At the risk of having my Swedish citizenship revoked, I must confess that I’ve never successfully made the dish Sweden is most known for.  Also, I really HATE the meatballs at IKEA.  Oh and I don’t like the traditionally served lingoberry jam with it (or at all).  Is that customs knocking at my door?

It shouldn’t have taken me this long to try again.  As always (unless stated otherwise) everything was made from scratch.  I decided to ‘Aussiefy’ dish by making sweet potato mash (I didn’t  have pumpkin) instead of potato mash.

This dish was a perfect success, the mean, it doesn’t have a patch on my granddad’s meatballs but he’s a chef so I still hold my head high 🙂

Ingredients for meatballs

  • 500g mince (half beef half pork ideally)
  • 200ml milk
  • 1 whole egg
  • 100g breadcrumbs
  • 1 onion finely chopped and sauteed
  • 2tsp Nutmeg
  • 2tsp Salt
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp white pepper
  • 1 tbs olive oil

Ingredients for the sauce

  • 100ml cream* (I tried to make it without cream and it tasted good too)
  • 200ml beef stock
  • 2 tsp Soy sauce (to taste)
  • 1 tbsp white flour

The timing of this is a bit hard as you need the mash to not be done too far ahead of the meatballs and sauce.

1) Mash

Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into cubes – add just enough water to cover them and simmer until done.  Leave mashing it up until closer to serving.  Mash, then mix in a little bit of butter, cream and salt.

2) Meatballs

Mix the breadcrumbs and milk, leave to stand for 10 minutes or the meatballs might taste ‘bready’.  In the meantime chop the onion finely (the mandolin is my best friend) and sauté it until it starts to turn brown.

Place the mince in a bowl and mix with the salt (nothing else at this stage) and mix thoroughly to ensure the salt increases the binding agent in the mince.

Mix the rest of the nutmeg and pepper into the mince, add the bread-crumb mix, the onion and the egg (it makes the mince porous and easier to cook) and mix thoroughly.

Roll ONE meatball.  Fry it up and taste.  If needed, add more spices (it can be substantially more of each spice.  I added more of everything and fried up a second one.  Roll the rest.

Cook up in the oil, you might need to do two rounds of cooking depending on the size of your pan.  The heat should be LOW or they will burn before cooked through.  The meatballs should feel firm, it took me about 8-10 minutes to do.


Remove the meatballs and place somewhere warm until the rest is done.  Do NOT pour away the oil.

3) The sauce

I didn’t actually follow the recipe for the sauce.  I’ve made it since I was a kid so I do it by feel. Sorry, I know how annoying that is to read.  The recipe was from my old cookbook.  

Keeping the heat low, sprinkle flour into the butter slowly whilst whisking quickly to avoid lumps.  Keep adding until it’s a thick creamy consistency, just a step away from going lumpy.  Add stick and whisk quickly, really quickly and keep pouring the stock.  It will go thick quickly.  Add cream.  Cook up again. Don’t miss this step or you will have a floury tasting sauce.  You might need to add more stock/cream as it goes thicker.  As random as it might seem, but add thick soy until it gets the right colour.


Serve straight away.

Nutrition Facts for the meatballs
Serving Size 249 g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 422
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15.1g 23%
        – Saturated Fat 5.0g 25%
        – Cholesterol 157mg 52%
Sodium 1465mg 61%
Total Carbohydrates 24.1g 8%
        – Dietary Fiber 2.1g 8%        –
Sugars 5.6g
Protein 44.8g