Swedish Meatballs (Köttbullar) with Gravy

When my brother-in-law, Russell, was in town he visited his friend Jim in Palm Springs, CA, who made these meatballs from his Swedish family in Rockford, Illinois. Russell and I went to Olson’s Delicatessen in LA, which is like walking into a time capsule.

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Swedish Meatballs (Köttbullar) with Gravy

from my friend Jim in Palm Springs, CA, from his Swedish family in Rockford, Illinois. Olson’s Delicatessen in LA had ready-made meatballs as well as the meat mixture ready to shape into balls, both frozen.

1 lb ground beef
¼ lb ground veal [I couldn’t find this anywhere]
¼ lb ground pork [I used twice as much in place of the veal]
2 cup bread crumbs [panko worked fine]
½ cup milk
1 onion, minced
2 Tbs butter
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
2 tsp allspice (or nutmeg)
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp dry mustard
3 eggs, beaten
¼ cup butter

Gravy:
fat left in skillet
¼ tsp garlic (powdered) or 1 clove fresh, minced
5 Tbs butter
[2 Tbs flour—my addition]
2 tsp tomato paste
1 tsp beef concentrate [I used half of a little Knorr’s tub]
2 cup beef stock
1 tsp aromatic bitters
1 cup sour cream

Meatballs:
Grind meats together twice.  Soak bread crumbs in milk. Add meat and mix well. Sauté onion in 2 Tbs butter. Mix rest of the ingredients, except the ¼ cup butter, with onions; put all together with meat. Mix well and form into 48 small balls. Brown the balls in the remaining ¼ cup butter. Remove from skillet and set aside (keep the fat in the skillet).

Gravy:
Add garlic and 1 Tbs of the butter to the fat left from browning the meatballs. Blend in the rest of the butter and the flour, cook for a minute over medium heat while stirring and then add the other ingredients except the sour cream. Stir until thickened. Pour the sauce into a casserole and let cool for a few minutes. Stir in the sour cream. Add meatballs. Cover and heat in a moderate oven, turning the meatballs in the gravy occasionally.

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