• Andrew Zimmern Cooks: Swedish Meatballs


Swedish Meatballs with Beef Gravy

By Andrew Zimmern

I don’t think there is a more soul-satisfying meal than Swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes smothered in homemade beef gravy. I like to brown the meatballs in butter first, before finishing them in the oven with a little chicken stock so they stay nice and moist. This beef gravy is an all purpose recipe, use it for the Swedish meatballs or for roast beef, chops off the grill and broiled steak.

Watch Andrew make this recipe:

Swedish Meatballs with Beef Gravy

Servings: 4 to 6



  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 4 thick slices of day-old bread, torn into pieces
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 pound ground veal
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock

Beef Gravy

  • 3 pieces of veal or beef shin, about 2 pounds
  • 1 large shallot, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon Banyuls vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup sour cream


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a skillet, melt half the butter over medium heat. Add the onions, season with salt and cook until the onions are slightly caramelized, about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the torn bread in a mixing bowl and add the heavy cream. Let the mixture sit at room temperature for at least 10 minutes.

Place the ground veal and ground pork in a large mixing bowl. Add the salt, allspice, nutmeg and season with freshly ground black pepper. Add the beaten egg, caramelized onions and cream-soaked bread. Using your hands, mix together until fully combined. Roll the mixture into golfball-sized meatballs.

Add the remaining butter to the skillet you cooked the onions in. Place the meatballs in the pan over medium heat, cooking until you have a light sear on all sides. Once the meatballs are browned, pour the chicken stock into the pan. Cover tightly with aluminum foil, then poke a few holes in the top. Place in the oven and cook for 45 minutes.

Remove from the oven and serve with mashed potatoes, beef gravy (recipe below) and a scoop of lingonberry sauce. Garnish with fresh dill.

Beef Gravy

Preheat an oven to 325 degrees F.

Place the veal shin bones and shallots in a roasting pan and cook in the oven for 2 hours.

Remove the roasting pan from the oven and place on a burner over low heat. Push the shin bones and shallot to one side and add the flour. Whisk the flour into the pan drippings to make a roux. Cook for a minute then add the beef stock slowly in batches, whisking to try to prevent clumps. Bring to a simmer, scraping the bottom of the pan to incorporate the roasted fond. Add one tablespoon of fresh dill and the vinegar, stirring to combine. Pour the liquid and solids into a saucepan, cover and allow to simmer for 45 minutes.

Strain the gravy into another saucepan and discard the solids. Simmer the liquid until it has thickened, about 10 minutes. Whisk in the sour cream and the remaining tablespoon of fresh dill. Taste and season with salt and pepper, and serve with the Swedish meatballs.

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