Saucy Swedish Meatballs

Say that five times fast. These saucy balls are a dream – reminiscent of IKEA meatballs, except WAY BETTER. We eat a lot of meatballs around here, and this recipe really hits the spot when you’re tired of marinara sauce. You can serve them by themselves, over a bed of noodles, or in a shallow bowl with some crusty grilled bread (my personal favorite).

This is my go-to meatball recipe, inspired by this classic. These meatballs are super moist and flavorful, and they freeze super well.

The meatball recipe makes approximately two dozen meatballs, so the sauce makes enough to serve four for dinner, but this is easily scalable.

Ingredients

For the meatballs:

  • 1 lb ground beef (ideally at least 80/20)
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 3 large eggs, lightly whisked
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp red pepper flakes
  • Fine sea salt and freshly cracked pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Cooking spray

For the gravy:

  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup AP flour
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp beef boullion base
  • 1 tbsp + 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • 1/2 cup sour cream

Directions

To make the meatballs:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add 2 tbsp olive oil to a large saucepan over medium heat. Add chopped onion and a healthy pinch of sea salt and saute until translucent, approximately 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute, until aromatic. Remove from heat and let cool.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the beef, pork, eggs, breadcrumbs, parsley, onion mixture, parmesan, red pepper flakes, 1 tbsp sea salt, and several turns of freshly cracked pepper. Mix everything together (I prefer to just get in there with my hands) until well incorporated.
  4. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Shape the mixture into balls the size of a golf ball and place on baking sheets.
  5. In the large saucepan used earlier, add 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium high heat. Working in batches, sear the meatballs for 1-2 minutes per side until a golden brown crust has formed. Return meatballs back to baking sheet as you work through all of them.
  6. Place the meatballs on the baking sheets into the oven for 13-15 minutes, until cooked through. Remove from oven and let cool.

To make the gravy:

  1. Dissolve beef bouillon in 2 1/2 cups hot water. Set aside.
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add flour and whisk continuously for 3-4 minutes. The mixture will thin out, foam slightly, and turn a light golden brown color. One of the most common mistakes when making a roux for sauces is to under-cook the flour (been there). I typically have better results when I cook it for a minute longer than I think I need to.
  3. Slowly stream in the beef water (let’s call it what it is), whisking continuously. Add slowly and whisk constantly to avoid any clumps.
  4. Add dijon mustard, soy sauce, cayenne pepper, and several turns of freshly cracked black pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for a minute or two to incorporate the flavors and reduce slightly. Remove from heat and stir in the sour cream.
  5. Add warmed meatballs into the sauce. Top with chopped fresh parsley and enjoy! I love serving alongside some crusty grilled bread rubbed with a peeled clove of garlic.

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