Ikea-Style Swedish Meatballs

It never ceases to amaze me all of the different food traditions that families have during the holidays. I recently wrote about one of my family’s traditions, baked oysters. It was started by my Grandma Menard and has been passed down to my generation. At least two of my cousins make the dish.

Over the past week or so, while talking with some friends, I found out about a couple of their traditions. Serge and Eleanor Gambucci told me they have lasagna on Christmas Eve. That didn’t surprise me, since they are Italian and lasagna is a traditional food of Italy. Another friend, Bob Sullivan, told me they always have prime rib and lobster tails on Christmas Day.

But it was the Sullivans’ Christmas Eve dinner that caught my attention. Bob said they have meatballs and gravy with boiled potatoes. I said that it would be my preference to have mashed potatoes, but Bob said he liked to mash the meatballs into the potatoes along with some corn. That sounded pretty good to me.

Here is a recipe for meatballs and boiled potatoes that I discovered at a blog called Montreal Foodies, which is dedicated to testing and featuring recipes, chef and cookbook author interviews, writing about new food and cooking products as well as reviewing cookbooks. The Foodies are a team based in Montreal who love food. From the looks of the recipe, that’s obvious.

Ikea-Style Swedish Meatballs
½ pound minced beef
½ pound minced pork
1 egg
1 cup cream and water
2½ tablespoons finely chopped onion
¼ cup flour
2 cold peeled boiled potatoes
4 to 5 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper
½ cup cream
1 cup beef stock
Chinese soy sauce
1 tablespoon white flour
Salt, white pepper
For the meatballs, heat the onion till golden in a couple of tablespoons of lightly browned butter. Mash the potatoes and moisten the rusk flour in a little water. Mix all the ingredients until there is consistency and flavor generously with salt, white pepper and (optional) a little finely crushed allspice. Uuse a pair of spoons to shape the mixture into relatively large, round balls and transfer to a floured chopping board. Fry them slowly in plenty of butter.
For the cream sauce, swirl the boiling water or beef stock in a pan. Add cream and thicken with white flour if preferred. Season well with salt and pepper. Serve the meatballs with the sauce, freshly boiled potatoes, uncooked lingonberry jam and salad.