Swedish Meatballs in Sour Cream Sauce

“Very special meatballs; I serve this for Christmas Eve dinner, accompanied with white rice or homemade noodles. The recipe is from Michael Field's Cooking School. I got it off Compuserve several years ago. Serves 6 to 8 as a main dish. Prep time includes chilling”
2hrs 45mins

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 12 lb beef chuck, all fat removed and ground together twice
  • 12 lb fresh lean pork, all fat removed and ground together twice
  • 12 lb veal, all fat removed and ground together twice
  • 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
  • 14 cup cream
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced beef marrow
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 12 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
  • 12 teaspoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh lemon rind
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 12 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 12 teaspoon thyme
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • For the Sauce
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup brown beef stock or 1 cup canned beef broth
  • 12 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill or 1 tablespoon dry dill weed
  • 14 teaspoon lemon juice
  • salt
  • 18 teaspoon cayenne


  1. Ask the butcher to split a few marrowbones lengthwise and extract the marrow For you. Have the beef, pork and veal ground together in front of you, for unless you see it you cannot be sure that it will be free of fat.
  2. So that they can be chilled, prepare the meat balls at least an hour before you plan to cook them. They are less likely then to crumble and lose their shape when they are fried.
  3. Soak the crumbs in the four Tab. of cream for 5 minutes, then put them in a large mixing bowl with the marrow and ground meats.
  4. Melt the 2 T. butter in a small frying pan and in it cook the chopped onion, shallots and garlic over Moderate heat for 5 min.,or until softened and color lightly. Add them to the mixing bowl and at the same time add the grated lemon rind, parsley, salt, pepper, and thyme.
  5. Beat the 2 eggs lightly with a fork and pour them over the meat. With a large spoon, beat this mixture vigorously until the ingredients are thoroughly combined and the meat loses its granular texture. If you own an electric mixer with a dough hook attachment, the beating operation will be much easier. But do not attempt to use an ordinary beater attachment; it will not work.
  6. Form into small balls, about an inch in diameter. The simplest and most efficient way to do this is to place a heaping teaspoon of the meat in the palm of of one hand and after moistening the other hand with cold water, roll it lightly over the meat until you have shaped it into a sphere. Do not fuss with this too much; when the balls are chilled, you can reshape them easily if you wish.
  7. Place the meat balls, as you finish them, on a baking sheet or platter lined with wax paper. Cover them with another sheet of waxed paper, and chill for at least an hour. For more firmly crusted meatballs, roll each lightly in flour just before frying them.
  8. When you are ready to cook the meatballs, melt the 3 Tab. butter and 2 Tab. oil over high heat in a large heavy frying pan. When the fat begins to sputter, lightly drop into the pan enough meat balls to cover the bottom about three quarters full. At once slide the pan back and forth over the burner so that they roll around in the hot fat; this will help them to keep their shapes and to brown evenly.
  9. After a couple of minutes, turn the heat down to moderate, and cook the balls 6-7 minutes longer, or until they are crisp brown all over and cooked through. Make sure by breaking one open; there should not be the slightest indication of pink in the center. With a slotted spoon, transfer the finished meatballs to a shallow casserole and continue with the remaining meatballs until they are all cooked.
  10. Make the sauce in the same frying pan. If the fat remaining in it is a good deep brown; pour off all but 3 Tab. of it. If, however, it is black and badly burned, scrape it all out and in its place melt 3 T. butter.
  11. Off the heat, with a wooden spoon, stir into the pan 2 Tab of flour and mix it to a smooth paste with the fat. Return the pan to a low heat and cook this roux slowly for a minute of so, stirring all the while. Then pour in, all at once, the cup of stock. Raise the heat to moderate and, with a wire whisk, beat this sauce together until it boils, thickens and becomes quite smooth. Then turn the heat down to the barest simmer. Still using the whisk, stir the sour cream into the sauce, about a Tab. at a time. Use more than ½ cup if you like the sauce fairly thin. At the last, add the fresh dill, lemon juice, salt to taste and cayenne. Pour the sauce over the meatballs in the casserole.
  12. When you are ready to serve them, reheat the meatballs slowly without letting the sauce boil.
  13. Serve them directly from the casserole, sprinkled with a little extra fresh dill if you have it. Buttered rice, noodles or pasta of any kind go well with this.
  14. Note: If you are unable to get any marrow, in its place beat into the meat ball mixture 3 tab. soft butter.

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