These Swedish meatballs—Svenska kottbullar—are made with a combination of ground beef and oats. The meatballs are sauteed and then finished in the oven with a creamy gravy.
Authentic Swedish meatballs often contain a combination of ground meats. Feel free to use 1 pound of ground beef and 1/2 pound of ground pork or use half beef and half pork. Or use a combination of equal parts ground beef, pork, and veal. For a traditional meal of Swedish meatballs, serve them with boiled potatoes, their creamy sauce, and lingonberry jam or preserves. Sliced sour pickles are often included.
The meatball mixture is a basic combination of ground beef, finely chopped onion, and oats. Feel free to add 1/4 teaspoon of ground allspice and 1/4 teaspoon of ground nutmeg for the more traditional spiced flavor. Or replace the oats with 2 slices of torn bread soaked in the 1/4 cup of milk.
- Heat the oven to 350 F.
- In a large bowl, combine the ground beef with the onion, oats, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon of the pepper, Worcestershire sauce, egg, and 1/4 cup of the milk.
- Heat the vegetable oil in a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Shape ground beef mixture into meatballs. When the oil is hot and shimmering, add the meatballs. Cook until browned on all sides, turning frequently.
- Remove the meatballs from the skillet and set aside. Stir the flour, paprika, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and the pepper into the remaining fat. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- In a saucepan over high heat, bring the beef stock to a boil.
- Gradually whisk 2 cups of boiling stock and the remaining 3/4 cup milk into the flour mixture. Stir until smooth and well blended.
- Return the meatballs to the gravy and transfer the pan to the preheated oven. Bake for 30 minutes.
- Taste the sauce and adjust seasonings.
- Cook the meatballs in the oven if you'd like. Just mix and shape the meatballs and bake them on a foil-lined baking sheet for about 20 minutes. To make the sauce, heat the vegetable oil in a deep oven-safe skillet and make the sauce following steps 4 through 6. Add the baked and drained meatballs to the sauce and bake as directed.
- If you can't find lingonberry preserves or jam in your local market, use cranberry relish or whole cranberry sauce as a condiment.
- For a richer sauce, make it with 3/4 cup of half-and-half or heavy cream instead of milk.