500 g ground beef (or substitute part of beef with ground pork)
50 - 75 ml dry breadcrumbs
150 - 200 ml cream
(1 small onion)
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp white pepper
(1/8 tsp allspice)
The ground meat used in various Nordic traditional dishes must be of top quality and extremely finely ground.
Read this important information about the quality of meat to use and instructions for grinding your own minced meat.
Preparing the meatball mixture:
Mix the cream and the breadcrumbs and let the mixture stand for about 10 to 20 minutes, or until the cream is absorbed in the breadcrumbs, making them thoroughly soft.
If using onion, grate it extremely fine or puree it in a blender it should never be just chopped by hand, as this will leave it too coarse. If you like to soften the taste of the onion, sauté it in a bit of butter. Add the breadcrumb paste, the egg, the (raw or cooked) pureed onion and the spices in the meat.
Note: to vary this basic Nordic recipe, you may use any spices, spice mixtures or herbs of your choice instead of allspice or white pepper, like minced garlic, cayenne pepper, curry powder, mustard powder, powdered paprika, caraway, cumin, coriander, ginger, nutmeg or cinnamon, tomato paste, mustard, soy sauce, oyster sauce, various fresh or dried herbs, etc.
Knead the mixture thoroughly by hand or beat it in a mixer for some time until it is smooth and firm. Form the mixture into small balls (Ø 2½ - 3 cm) with moistened hands.
Melt some butter in a hot frying pan Swedish and Finnish meatballs are never cooked in anything but real butter! Add enough meatballs in the pan to cover half of its bottom surface at the most, and lower the heat
If your meatballs are firm enough, gently shake the pan so that the meatballs keep rolling around, acquiring a round shape as they brown evenly.
However, if the meatballs are fairly soft, use a wooden spatula or cooking tongs or tweezers to gently turn them over, until they are lightly browned from all over and hold their round shape.
Then continue cooking them by shaking the pan every now and then so that they roll around and brown evenly.
The meatballs are done when they are no longer pink inside (split one in half to check).
Serve the meatballs hot or cold, either placed together in a serving bowl or skewered individually with toothpicks. If using toothpicks, you may stack the meatballs with various other ingredients.
Here are a few examples:
In addition, you may serve various dipping sauces.
- cheese cubes: Emmental, Cheddar, Brie, goat cheese, blue cheese, etc
- crisp bacon pieces
- fried chicken liver pieces
- ham cubes
- sausage cubes: salami, bologna, cocktail frankfurters, etc
- fresh vegetables: cherry tomatoes, radishes, cucumber, button champignons, stalk celery, bell pepper, etc
- marinated or pickled vegetables: gherkins, pearl onions,
olives, caper berries, beetroot, button champignons, etc
- fresh, canned or dried fruits: grapes, apple, pear, melon, peach, pineapple, mango, papaya, kiwi fruit, ground cherries, prunes, etc
Recipe source: family recipe/traditional Finnish recipe.