Swedish Meatballs - Canadian Beef | Canada Beef

Swedish Meatballs

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Swedish Meatballs

The fresh bread crumbs are easy to make with any stale bread and when soaked in the milk, become the secret to tender juicy meatballs – the panade. Meatballs are browned and cooked in the skillet before adding to the simmering cream sauce so they have good colour and flavour but don’t discolour the sauce. Stir in the sour cream just at the end so the cream sauce does not curdle or break. Serve over cooked potatoes or with buttered egg noodles. This recipe was adapted from Chef Alexandra Feswick’s original and modified, as necessary, for home cooks.

  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 35
  • Total Time: 55
  • Serving: 4


3 tbsp (45 mL) unsalted butter

3 tbsp (45 mL) all-purpose flour

1 cup (250 mL) beef broth, warm

1 cup (250 mL) whipping cream

½ to 1 cup (125 to 250 mL) sour cream

3 tbsp (45 mL) canola or sunflower oil, divided (approx)

½ cup (125 mL) finely chopped onion

½ cup (125 mL) fresh white bread crumbs

½ cup (125 mL) milk

1 egg

1 tsp (5 mL) salt

½ tsp (2 mL) dry mustard

½ tsp (2 mL) EACH ground cardamom and nutmeg

Pinch ground cinnamon

1 lb (500 g) Medium Ground Beef

Fresh dill sprigs

1 green onion, sliced


1. Sauce: Melt butter over medium heat in a saucepan. Add flour and cook, stirring, for about 4 minutes or until bubbling, but not browned. Whisk in warm beef broth until blended and smooth. Gradually whisk in cream and bring to a gently boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes or until thick. Remove from heat and set aside.

2. Meatballs: Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the oil over medium heat in a nonstick skillet. Cook onions, stirring, for about 5 minutes or until soft. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool slightly. (Reserve skillet.)

3. Combine bread crumbs and milk in a small bowl; let soak for 5 to 10 minutes.

4. Add egg, salt, dry mustard, cardamom, nutmeg and cinnamon to onion in bowl; beat with a fork until blended. Gently mix in beef and bread crumb mixture until blended (careful not to over-mix). Scoop meat mixture by a heaping teaspoonful (5 mL) and roll into small meatballs; place on a plate.

5. Return skillet to medium-high heat. Add 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the oil and swirl to coat. Cook meatballs, in batches and turning as needed, for about 5 minutes or until browned all over. Transfer to a clean, paper towel-lined plate. Add more oil to skillet between batches, as necessary.

6. Drain fat from pan. Return meatballs to pan; cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook for about 5 minutes or until a digital instant-read thermometer inserted sideways into several meatballs reads 160°F (71°C).

7. Return sauce to medium-low heat; whisk in sour cream, adding enough to make sauce the desired consistency. Reheat until steaming (do not let boil). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add meatballs and stir gently to coat.

8. Serve garnished with dill and green onions.

To make fresh bread crumbs, grate about 1 slice of bread or a bun using the large holes of a box-style cheese grater (freeze the bread for 15 minutes to firm it up for easier grating) or simply tear the bread into very small pieces; measure ½ cup (125 mL) for this recipe. You can freeze any extra for another use.

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