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9 Apr 2012

Nutty Swedish Meatballs

Nutty Swedish meatballs
This month you are lucky! Two post in just a few days, must be a record for me, I hope that isn't too much inspiration for your belly to bare.

I am very happy to announce that my Pomegranate shot won February DMBLGiT challenge in the Originality category; my first win in this challenge! Many thanks to the judges for choosing my entry. 

A Fall still-life
If you want to enter the March edition of the challenge, check the details on Wendy's post.

Another month has passed since the last Secret Recipe Club and at this round I was assigned the inspiring Delishhh Blog from Ewa. She usually posts homey kind of recipes with interesting flavor or presentation twists. I saw her Cinnamon sugar pull apart bread back when she originally posted the recipe and found it a very fun and yummy idea, I will have to try soon (I hope).
Her various cultural background show up every now and then in her recipes, like for instance in this moist Saffron Cake that is traditionally had during the Swedish celebration of St. Lucy on the 13th of December. And what about these Pumpkin Fritters to speak for her American influences?

Choosing what to cook from assigned blogs often turned out to be a bit challenging, going more for savories rather than sweets, but this time the first glance was the charm. Ewa had just posted her recipe for Swedish meatballs and I jumped at the occasion of trying my hand at them; furthermore meatballs are easy to make gluten-free or even grain-free.

Trying to avoid most of the carbs out there, I went nuts on this recipe. We often forget how nut flours could be efficiently used as thickener so I substituted them for the breadcrumbs and flour in the original recipe. The only tricky point is that nut flours need to be simmered for a little while in a sauce to produce a smooth and stable thickening, often ending with a wiz of an immersion blender would improve the sauce texture.

Nutty Swedish meatballs
Nutty Swedish Meatballs

Ingredients (make roughly 45 1-tablespoon meatballs):

Brown sauce:
  • 40g butter
  • 2 tablespoons almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons hazelnut flour
  • 2 cups brown beef stock, better if unsalted
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon apple-cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Chinese rice wine
  • salt and pepper to taste

Meatball mixture:
  • 500g mixed ground meat
  • 50g almond flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 onion, finely chopped and sautéed in a little butter
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon grinded black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon grinded allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon grinded cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered dry sage

With this version of Swedish meatballs, it is better to start with the brown sauce since the nut flours need a little more time to properly hydrate. Start by combining the butter with the nut flours in a small saucepan and cook them over medium fire until a nice nutty aroma will emanate from it. Be sure to stir it thoroughly to prevent scorching. Mix in the beef stock and the cream and let the whole simmer covered with lid slightly ajar, until nicely thickened. Whisk the sauce every now and then since the nuts flour have the tendency to sink.

In a large bowl mix all the meatball mixture ingredients together and work them until nicely combined. With a 1 tablespoon measuring spoon scoop out part of the mixture and roll it into meatballs. In a large (better no stick) pan melt a nice knob of butter with a little vegetable oil and when it will be hot enough start frying the meatballs a few at a time. Transfer the fried meatballs on some paper towels to drain between batches.

By now the sauce should be nicely reduced, taste it and add all the seasonings to complete it.

Serve the meatballs with their sauce and a side of vegetables, like roasted cauliflower. ×××


  1. The meatballs look great! I know it's hard to choose one recipe from Delish, she just has too many great choices :-). The good thing is whatever you make tastes delish :-)

  2. Yum, these meatballs look really delicious - so tasty, great flavors! :) And that photo of the pomegranate is simply gorgeous! :)

  3. I LIKE that, I will definitely try your twist on Swedish meatballs and congratulations to the win, very nice shot!

  4. Oh, I want to make these! I was just thinking about Swedish meatballs so thank you for enabling me to give-in to my cravings.

  5. I was just at Ikea today thinking "One day I'm going to make Swedish meatballs" so thanks for giving me a recipe!

  6. I do love anything on a toothpick, and a meatball for sure! I have to check out her blog, I am curious about the Feast of St. Lucy!

  7. Congratulations on winning! It's a great picture.

  8. Beautiful - I like that the sauce and the meatballs both have almond flour - I think that would make a very harmonious dish. Congrats on your DMBLGiT win as well!

  9. congrats on your win! these meatballs look great too. yay for SRC!

  10. Oh, I bet the combination of hazelnut and almond flours makes that gravy so very delicious! I'm not gluten free, but I definitely want to try that!

  11. The meatballs and sauce sound absolutely amazing. I would happily eat some now for breakfast.

  12. Your pictures are exquisite.

  13. They look absolutely delicious!

  14. Yum meatballs...Glad to follow ur blog..

  15. Your recipe is fabulous! Really original.

    The pomegranate shot is splendid!



  16. Although upon first glance these look like my Norwegian nana's Swedish meatball recipe but then looking at the recipe I realize there is no way it is! Hazelnut flour... hmmm, for some reason I feel that this may be an elevated version of good old Nana's version. Gorgeous!

  17. Adorable! Love that you use nut flours!