Köttbullar på mormors vis

Meatballs, "köttbullar" is good food. Liked by young and old. On this page I describe how to cook them following my grandmother's recipe.

Lydia Olsson - my grandmother

The ingredients

Minced meat (50% pork, 50% beef), Breadcrumps, Eggs, Cream, Onion, Salt, Sugar and Pepper. The Ale is not for the meatballs. It is for the cook and can be substituted with another drink.

The inheritted receipt says 0,5 kg meat; 0,05 litre breadcrumbs; 2 – 3 eggs; 0,1 litre cream and one onion.

Meatballs do lend themselves to mass production though. I never make such a small batch. 2 – 3 kg meat; 0,2 – 0,3 litres breadcrumbs; a couple of eggs and 0,2 – 0.3 litres of cream makes for a better batch. It does not take much longer time and gives a good boost to the freezer.

The batter

Start by chopping up the onions in small pieces. The smaller the better. Then fry them in liberal amounts of butter or margarine. This is a most important step. You do it to make the onion soft and to pull out loads of good tastes from it. Due to the water in the meat the meatball inside temperature never goes above 100º. This is too low for the wanted changes in the onion. The temperature of the boiling fat is much better. When you are ready your onion pieces should be soft and golden with a few on the darker side.

Put the fried onion in a bowl with eggs, breadcrumbs and cream. Mix with a large fork. Add salt, pepper and sugar. Taste. Be liberal with the sugar. When you have the right mixture it should be a warm fully bodied taste with a small sting of pepper.
Put your batter aside for 30 minutes or more. This is a good time to update your Facebook or Twitter status with a link to this page.


Now is the time to add the minced meat. It should be 50% pork (pig) and 50% beef (cow). Don't like the fat? Meatballs are energy rich food for hard working people. A light meatball is a small meatball. That's it.

Thoroughly mix the meat and the onion/egg mix. Cherish Brillat-Savarin and remember his declaration about the hands as the chef's best tools. Assure there are no lumps of onion/egg mix in the lower corners of your bowl. Let the batter rest for a couple of minutes. This is a good time to open the beer.

The balls

Next step is shaping and frying. Traditionally smaller meatballs are considered better. This is only because they take longer time to make. If you are in a hurry make hamburger sized, flat meatballs. They are called “pannbiff” in Swedish. You can take me for my word or use thermodynamics and the heat transfer equation to calculate it but this is faster. Any way do this if you are hungry.

When you have decided on the size, wet you hands with cold water. Use a spoon to place a pice of batter between your copped hand. Form the batter into balls and put them in a frying pan. Rewett your hands when the batter sticks to your hands (but don't use too much water).

Fry under cover until meat is well done. Save the gravy for the sauce.
Meatballs not intended for immediate use are best put in the freezer. Fry them just enough to keep together. When cool freeze them on a plate so they don't stick together.

Best served

with boiled potatoes, sauce made of gravy and cream, lingonberry jam, pickles, black currant jelly and a good ale.