SWEDISH MEATBALLS WITH CRANBERRY SAUCE RECIPE
Roast Figs, Sugar Snow
by Diana Henry
Meatballs. The idea somehow never seems to inspire people, but I adore this recipe, a classic of Swedish home cooking. Use ground venison instead of beef if you want something with a little more punch. You can serve the meatballs with lingonberry sauce, as they do in Sweden—they stock jars of it in IKEA—but fresh lingonberries are virtually impossible to get, and cranberries are a fine substitute.
• 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
• 1 small onion, very finely chopped
• 2 tsp ground allspice
• 3½ oz (100g) breadcrumbs
• 2/3 cup milk
• 2 lb 4 oz (1kg) ground pork and beef
• 1 large egg, beaten
• salt and pepper
• 2 tbsp sunflower or peanut oil
• 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
• 1¾ cups chicken or beef stock
• 1 cup sour cream
• 3 tbsp roughly chopped fresh dill
For The Cranberry Sauce:
1. To make the cranberry sauce, simply put the cranberries in a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan with 1/2 cup water and the lemon juice and zest. Bring up to the boil, then turn the heat down low and cook for about 15 minutes. When the berries have started to pop, add the sugar and continue to cook until the sugar has melted. Take off the heat, taste to see if the sauce is as sweet as you want it, and leave to cool.
2. Melt 1 tbsp of the butter and in it saute the onion until soft but not colored. Add the allspice and cook for a further minute.
3. Soak the breadcrumbs in the milk until all the milk has been absorbed—about 30 minutes. Mix the onion and the soaked breadcrumbs with the meat and egg and season really well. With wet hands, form the mixture into balls a little larger than walnuts.
4. Heat half of the remaining butter with half the oil and fry the meatballs in batches, making sure that they get a good color on the outside. Try not to burn the fat, but if you do, discard it before you fry the next set of meatballs. Put the cooked meatballs aside.
5. Heat the remaining butter and oil in the pan. Add the flour and cook over a low heat, stirring, until the flour is golden. Take the pan off the heat and gradually add the stock, stirring well after each addition. Put the pan back on the heat and, stirring constantly, bring the liquid up to the boil and add the sour cream. Turn the heat down low, add the meatballs, cover, and cook gently for 15 minutes. The sauce will thicken. Taste for seasoning, add the chopped dill, and serve with the cranberry sauce and boiled or mashed potatoes.