Dill-icious Meatballs

What do you think about when you think of Sweden? Maybe it’s IKEA… Maybe it’s the candy Swedish fish… Maybe it’s dishes sprinkled with fresh dill… Or maybe it’s their eponymous meatballs!

June 6th marks the National Day of Sweden, however it only became a national holiday as recently as 2005 when it replaced Whit Monday as the national holiday. Between the late 1300s and the early 1500s: Sweden, Norway, and Denmark all shared a common monarch under the Kalmar Union (personal union). They were each self-governed, but deferred to their monarch on issues of domestic and foreign policies. This national day signifies the dissolution of such union and a move towards a more modern Sweden even if it was back in 1523.

For dinner tonight, we decided to mix up a batch of our own Swedish meatballs from my vintage copy of The Culinary Arts Institute Encyclopedic Cookbook that I received as a gift once. The recipe, I’m sure, is not an exactly authentic one. It’s likely a greatly Americanized one for the 1960s housewife, but they were no less hearty and comforting especially atop a rich mountain of InstantPot cooked mashed potatoes.

7:1 ratio of ground beef to pork, there’s plenty of moisture in these meatball so they definitely won’t dry out. The recipe is short and simple, but I urge you not to neglect the cooking temp since there is an amount of pork in the recipe. We fried the meatballs in the cast iron over medium heat in a couple generous dollops of smoky bacon fat until they’d reached an internal temp of 160° (once you pull them out of the hot fat, they’ll cook up to 165°).

As for the potatoes, all I did was dice 4 medium potatoes fine toss them in some grapeseed oil and putting them in the pot of the InstantPot with a little water. I set the key pad to Manual for 10min and went back to the meatballs. After the timer was up on the InstantPot, I set the top nozzle to vent. Once the meatballs were finished, I removed them to a paper-towel-lined plate. The mashed potatoes were finished by this point, so I whipped them with a couple tbsp of butter, a splash of whole milk, and (one of my secret ingredients) a dollop of mayo. Yes you heard that right. Mayo. Real honest-to-goodness Mayo. It makes the richest, creamiest mashed potatoes you’ve ever had!

I plopped a couple crispy, meaty meatballs atop a rich mountain of potatoes and finished them with a dusting of dried dill, fresh cracked black pepper, and a little Maldon flaked sea salt. The dill added a hint of herbacious, lemony sweetness across the palate. It’s almost as if you breath in the essence of it as you’re eating.

You don’t necessarily need to go to Sweden or even make them yourselves. IKEA sells frozen ones so you can get your fix on the quick! Have you ever had/made Swedish meatballs?


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