Traditional Swedish Meatballs, or "köttbullar", are usually made with a mixture of ground beef and pork, but can also contain veal. My version uses ground pork and turkey instead of beef. I did this because my family and I enjoy the lighter taste and texture of turkey, and aren't big fans of beef. (Unless it's a nice grilled steak)! That's the beauty of cooking, it can be customized to suit your families tastes, which in turn makes the recipe your own unique masterpiece.
Swedish Meatballs became popular in the United States after Scandinavians immigrated here from Sweden in the early 1900's. Going even further back in their history, they are thought to have been brought to Sweden by King Charles XII after his exile in Istanbul in 1713. I love finding out the history of recipes.
My version of Swedish Meatballs are super easy to make. Ground pork and turkey are blended together with onion and spices, shaped into meatballs and baked to golden perfection, then topped with a rich and creamy beef gravy sauce. Most recipes call for eggs, but I'm allergic to them, so I left them out. I also left out the traditional bread crumbs, which are used to make the meatballs fluffier. I've found that if you mix the meat mixture together with a light hand, the meatballs will still come out light and tender.
This Scandinavian dish can be served on toothpicks as an appetizer, or over zucchini ribbons, pasta noodles, or mashed potatoes for a main course.
Swedish Meatballs with Zucchini Ribbons
For The Meatballs
1 pound ground turkey
1 pound ground pork
2 tablespoons dry minced onion (1 medium diced onion may be substituted)
1/4 teaspoon allspice
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste (I used 1 teaspoon salt, and 4 grinds of fresh ground pepper)
For The Sauce
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups beef broth
1/2 cup sour cream
Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
For The Meatballs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Place ground turkey, ground pork, onion, allspice, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Using a fork or clean hands, mix everything together lightly, but thoroughly.
Roll mixture into 1 to 1 1/2 inch balls and place on a greased baking sheet.
Bake for 18 - 20 minutes, or until cooked through. Set aside.
For The Sauce
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add flour to the pan and whisk well, cooking until lightly browned. (about 2 minutes)
Slowly whisk in the beef broth and cook until slightly thickened, stirring constantly. (about 5 - 7 minutes)
Stir in sour cream, along with salt and pepper to taste, and stir until sour cream is completely incorporated.
Add the meatballs to the pan, and stir gently to coat the meatballs with the sauce.
Serve with your choice of zucchini ribbons as I've done, noodles, or mashed potatoes.
Garnish with chopped fresh parsley if desired.
Makes 28 - 30 meatballs
Cooks notes: *To make zucchini ribbons, cut wide strips from a zucchini with a vegetable peeler. Add to boiling salted water and cook for 1 - 2 minutes, or until they start to soften. Don't overcook or they will fall apart when you try to remove them from the water. Drain well and add a small pat of butter to the strips. Toss gently to coat, place on a plate, and top with Swedish meatballs.
Adapted from Jo Cooks.
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