"Pan fried meatballs cooked in a creamy and savory sauce. If you like IKEA's Swedish meatballs, now you can make them at home!"
I’ve been meaning to take a trip to IKEA for a couple weeks, and in a round about way, I think this is where the desire for this recipe came from. Because for those that might not know, IKEA does serve some hot food to it’s patrons, and one of their big selling points are (you guessed it!) delicious Swedish meatballs.
However, I do have a confession: out of all the times I’ve been to IKEA… I’ve never once stopped for the food. By the time I see it, my arms (or the frustratingly wobbly pushcart) are already so weighed down with the plethora of items I’m already putting together in my mind that I can’t seem to deviate from my get-home-and-assemble mission, no matter how hungry I might be (and seriously, you can work up quite the appetite in IKEA).
But you know the one thing that always sticks with me? The delicious smell of all that food. It might just be the foodie in me, but when I pass by I always leave with the feeling that I’m really missed out on whatever is cooking in IKEA’s kitchen.
So while I was browsing IKEA’s website for their new kitchenware selections (seriously, I need at least three of everything) I decided to solve the mystery and make some Swedish meatballs at home.
For all the hype I had built around Swedish meatballs in my head, thinking they were an elaborate culinary feat, they were actually pretty straightforward to make, although the pan fry method was obviously a little more involved than just tossing them in the oven. But if I had to choose, I think I like the slightly crisp surface the meatballs get from frying. I’m really glad I took the chance to learn a new way to prepare them!
So overall, these meatballs were everything that my food fantasies thought they would be – the sauce is savory, the meatballs are flavorful, and they go great just by themselves or with some wide width pasta. I had it both ways and still can’t decide which I like best.
For the Meatballs
- In a small bowl, mix together panko and milk. Set bowl aside and allow panko to absorb the milk for at least 5 minutes.
- In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add onions to skillet and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and oregano to skillet and cook for an additional minute. Remove skillet from heat.
- In a large bowl, mix together beef, pork, and contents of skillet. Add egg yolks and panko mixture. For best results, kneed the ingredients with your hands to ensure all ingredients are thoroughly combined.
- Heat skillet again over medium heat. Add more olive oil to the skillet as necessary.
- Scoop 2-3 tablespoons of meat mixture (I used an old ice cream scoop for measurement) and roll it into a ball. I recommend creating 10 meatballs at a time and cooking them together. When ready, drop the meatballs in the heated skillet and cook until all sides of the meatball have been thoroughly browned. Place cooked meatballs in a bowl and cover until all meatballs have been cooked. Repeat step until all meatballs have been cooked. Add more olive oil as necessary. Tip: Once the meatballs are in the skillet, pick the skillet up and tilt it from side to side, letting the meatballs slide around. This will help brown the sides quickly and help the meatball keep it's shape, making it easier to turn them with a spatula.
For the Gravy
- Check the amount of olive oil in the pan - if more than 1 tbsp, use a paper towel to absorb any excess.
- Add butter to skillet and allow to melt over medium heat. And flour and whisk together, letting mixture cook until it turns a light tan color, roughly 1-2 minutes. Pour in warm beef bouillon and whisk again, working on getting the cooked bits off the bottom of the pan. Finally, whisk in heavy cream, worcestershire sauce, dijon mustard, and pepper to taste. Taste test sauce - add salt if needed.
Putting it All Together
- When sauce begins to steam, whisk a final time add in meatballs. Cover and allow Swedish meatballs to simmer for 10 minutes over medium / medium low heat.
- Remove one meatball and cut into it. If there is any pink, return meatball to skillet, cover dish, and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
- Serve meatballs immediately with rice, pasta, or just by themselves.
Recipe adapted from Art and the Kitchen.