Swedish Meatballs

A delicious recipe featuring parsley, garlic, and a smooth, creamy sauce, Swedish meatballs do not, in fact, originally hail from Sweden—but rather, from Turkey, made popular when Swedish king Charles XII brought back the recipe after a five-year exile in the Ottoman Empire. The original "kottbullar" has evolved over the years, but has remained a constant favorite and is widely considered a national dish of Sweden.
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Swedish Meatballs

Prep Time 10 min Cook Time 50 min Total Time 1 hr Servings: 4

Ingredients

Meatballs

Gravy

Pasta

Instructions

  1. Prep

    To a large pot, add 4 quarts water and begin heating while you prepare the ingredients. Peel and dice the onion into 1/4" chunks, mince the garlic and parsley for both the meatballs and the gravy, and carefully break the noodles into even pieces, about 2" long. Make the breadcrumbs by drying 2 medium slices of bread in the oven at 150 C. with the door open partially for 15 min, or until dehydrated and crispy. Place in a Ziploc bag, remove air and seal, and crush with a rolling pin. You should have about 1/2 C. breadcrumbs.

  2. Meatballs

    In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan or deep skillet, add 1 tbsp. butter and the onion. Saute until golden and translucent; add to a heatproof medium-sized mixing bowl.To the bowl, add the remaining meatball ingredients, and with your hands, knead together and form into 16 even balls, approx. 1 1/2" in diameter.

  3. In the same skillet used to saute the onion, add the remaining tbsp. butter and, when hot, add the meatballs in a single layer. Cover the pan and cook, shaking the balls occasionally to brown evenly and avoid sticking. When done, remove the meatballs to a plate.

  4. Gravy

    Using the same pan from the meatballs, heat 1/4 C. (4 tbsp) salted butter, then add 1/4 C. flour and the minced garlic. Fry for about 2 minutes, or until golden and fragrant without overcooking the garlic. Pour the milk in a steady stream, whisking continuously until fully incorporated. Bring to a boil, cook for a few minutes until the gravy coats the back of a spoon, and remove from the heat. Add the salt, pepper, and parsley.

  5. Pasta

    To the 4 quarts boiling water, add the broken noodles and 1 tbsp. butter, if you wish, to deter foaming over. Cook until desired doneness, then drain the water. Add the gravy and stir to coat the noodles and prevent sticking together.

  6. Plating

    Scoop the pasta and gravy onto a plate, and garnish with meatballs and a sprinkle of parsley. Serve with a salad or sauteed vegetable for a full meal.

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