. I ended up having to make a substitution for the lingonberry preserves (more on that later), but the recipe still turned out really well.
Marcus Samuelsson’s Swedish Meatballs
For the meatballs:
1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium red onion, finely chopped
1/3 pound ground chuck or sirloin
1/2 pound ground veal
1/2 pound ground pork
2 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons butter
For the sauce:
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup lingonberry preserves
2 tablespoons pickle juice
Quick pickled cucumbers
Combine the bread crumbs and the heavy cream in a small bowl, stirring with a fork until all the crumbs are moistened. Set the bowl aside.
Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the red onion and saute for about 5 minutes, until the onion is softened. Remove the skillet from the heat.
In a large bowl, combine the ground beef, ground veal, ground pork, the sautéed red onion, the honey and the egg and mix everything well with your hands. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Add the bread crumb and cream mixture to the beef mixture and mix together well. Using wet hands to keep the mixture from sticking to your fingers and hands, shape the mixture into meatballs the size of a golf ball, placing them on a plate lightly moistened with water. When you are done rolling you should have about 24 meatballs in total.
Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs, in batches if necessary, and cook, turning frequently, for about 7 minutes until they are browned on all sides and cooked through. transfer the meatballs to a plate and drain off all but 1 tablespoon of fat from the skillet.
Return the skillet to the heat, whisk in the chicken stock, heavy cream, lingonberry preserves and the pickle juice and bring it to a simmer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the meatballs to the sauce, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for about five minutes until the sauce thickens slightly and the meatballs are heated through.
Okay, a few things about this recipe. I was kicking myself over the lingonberry preserves and did some research online as to what I could use for a substitute. The best recommendation I saw was to try using cranberry preserves, which I was able to get, and I think they added a really nice flavor to the dish. I purchased a package of meatloaf mix that had the ground beef, pork and veal in it already to make the meatballs and everything else I had on hand so we were good to go. Marcus Samuelsson explains in his description of the recipe that comes from his grandmother that the meatballs that she always made were not the perfectly round and shaped meatballs you find in most places but were kind of lumpy and misshapen. This made me feel better because that is just how mine looked. I think because the mixture is moist and sticky it is hard to shape them perfectly but the taste is sure there. I will definitely be making these again. Unfortunately, I was so busy trying to put it together on Christmas Eve that I never got a picture of them, but I will try to get them next time. Trust me, they are good. I think these would be great as a meal with mashed potatoes or rice.
That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for some more recipes. It has been so cold here lately we have been making a lot of soups, so I have some other soup recipes to share with everyone. Until next time, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!