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Friday, August 21, 2009

Swedish Meatballs - A Scandinavian Festival for Foodie Friday



Every year the folks in Junction City, Oregon, gather to celebrate their Scandinavian heritage. They throw quite a party. It's a four day celebration and visitors to the Scandinavian Festival never go home hungry. There's a day for Sweden, a day for Norway, a day for Finland and one for Denmark. Before we tour the fair and its food, I'd like to share a recipe for the best Swedish meatballs I've ever had. They are simple to make, but I guarantee they'll enhance your reputation as a cook. Additional pictures of the fair follow the recipe. Have fun and try not to eat too much.




Swedish Meatballs

Ingredients:
4 large eggs, slightly beaten
2 cups milk
1 cup packaged bread crumbs
4 tablespoons butter, divided use
1 cup very finely chopped onion
3 teaspoons salt + salt to taste
2 pounds 85% lean ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
1-1/2 teaspoons dried dill weed, divided use
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
2 (10.5-oz.) can condensed beef broth, undiluted
1/3 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
1 cup light cream or half-and-half
Garnish: fresh dill or parsley

Directions:
1) Combine eggs, milk and bread crumbs in a medium bowl.
2) Place 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet and saute until onion is soft, about 5 minutes.
3) Remove onions from skillet and add to crumb mixture with 3 teaspoons salt, beef, pork, 1/2 teaspoons dill weed, allspice, nutmeg and cardamom. Mix to combine (don't overdo this). Refrigerate, covered, until mixture can be shaped, about 1 hours.
4) Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Shape meat mixture into 45 meatballs.
5) Heat reserved 2 tablespoons butter. Saute meatballs in batches until browned on all sides. Transfer to a large baking pan or roaster with 2-inch sides.
6) Pour off all but 1/4 cup pan drippings. Stir in flour and pepper. Slowly add beef broth and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add cream and reserved 1 teaspoon dill weed. Pour gravy over meatballs.
7) Bake, uncovered for 30 minutes. Garnish with fresh dill. Yield: 6 servings.

Recipe adapted from The New McCall's Cook Book



















This recipe is being linked to Designs By Gollum - Foodie Friday

53 comments:

ButterYum said...

Oh yummy, yummy!! I'll take a funnel cake please!

Jolita said...

Meatballs look really good and the photos are great!

imjacobsmom said...

You'd find me at the Noodle House! I've only had the Swedish Meatballs from Ikea , but I bet this recipe puts them to shame! ~ Robyn

Joy said...

I can see why my friend Curt Lindstrom craves his Swedish meatballs!

Elaine said...

Once when I was first married we had eaten Swedish Meatballs at a newly opened restaurant in town. We loved them, so I tried making them at home. They were terrible for some reason and I never made them at home again! I've always loved eating them when we're out, so I guess now you've given me a reason to give it another try after all these years!
Elaine :)

My Carolina Kitchen said...

What a fun fair and lots of nice pictures too. Thanks for the Swedish meatball recipe. It looks fabulous.
Sam

Martha said...

This looks like a fun festival! Swedish Meatballs -- good food!

Donna-FFW said...

Oh this looks so delicious. Love swedish meatballs. Funnel cake is one of my very favorites. I enjoyed looking at all these photos. Now I am hungry too.

Kristin said...

Holy cow, that is a lot of food! how fun. I have never made sweedish meatballs, I think I'll have to try them now. Thanks!

Debbie at Mountain Breaths said...

I love Swedish meatballs! My DH will take the funnel cake :-)

Thank you for stopping by my blog and for the birthday wishes!

Pat@Back Porch Musings said...

The festival looks like fun and the meatballs look delish!!

My Little Space said...

I'm going to use chicken meat ball for this and yours one looks so yummy!

Mumzie said...

Oh, what fun! I haven't made Swedish Meatballs in years! I can only imagine how many calories in just one meatball. Looks like a wonderful time. Mumzie :)

Rhonda @ Shellbelle's Tiki Hut said...

Mary, I loved Swedish meatballs as a kid, but stopped eating beef many, many years ago. Do you think I could substitute ground chicken breast for the beef, do you think it will work with these seasonings?

Mary said...

Rhonda, ground turkey or ground chicken will work but use the dark meat. These really need a litlle fat.

Ashley @ AshleysBusy said...

I'm saving this recipe, I always eat the Swedish meatballs when i go to ikea :)

Cathy said...

Looks like a great event. We have a fantastic German festival but nothing Scandinavian. How I would love to have a plate of those scrumptious meatballs. Guess I've have to make them myself.

Terrific post, Mary.

Jaynie said...

The meatballs look delicious. I love all your photos of the fair. It's so interesting to see how different regions celebrate their heritages. I grew up in a largely Polish community and I still miss the town "picnics" each small town held in the summer.

susan said...

I am absolutely going to try this next week and serve it with whole wheat noodle! We love meatballs and I have never made Swedish ones. If you say these are the best, I trust you! The fair looks like a lot of fun!

Joycee said...

