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Scandinavian Meatballs (Lihapullat!) in a creamy sauce.

February 19, 2011

I have a report due in tomorrow, what am I doing? Cooking of course! However, by the time you read this (thanks to having had so much work on recently)  it will be nearly a week into the future, handing the report in will be a bleary memory of a night with no sleep but the taste of meatballs will still be fresh in my mind.

If I was in the Midlands, I would  just do a 20 minute walk to the local giant IKEA store and buy a whole load of their amazing Meatballs and packet sauce, I wont lie, they are almost as good as homemade. However, the South West (or at least Exeter) seems to be pretty much devoid of any IKEA stores, so homemade it is and I certainly am not complaining. They are fun (and messy) to make and even more fun to eat. If you ever get the chance, try these made out of Elk meat, they taste especially amazing.

– Recipe –

The Meatballs:

makes around 55-80 depending on how big you roll them

1 Onion, diced very fine

Breadcrumbs from 2 slices of bread (toasted lightly till dry then rolled in your hands)

250mls Sour Cream

1 Egg

500g Beef Mince

500g Pork Mince

1 teaspoon Ground Allspice

3 crushed Cloves (optional)

2 teaspoons Ground Pepper

1 teaspoon Salt

The Sauce:

makes enough for 2-3 (scale it to the number of people eating)

2 tablespoons Butter

2 tablespoons Flour

400mls Beef Stock (half a stock cube dissolved in 400mls water)

Salt and Pepper

  1. Fry the Onion on a low heat with a little Butter for 2-5 minutes, till soft and translucent and then let cool. While the Onions cool, put the Bread Crumbs into a bowl and mix in the Sour Cream, it will make a really stiff paste. With your hands (fill the sink with soapy warm water first, you will see why after) mix the Egg, Bread Crumb paste, Onion, Seasonings and Meat very thoroughly, the softer it becomes the better the final texture.
  2. Shape the mixture into Walnut sized balls (I always make them too big and then start again!) and then if you are making more then you will use at once,  reserve the excess in the fridge, or freeze them!
  3. Heat the oven to gas mark 8 (450F, 230C), unless doing method two (see below) and space the Meatballs out on a baking tray. Cook 15-25 minutes (depending on size) till golden and just going crispy on the outside.
  4. Two Options here;

About 10 minutes before the Meatballs are done warm a heavy bottomed saucepan and melt the Butter, mix in the Flour and then pour in a very small amount of Beef Stock. Whisk and add small batches of stock till the consistency is quite runny with no lumps, add the rest of the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce till thick and season with Salt and Pepper constantly tasting to get just the right flavour.


put a little Butter in the pan and turn the heat on high, seal the meatballs and make the outsides crispy then remove before fully cooked through. make the sauce the same as above, but then cook the Meatballs in the sauce until it is reduced and thick.

Serve with Mashed Potato or New Potatoes boiled with Dill and Lingonberry sauce! In the picture I used homemade Rowanberry Jelly which makes a very good substitute with a similar flavour. Lingonberries dont grow in this part of the UK, and there are no IKEA’s nearby…


  1. Where are the Norwegian noodles?

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