Swedish meatballs with a lingonberry balsamic reduction

Swedish meatballs are deliciously comforting. They are slightly messy, but fairly easy to make. It has me wondering why anyone would even remotely consider buying them in Ikea of all places. I initially tried it with gravy and lingonberry preserves. If you are looking for something that will make you start breathing heavy while eating, that is definitely the way to go (it is quite good). However if you want to hit up the lighter side of things, such as an appetizer, or you just aren’t a fan of a hearty gravy, a balsalmic reduction is an excellent option. It gave the perfect amount of tart and and sweet to compliment the light spices inside my little balls. I’ll put both in this post.

1 lb ground beef

3/4lb ground pork

3/4 cup bread crumbs or panko

1 onion

3 cloves of garlic

a liberal dusting of nutmeg

1 tsp of ground cardamom

salt and pepper to taste

Balsamic reduction

1/2 cup balsalmic vinegar

1 tbs butter

1 tsp honey

2 heaped tbs lingonberry preserves

Gravy

2 tbs butter

2 cups beef broth

1 cup milk or heavy cream

1 tbs flour mixed with 2 tbs of water

salt and pepper to taste

Now, you CAN use your hands for this, I chose to stick it in my stand alone mixer, because nothing make me wash my hands more, than touching raw meat. Blanch your onions and garlic in a frying pan and set them aside to cool. Put your beef and pork in your mixer and incorporate in the rest of the ingredients. I used the slowest setting to make sure I didn’t make a meat paste.  Once you have mixed up your meat, roll it into small balls (or use a cookie dough scoop). The Italian side of me really wanted to make these gigantic, but after a test ball I made them about an inch or less in size.

Turn your stove to the high side of medium high, in a large frying pan, put  couple tablespoons of butter. Add in your meatballs and brown them on all sides allowing them to cook all the way through (about 5-7 minutes each side). I had to do mine in batches. If you make too many, you can easily stick the uncooked ones in a freezer bag and save them for  a lunch snack for later.

At this point if your are going to make gravy, in the same pan you used to make the balls,  add a tablespoon of butter and allow that to lift the delicious cooked brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add in your beef broth, and bring it to a boil. Add in your flour drop your heat to medium low, and whisk with all your might until your sauce thickens. Add in your meatballs, and serve it over mashed potatoes.

For the balsamic reduction, in a sauce pan, melt your butter and add in the balsamic vinegar. Bring that to a boil and allow it to reduce for 2 to 3 minutes. Add in the honey and the lingonberry preserves until it thickens and serve it up with your meatballs.

swedish meatballs (2)

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