Swedish Meatballs

17 03 2011

Very simple ingredients

Hi Everyone! First of all, THANK YOU for visiting our new Blog…Hope you can gather some ideas for your own family whenever you visit.  This is the second in our “Cooking for Cassie” series of Comfort Foods, specifically those dishes that freeze well.  For those of you that are new here, Cassie is our daughter-in-law and has been facing some health issues over the past several weeks, so we went and made meals to put in their freezer.  We had a BLAST too!  Hope this gives you some ideas to fill your own freezer, or to share with another family.  Enjoy!

Farm Fresh Eggs

This recipe comes from WAY back when…and I mean W A Y back…to my childhood in southern California!  My friend, Becky Olsen invited me  for a sleepover in 5th or 6th grade, and her mom, Jeannie, made these delicious meatballs.  Our family adopted these even though we didn’t have an ounce of “Swede” in us!  (Becky & I recently reconnected on Facebook…so cool!)

My original recipe card from 1979

When I left home to get married in 1979, of course I took all of the best recipes with me! This is the recipe card that I typed up on our State of the Art IBM Selectric typewriter…what a great piece of equipment!  Remember the “White-Out” and those nifty little typewriter erasers with the tiny brush on the end?  Well, I still have the same recipe card, protected over the years in it’s little plastic sleeve.  The BEST recipes are those filed away in our memories though… I honestly haven’t had to look at the recipe in years! 🙂

Fresh hamburger, farm eggs, crackers, onions, salt & pepper...so simple!

This recipe calls for a lot of onions in comparison to the amount of hamburger…2 lbs. hamburger and 2 minced onions…don’t skimp on the onions!  They make it so good!

It takes awhile to make all of those meatballs!

Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl…I definitely use my hands to squish it all together really good.  Then start scooping out those meatballs!

Cookie scoops work great for this job!

There is a perfect sized scoop for any size meatball you would like to make.  I use the #24 size which is more than 1/8 cup and less than 1/4 cup size.  Thought this was funny…I didn’t know that I had six cookie scoops (this will not be news to my family) and, thank goodness,  they are ALL a different size!  Maybe I should quit on the computer and go clean out my utensil drawer… Nah!!! 🙂

Yup...that's real butter in the skillet! 🙂

Sorry this photo is so dark…Once you get all of those meatballs rolled, start browning them in butter.  Don’t skip the butter, or browning the meatballs.  One time, to save time, I skipped this step and tried baking them in the oven…definitely not the same at all!  You NEED those little brown crusties on the meat and the onions to give it the rich flavor.

The meatballs just need to brown, not be cooked through in this step.

Of course, this would have a better presentation if we had placed them in a nice baking dish, but remember our focus was to FILL THE FREEZER, so we used heavy duty foil freezer pans this time.  The meatballs do not need to be thoroughly cooked at this stage; we will bake them later.

Pour the sauce over the meatballs.

Next, whisk up the sauce…just two cans of good ‘ole Cream of Mushroom soup with enough milk to make it a sauce (about 2/3 of one can of milk), then garnish with a little dried parsley.  Let meatballs cool before covering with heavy duty foil. Now it’s ready for the freezer! You can easily divide this into two smaller pans, one for now and one for later if you have a smaller family or group.

Ready to go into the freezer!

My mom would always serve Swedish Meatballs over Buttered Poppy Seed Noodles or Rice, so, of course, so do I.  This is a great cold weather comfort food…a real “stick to your ribs” kind of meal.  Hope you enjoy them as much as we have over the years! Click here for a printable copy of recipe for Swedish Meatballs.

Swedish Meatballs

2 1/2 –  3 lbs. hamburger
4 eggs (original recipe calls for 6 eggs, but 4 usually works for me)
2 onions, minced (don’t skimp…use all of both onions)
1 1/3 sleeves saltine crackers, crushed
salt and pepper to taste
garlic powder to taste
2 cans cream of mushroom soup
3/4 cup milk (more if you like it a thinner gravy)
parsley for garnish
Rice or buttered noodles to serve meatballs with

Mix all ingredients together…I use my hands to mix thoroughly. Using a large cookie size ice cream scoop, scoop out meat mixture and form into balls.  Brown meatballs in melted butter, then place in a greased 9 x 13 baking dish. The meatballs do not need to be cooked through at this point, just browned on the outside. When you have finished browning all of the meatballs, make the mushroom sauce by whisking the cream of mushroom soup and milk together.  Pour over the meatballs.  Garnish with parsley. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes at 325 degrees.  Remove foil and bake for another 5 minutes or so. Serve meatballs over hot rice or buttered noodles.  Delicious comfort food!

*Note: This recipe came from my friend, Becky Olsen’s mom when I was probably in 5th or 6th grade and living in southern California.  We are still making them today! Now, THAT’s the sign of a great, simple recipe! Freezes very well.

If frozen, thaw meatballs in refrigerator for 24 hours or so, then bake as directed or a little longer if still partially frozen.

ADRIANS “A Unique Boutique”
Downtown Buhler, Kansas

We LOVE to hear your comments…please feel free to fill out the box below, or contact us at the store. Email Vicki at adrians@buhlerks.net

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