Happy Meatballs Day! Yes, it is a thing. We have a national meatball day in Sweden. And it is a great day! To be fair, we like having days for things; waffle day, cinnamon day, kladdkaka day, there’s even a broccoli day (July 1st)!
When I make meatballs at home I use a mix of pork and beef mince, but that’s quite tricky to find over here and I’d have to make a whole lot of meatballs if I bought two packs of mince! So I stuck with just beef today. Traditionally Swedish meatballs are served with a sort of cream gravy, mash and lingonberry jam (quite similar to cranberry jam) but I have tweaked it slightly: I use creme fraiche instead of cream in the sauce and I put whole grain mustard in my mash. The lingonberry jam is non negotiable though (I wouldn’t have said that when I was younger though, it was to sour for me then).
I start by soaking some (about 2-3tbsp) bread crumbs in milk (or cream), then I chop half a yellow onion and brown it and add it to the mix together with salt, pepper, one egg yulk and 500g minced beef. Then it’s just to get your hands stuck in and give it a good mix before you start shaping them into meatballs. I prefer to fry my meatballs in a mix of butter and sun flower oil to give the sauce extra flavour, once the meatballs are brown on all sides I pour in 300ml of creme fraiche and season with a bit of beef stock (depending on how much flavour the meat has given), salt and pepper and a splash of soy sauce to give it a nice colour. If I get too much beef stock in there I tend to add a bit of red currant jelly to the sauce to add a bit of sweetness.