I love coming to visit One Perfect Bite, always a learning experience! Swedish Meatballs were my go-to "company dish" when I first married. It wasn't this authentic recipe though!

Jenny @ Words on Wendhurst said...

yum, I'll have three or four please! Also, your photography is stellar!

Libby Murphy said...

We don't have many with Swedish heritage in my hometown and I've never known much about their traditional recipes. Dill is plentiful here and I think the pork would be wonderful too. I'm trying this next week. Thanks
Happy Twirls

A Cottage Sister said...

That looks like a lot of fun! I’m pretty sure I would be stopping at the Lingenberry Shortbread booth……that just sounds yummy. Denise@cottagesisters

Rhonda @ Shellbelle's Tiki Hut said...

Thanks for the advice Mary, I usually but just the ground breast, but I'll buy the dark for this recipe.

Pauline said...

I always wanted to try Swedish meatballs. I also always wondered what was in them. Thanks for the recipe and the look at the Swedish festival!

Shirley said...

Love your meatball recipe..I saved it to try later.

Maria Berg said...

Well we never have cardamom in the and never dill - but Not doubt I think your taste lovely, anyway.

The fist photo is fun because that is from Holland and not Scandinavian, but I guess that how it would be if the do something from USA and it will not be exactly the same.
But we do have pancakes and we had tate for dinner tonight.

I love doing Roses in Marzipan.

Take care my friend, MB

Lori E said...

Okay I didn't know nachos were Swedish??
This is a recipe I will try. I know it would go over well in my house.

Jennicillin said...

Oooo that looks like a lot of fun! When I first saw the pictures I thought it might have been Solvang, CA, I didn't realize OR also had so much Scandinavian heritage!

The Desperate Cook said...

Oh Mary, you always have such great recipes...and the pictures are a bonus. I just love visiting your site.

Mrs. P. said...

I love regional fairs and festivals. I also love Swedish Meatballs. Great post!

Susan said...

Oh yes, you have touched by heart today! Why oh why do I love to eat so much? I love everything.

The Apple Hill Adventurer said...

oh, that just looks like too much fun! i have always wanted to go to a food festival!

i bet there was some REALLY good breads there!

Bridgett said...

Lots of yummy food to indulge in! The meatballs look divine.

SnoWhite said...

looks good to me!!

SmilingSally said...

Swedish meatballs--YUM!

Pam said...

The meatballs look mighty tasty! The festival looks like a lot of fun - I'll have to check it out next year.

Amy Green (Simply Sugar and Gluten-Free) said...

Your meatballs look delicious. I love eating meatballs. There's something about them that's just fun. It's neat to see that you still adapt recipes from other places, too. I guess we all do that all the time (is there an original recipe??), but sometimes I think that fabulous cooks just make it all up. :)

Joyce said...

I am laughing for two reasons:
1. Hubby thinks Swedish meatballs at IKEA store are the best ever since I never made them I guess he has nothing to compare them with but I will now have to try your recipe.
2. No matter where we go I also take photos of all the food and food signs etc:)
Thanks for sharing your photos and recipe. I enjoy reading your blog.
Joyce

xinex said...

Wow! They look so good, Mary!...Christine

Katy ~ said...

I have been looking for a good Swedish meatball recipe FOREVER. I'm copying and saving this. It looks PERFECT.

Loved all the outdoor photos. The festival looks like so much fun. I wish we had similar activities here.

diva said...

yum yum swedish meatballs!! ;) oo i'm likin that Swedish pancakes sign too.

Gracie said...

I love festivals like this.I dont have a sweedish meatball recipe,this will go in my R.box.
Ill try it when I return from my trip.
Gracie

Neabear said...

I never knew about this Festival! I am Scandinavian!! I am Swedish on my father's side and Finnish on my mother's side. Oh, and my name is Swedish.

Linnea

Jamie said...

This festival sounds like such fun! And wow I love Swedish meatballs, have never made them and have always wanted a great recipe. I must absolutely try yours as I do trust you when you say they are the best! They look scrumptious!

Mermaids of the Lake said...

Mary, that recipe sounds amazing and the festival looks like so much fun. We are located in Eastern Washington. That would be a fun trip to make some year.

Mermaid Debbie

Michelle @ Find Your Balance said...

Cool! I have only ever had swedish meatballs at Ikea believe it or not...

Debinhawaii said...

I love Swedish Meatballs--now you have me craving them. The festival sounds like fun.

Sarah said...

Wow! I've only ever seen/had the IKEA ones! These look AMAZING!

dp said...

I wish we would have known about this festival! I bet hubby would have loved to go. Thanks for sharing.

shroff said...

Hi! In step 6, you say "Cover pan with aluminum foil." But then immediately in step 7 you say bake uncovered. Can you please let me know if it's covered or uncovered? I'm assuming covered.
Thanks,
John

Mary said...

Shroff, Bake uncovered. I will change the directions.

Casey Pons said...

Can't wait to try these Junction City, Oregon Swedish delights. Perfect time, Friday and raining on a chilly October day in Salem, OR.
Thanks for posting.

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