Oh-So-Retro Swedish Meatballs
Published by Robert Rose
Editor's Note: The next time you throw a party to celebrate a milestone birthday or anniversary, add a throwback feel to the festivities with these retro appetizers. These Swedish meatballs may have been first created years ago, but they will still be the hit of any party — and it's likely you won't have any leftovers! The busy host or hostess will also appreciate the ease in which these appetizers are prepared, as the meatballs are cooked in a slow cooker for up to six hours. Make sure you use a slotted spoon when removing these meatballs from the slow cooker.
These were a cocktail party standard way back when. Serve them in a shallow serving dish or a deep platter, speared with cocktail toothpicks. They will disappear in a flash. Make sure your guests have napkins or a plate to catch any drips.
Cooking MethodSlow Cooking
Total Timeunder 4 hours
OccasionCasual Dinner Party, Cocktail Party
Recipe CourseAppetizer, Hors D'oeuvre
Taste and TextureCreamy, Meaty, Rich, Savory
- Small to medium (2 to 3½ quart) slow cooker
- 1 lb (500 g) lean ground beef, preferably sirloin
- 1 cup (250 mL) fine dry bread crumbs
- 1 onion, grated
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 tsp (10 mL) finely grated lemon zest
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ tsp (2 mL) salt
- ½ tsp (2 mL) allspice
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil
- 3 tbsp (45 mL) all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp (2 mL) cracked black peppercorns
- 2 cups (500 mL) beef broth, heated to the boiling point
- ½ cup (125 mL) sour cream
- ½ cup (125 mL) finely chopped dill fronds
In a bowl, combine ground beef, bread crumbs, onion, egg, lemon zest and juice, salt, allspice, and pepper to taste. Mix well. Using your hands, shape into balls about ½ inch (1 cm) in diameter.
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add meatballs in batches and cook, stirring, until nicely browned, about 4 minutes per batch. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware as completed. Add flour to pan and cook, stirring, until frothy but not browning, about 2 minutes. Stir in peppercorns. Add beef broth and cook, stirring, until mixture comes to a boil and thickens, about 2 minutes (see Tip below). Pour over meatballs.
Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or on high for 3 hours, until meatballs are cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, transfer meatballs to a serving dish. Add sour cream and dill to stoneware and stir well. Pour over meatballs and serve.
You may want to use a whisk while combining the flour mixture and hot stock, to minimize the possibility of lumps.
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2011 Judith Finlayson and Jordan Wagman