A Taste of Sweden

A TASTE OF SWEDEN

The Swedish chef from The Muppets got nothing on you…

In this series we’re filling the travel void in your life with food 🍽 That’s how we like to fill all emotional voids.

We’re going to be shining a spotlight on a different country each episode and showing you how to cook your way round the world - while you can’t travel round it 🛩

All our recipes will have minimal ingredients and try to include mostly store-cupboard staples, for those of you who are stuck inside or finding it difficult to shop.

First up, the land of tasty balls - Sweden.

The History

God bless IKEA 🙏 These guys are the flatpack furniture kingpins, but if you think they came up with the idea of glistening balls and sweet jam, you’d be seriously mistaken...

Thing is, there’s some trash talk between Sweden and Turkey about who birthed the balls at all. The world thinks Sweden came up with meatballs smothered in creamy gravy - but turns out it was probs Turkey…

In the 1700s King Charles XII fled Sweden after picking fights with the wrong people ⚔ He hid out in the Ottoman Empire and lived like the King he literally was, chowing down on Turkish snacks similar to meatballs.

When he returned home you bet your last Turkish lira he nicked the recipe 👑 The Swedes pimped it with jam and gravy and the rest is history.

The Recipe

There are so many ways to skin the Swedish meatball cat… 🐈

Times are tough and we get that you might only have a basic larder - so feel free to make your own riff on this, swap out ingredients for what you do have, and go completely rogue. This isn’t the time to be a purist and forage for local lingonberries straight from the source.

What are you trying to prove, Karen?

You'll need:

• 400g pork mince (or beef, or lamb)
• 1 egg beaten
• 1 small onion
• 85g white breadcrumbs
• 1 tbsp chopped dill
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 1 tbsp butter
• 2 tbsp plain flour
• 400ml beef stock

Method

1) Mix the mince with the egg, onion, breadcrumbs, dill (if you have it), and seasonings in a bowl.

2) Shape into balls. You should have around 20.

3) Heat the oil in a pan and brown your balls (steady). If your pan’s getting a little crowded do this in two batches.

4) Remove from the pan and melt the butter, sprinkle in the flour and stir well. Cook for 2 minutes then slowly whisk in the stock.

5) Carry on whisking until your gravy is thick then return the meatballs to the pan.

6) Sprinkle with dill and serve with lingonberry jam or cranberry jelly and your choice of mash, greens, or rice.

Our Restaurant Pick

Post-lockdown, when you can’t stand the sight of home-cooking - this is where you should go to get some top-quality balls in your mouth… 😋

TRADITION in Stockholm is the real deal. These guys keep things simple and (you guessed it) traditional. Expect a hearty bowl of juicy balls smothered in shiny sauce with a scattering of herbs 🌿 You’ll get a little side bowl of perfectly whipped creamy mash and a little pot of lingonberry jam.

This one’s a keeper - hit the Lucky button and save this trip for a happier time 💚