Swedish Meatballs

The lingonberries in this recipe were purchased at Nordic Delicacies, in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn but can be found at German and Polish markets anywhere. Whole-berry cranberry sauce may be substituted.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs or bread torn into small pieces (I used a hot-dog bun)
  • 1 1/2 cups half-and-half, divided
  • 2 small onions, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/4 pound ground veal
  • 1/4 pound ground beef
  • Generous pinch ginger
  • Pinch cloves
  • Salt, pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • Low-salt chicken stock or water, if needed
  • 1/3 cup lingonberries

Directions

  1. 1.

    Combine bread and half-and-half. Set aside.

  2. 2.

    Sautée onion in 1 1/2 tablespoons butter over medium-low heat until soft and translucent, about 7 minutes. Let cool briefly.

  3. 3.

    Add bread and half-and-half mixture to medium bowl. Smush with fingers to make sure it is well-combined. Add onions, meats, and spices. Mix well. Form meat mixture into small-to-medium meatballs. (I wound up with twenty or so).

  4. 4.

    Wipe out pan in which you fried the onions. Add remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons butter and heat over medium to medium-high heat. Add meatballs, making sure they do not touch. Brown thoroughly on all sides (assuming a ball can have a side), about 5 minutes. Remove from pan. Pour off all but a tablespoon or so of fat.

  5. 5.

    Over low heat, add flour, stirring until well-distributed in fat. Add remaining cup half-and-half, increase heat to medium, stirring constantly (a whisk is useful here) until smooth. Stir in lingonberries.

  6. 6.

    Add meatballs and any accumulated juices to pan. Return to a gentle simmer, and stir occasionally, until meatballs are cooked through, 10-12 minutes, thinning sauce with water or stock if needed.

  7. 7.

    Serve with additional lingonberries, if desired. Other good accompaniments include mashed potatoes or lightly buttered egg noodles.

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