I must have had IKEA meatballs twice or three times before deciding that I could not have any more. For some reason, they always tasted bland yet overly salty at the same time and the gravy had that overly flour-y taste. I remember liking the lingonberry jelly, though, perhaps because it counteracted the saltiness of the meatballs.
But I guess the Platonic ideal of IKEA meatballs stayed with me, because when I saw these beauties on Heather's blog, I was in love.
I knew I had to make them.
These meatballs were perfect to serve to a large group of hungry folks. I started with about 7 pounds of meat (5 of beef and 2 of pork) and mixed it up with onions, breadcrumbs and 3 eggs.
For the "gravy," it was a simple béchamel sauce seasoned with a lot of nutmeg. I served these with buttered boiled potatoes.
The meatballs were even quite spectacular with plain ol' white rice.
Pardon the pictures: I had to take this the next day so there would be natural light. The potatoes and the gravy didn't take too kindly to reheating. Looks-wise, that is. They still tasted great!
Swedish Meatballs with "Gravy" and Buttered Boiled Potatoes
Makes approximately 80 meatballs
5 lbs ground beef
2 lbs ground pork
2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp ground pepper
2 tbsp ground nutmeg (I found this much just right for me; if you don't like nutmeg, you can decrease to 1 tbsp, just for that certain "je ne sais quoi")
2 cups onions, minced
2 cups breadcrumbs
Mix all of the ingredients in a ball. Form into 1" balls. Fry until done. Alternatively, you can also bake in the oven at 425 degrees F for approximately 30 minutes until done.
"Gravy": Béchamel Sauce
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
4 cups milk
2 tsp ground nutmeg
Melt butter in saucepan. Whisk in the flour until just lightly golden. Slowly add the milk, whisking as you go, to prevent lumps from forming. Season with salt and pepper. Add nutmeg.
Buttered Boiled Potatoes
4 lbs small potatoes
4 tbsp butter
Peel potatoes. Put them in a pot and cover with water. Wait for the water to boil and turn heat to low. When potatoes are fork-tender, drain. Toss with 4 tbsp of butter and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with dill.
Ladle "gravy" over meatballs and serve alongside the potatoes.