Classic Swedish Meatballs

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I’m a “Svenska flicka” (Swedish girl) from northwest Iowa, where many Swedes settled at the turn of the century. This recipe was given to me by a Swedish friend. It’s obviously a 20th century version of a 19th century favorite, since back then they didn’t have bouillon cubes or evaporated milk! I think you’ll agree that these modern-day “Kottbullar” are very tasty. —Emily Gould, Hawarden, Iowa

Prep: 15 min. + chilling Cook: 20 min.

42 servings

Prep: 15 min. + chilling Cook: 20 min.

42 servings

  • 1-2/3 cups evaporated milk, divided
  • 2/3 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup fine dry bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • Dash pepper
  • 1 pound lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 2 teaspoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Canned lingonberries, optional

1 meatball: 36 calories, 2g fat (1g saturated fat), 10mg cholesterol, 87mg sodium, 2g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 0 fiber), 3g protein.

  1. Combine 2/3 cup evaporated milk with the next five ingredients. Add beef; mix lightly. Refrigerate until chilled.
  2. With wet hands, shape meat mixture into 1-in. balls. In a large skillet, heat butter over medium heat. Brown meatballs in batches. Dissolve bouillon in boiling water. Pour over meatballs; bring to a boil. Cover; simmer 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, stir together cold water and flour. Remove meatballs from skillet; skim fat, reserving juices. Add flour mixture and remaining evaporated milk to pan juices; cook, uncovered, over low heat, stirring until sauce thickens.
  4. Return meatballs to skillet. Stir in lemon juice. If desired, top with lingonberries. Yield: 3-1/2 dozen.

Originally published as Swedish Meatballs in Country December/January 1990, p49

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