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. The original recipe for 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, and to keep a box of picks on hand to make it easier for guests to eat the meatballs.
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
One Pot MealYes
OccasionBuffet, Buffet Meal, Casual Dinner Party, Cocktail Party, Family Get Together, Game Day
Recipe CourseAppetizer, Hors D'oeuvre
Taste and TextureCreamy, Meaty, Rich, Savory
- Small to medium (2 to 3½ quart) slow cooker
- 1 pound (500 g) lean ground beef, preferably sirloin
- 1 cup (250 mL) fine dry bread crumbs
- 1 onion, grated
- 1 egg, beaten
- 2 teaspoons (10 mL) finely grated lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon (2 mL) salt
- ½ teaspoon (2 mL) allspice
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons (30 mL) olive oil
- 3 tablespoons (45 mL) all-purpose flour
- ½ tesapoon (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.
This collection of slow cooker recipes will be just what you need when you want a little help getting meals on the table. From breakfast dishes to soups, side dishes, and even desserts, you'll find a wide selection of slow cooker recipes with these
2011 Judith Finlayson and Jordan Wagman