Swedish Meatballs

Recipe by Nancy Johnson
Wine Commentary by Gary Twining

Swedish Meatballs

Swedish meatballs make a great appetizer or a lovely dinner entrée served with noodles and lingonberry sauce on the side. This recipe calls for white pepper to avoid speckling the sauce with black pepper, but you can use black pepper if desired. To make fresh breadcrumbs, trim crusts from day-old or lightly toasted bread. Tear or cut into pieces. Pulse in food processor for fine crumbs.

1 TBS butter

3 TBS grated onion

1/2-3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs

1/4-1/2 cup milk

1 egg

1 lb ground beef

1/4 lb ground veal or pork

1/4 tsp allspice

1/4tsp nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

White pepper, to taste

Swedish Meatball  Sauce

2 TBS butter

3 TBS flour

1 cup beef stock

1 cup heavy whipping cream

Salt and white pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350°F. In small skillet, melt butter over low heat. Sauté grated onion, stirring, until translucent. Set aside to cool slightly. 

In large bowl, soak breadcrumbs in milk about 5 minutes. With a fork, mix in egg. Add sautéed onions, beef, pork, allspice, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Mix gently until combined. Using a 1 TBS measure, roll mixture into meatballs. Transfer to baking sheet that has been coated with cooking spray or covered with parchment paper. Bake meatballs in oven about 15–20 minutes or until cooked through. Place meatballs and sauce in large pot and heat. 

Meanwhile, make the sauce:

Melt butter in saucepan. Whisk in flour. Cook about 1 minute, stirring, until golden. Whisk in stock, cream, salt and pepper. Bring to boil. Cook over medium heat until thick and bubbly. 

Gary: Swedish meatballs are mellow in style, so think casual wines of a reasonable price point that will pair with this satisfying entrée. Try Barbera and Dolcetto from Northern Italy, Beaujolais and some regional Pinot Noirs from France and California or Tempranillo and Garnacha from Spain.  Red blends in a round style from Washington State, California, France, Italy and Spain would also be quite pleasant.

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