On the menu

Recipe: Grandma’s meatballs 

These meatballs work perfectly with a couple of cooked, peeled potatoes and a lot of pickles

It is wonderful to experience memories through food, says Mathias Pilblad, and it is also wonderful to pass them on, which is why this recipe is so special to me. These meatballs – exactly like the ones my grandmother used to make – have a rougher structure than most of those I make and serve today. I hope you agree they are particularly nice. A couple of cooked, peeled potatoes are always a welcome accompaniment if you’re hungry.

Ingredients: makes about 42 balls 
  • 500g beef mince
  • 500g pork mince 
  • 1 egg, beaten 
  • 1 tsp ground allspice 
  • 1 tsp ground ginger 
  • 1 tsp sea salt 
  • freshly ground white pepper 
  • 50g boiled and peeled floury potato, mashed and left to cool completely 
  • 100ml whipping cream 
  • 100g onion, chopped 
  • butter, for frying 
  • to serve: lingonberry sauce 
  • various pickles
Method
  • Beat both minces with the egg, allspice, ginger, salt, white pepper to taste and the potato in a large mixing bowl with a wooden spoon until firmer. Add the cream and give the mixture a couple of quick stirs; it should have a soft consistency. Finally, stir in the onion and continue beating until the mixture is smooth, firm and well combined. Shape the mixture into about 42 meatballs, 30g each and the size of a table tennis ball; there will be a few onion pieces sticking out.
  • Melt enough butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat to come about one-third of the way up the meatballs. Add as many meatballs as will fit, without overcrowding, and fry, turning frequently, for about ten minutes until brown on the outside and cooked through when you cut one open. It is important that the heat in the pan does not get too hot, or the small onion pieces will break off and burn. A couple of the meatballs might even break up a bit, but that is okay. Pan-fry in batches, if necessary. As each batch is fried use a slotted spoon to transfer the meatballs to an ovenproof serving dish and keep hot.
  • I like to serve these meatballs with the butter they are cooked in with any onion pieces that have fallen off in the frying pan. I always think these are best eaten with a lot of pickles – and I mean a lot of them.
Meatballs for the People by Mathias Pilblad

Taken from Meatballs for the People by Mathias Pilblad, published by Bloomsbury Absolute at £20. To buy from The Week Bookshop for £15.99, call 020-3176 3835 or visit theweekbookshop.co.uk

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