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Swedish Meatballs

Click to Print This Recipe

Meatballs:
  • 1-1/2 to 2 pounds ground beef 
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 slices of bread, torn into small bits (stale bread is fine)
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk (or 1/2 cup water mixed with 1/3 cup dry milk powder)
  • 1 medium egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1/4 teaspoon EACH nutmeg & garlic powder

Gravy:

  • 1/3 cup fat from the cooked meatballs (above)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 1/2 cups beef broth (made with 2 1/2 cups tap water and 3 bouillon cubes is fine)
  • 1 cup evaporated milk or 1 cup of water combined with 2/3 cup instant dry milk powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon EACH black pepper and dill
  • Salt to taste (usually 1/4 teaspoon, but it depends on the saltiness of your broth or bouillon)
  • 12 to 16 ounces of egg noodles, cooked and drained
     

Start off by making the meatballs. Combine all of the meatball ingredients in a big bowl. Mix and mash everything together until it is thoroughly mixed. The nutmeg is the secret ingredient in the meatballs. Shape the mixture into small balls, the size of a walnut. Some people fry these on top of the stove for about 20 minutes, turning them frequently. I prefer to bake them. Arrange the meat balls in a 9 by 13 inch rectangular baking dish and bake them at 375 for about 20 minutes.

While the meatballs are cooking, boil up your egg noodles as directed on the package. Drain well.

When the meatballs are well cooked, remove them from the oven. Place them on some paper towels to drain. Now, here is the tricky part, carefully drain the hot fat from the pan into a heat resistant glass, or metal measuring cup. You will need 1/3 cup of fat for the next step. If you have more than 1/3 cup, discard any extra. If you don't quite have 1/3 cup you can make it up with bacon grease, or oil, or shortening. 

Heat the fat in a 3 quart size sauce pan. When it is melted, whisk in the flour. Be sure to get rid of any lumps. Quickly stir in the evaporated milk and beef broth (or tap water and bouillon cubes). Mix and stir a lot, so the mixture won't stick to the bottom of your pan. Add the pepper and dill as you stir. The dill is the secret ingredient in the gravy. Add salt if you think you need it. Bring the mixture to a boil and boil for a full minute, or until the gravy is nice and thick. Add the drained meatballs to the sauce.

Scoop a big ladle full of noodles onto your plate. Add several meatballs and plenty of gravy. Serve with a simple vegetable like broccoli, or steamed carrots. Add a dessert of apple crisp for a real winner of a meal. Serves 6 amply.

This is a very old recipe from at least the 40's. A version of it used to appear on the backs of cans of evaporated milk. A large can of evaporated milk is just enough to complete the recipe. If you are out of evaporated milk though, or if you never buy it, you may use the dry milk powder variation. It is very good either way.

 
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