When I lived in Bristol in the UK, going to Ikea was an outing people did on the weekend for fun, even if no furniture was required. I have never loved Ikea enough to go there unless I needed something specific and I am not a huge fan of their furniture or at least its proliferation. In the UK, I felt like every second living room looked the same.
But I did love the Swedish meatballs that they served in their café. An Ikea is going to be opening in Canberra but as they have only just gotten approval, it will be a bit of a wait to have meatballs there. When I saw this Swedish meatball recipe at PicNic, it bought back memories of weekends spent in Ikea helping friends pick out furniture as well as restoring meals at the end of the shopping ordeal.
Given life has been a bit hectic recently, a bit like those shopping trips, I thought I better give the recipe a try and recapture some of its recuperative powers. And I am so glad I did. This is such a great recipe and tastes a lot like the meatballs I remember only better. The meatballs themselves are lovely and moist and the gravy that they come with is super scrumptious. I served mine with mashed potatoes and the meal just screamed comfort food at me.
To make this for one I used the following ingredients:
125g ground beef
1/8th of an onion, finely diced
½ tsp of minced garlic (equivalent to ½ a clove)
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp allspice
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp of chia seeds
1 tbs breadcrumbs
4 tsp of flour
1 tbs of butter
½ a cup of beef stock
2 tbs of cooking cream
The only change I made to the recipe was to replace the egg with chia seeds. I crushed the chia seeds with my mortar and pestle and mixed in 3 tsp of water. This makes a slurry that is not beautiful looking but is great for binding meatballs. One small tip – make sure your pan is small enough that the sauce isn’t spread too thinly.
The recipe is about 400 calories with the chia seeds. It will be higher if you use eggs. Preparation time is only about 5 minutes and cooking time is about 25 minutes taking into account my slow meatball rolling skills.
The second time I made these they weren’t quite as delicious and I can’t for the life of me work out what I did differently. Maybe I didn’t brown the meatballs quite enough so the gravy didn’t have as much lovely bits of meat stuck to the bottom of the pan? Very annoying – but not the recipe’s fault. Do you ever have this problem?
One of the commenters suggests that using pork and beef mince is more traditional so I might give that try next time. Or maybe even veal and pork mince which is fairly easy to buy combined here in Australia.
And while you are on PicNic’s website you have to check out her cheesecakes. Seriously delicious looking.