Jamie enthuses: “Stockholm is the Venice of the North. It’s the perfect city…in the middle of the city you get dudes, restaurateurs, chefs, fishing for wild salmon that they are serving for dinner that night.” Here is his twist on THE defining Swedish classic…
Even people who don’t know much about Swedish food will probably at least have heard of, or tried, the great dish that is Swedish meatballs – especially since Ikea took over theworld (I’ve been told they sell loads of these in their cafeterias). Paired with mash and warm lingonberry sauce, they make a perfect meal: tasty, comforting, with a hint of sweetness. If you’ve got a load of people coming for dinner you could make a batch or two of these and let everyone help themselves.
These meatballs are easy to make; just make sure you’ve got a wide casserole type pan. It will make your life easier and you’ll use it all the time, so it’s worth investing in.
Set aside a few of the herbs, then put the rest into a large bowl with the pork, beef, egg, milk, breadcrumbs and allspice. Add a good pinch of salt and pepper, then get your clean hands in there and scrunch and mix it well. Divide the mixture in half, then pat and roll each half into a sausage shape. Cut each one into 15 equal pieces, then wet your hands and roll 30 little balls. Keep wetting your hands as you go so you get nice round elegant meatballs. Put them on a large oiled tray, then cover with clingfilm and pop into the fridge for 1 hour to firm up.
When you’re ready to cook, put your largest pan on a medium heat and add a lug of olive oil. Once hot, add the meatballs and fry gently for 10 to 15 minutes, tossing occasionally, until they are golden brown.
Transfer the meatballs to a large plate. Spoon away any excess fat from the pan, then add the lemon juice, a splash of stock, the flour, the cream, a heaped tablespoon of lingonberry or berry jam and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down and reduce until you have a nice consistency that will cling to the meatballs. Taste it, then season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Return the meatballs to the pan and move them around so they get coated in the sauce.
Serve your meatballs – 8 per person is about right – drizzled with any lovely sauce left in the pan and with a few spoonfuls of warmed-up jam on top. They’ll go brilliantly next to mashed or crispy potatoes, or even rice, but personally, I love these on top of smashed celeriac mash. Sprinkle over your reserved chopped herbs and tuck in!
For the meatballs
a handful of mixed fresh herbs, such as dill, flat-leaf parsley or chives, roughly chopped
300g minced pork, the best quality you can afford
300g minced beef
1 large egg, preferably
free-range or organic
75g dried breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon ground allspice
sea salt and freshly ground
For the sauce
juice of HALF a lemon
300ml beef stock, preferably organic (if using a stock cube, HALF is enough)
1 tablespoon plain flour
60ml double cream
1 x 200g jar of lingonberry,
cranberry, blackberry or
blackcurrant jam, to serve