Swedish meatballs and potatoes with pickled gherkins and beet roots

Pickled beet root
Pickled gherkins
Swiss chard baby leaves

Ingredients 4 servings

Pickled beet root
50 g (1.76 oz) onion
200 g (7.05 oz) beet roots
60 ml (2.03 fl oz) apple cider vinegar
120 g (4.23 oz) sugar

Pickled gherkins
300 g (10.58 oz) gherkins
60 ml (2.03 fl oz) apple cider vinegar
120 g (4.23 oz) sugar
3 g (0.11 oz) whole mustard seeds

Meat balls and sauce
800 g (28.22 oz) minced beef
150 g (5.29 oz) onions
15 g (0.53 oz) salt
50 g (1.76 oz) butter
600 g (21.16 oz) heavy cream

800 g (28.22 oz) potatoes, waxy


Pickled beet roots
Slice the onions 4 mm thick.
Peel the beet roots and slice them into 5 mm thick slices.
Use a round cookie cutter to cut out circles from the sliced beet roots.
Use a small cookie cutter or apple corer to cut out a hole in the middle of the beet root circles.
Boil the onions, beet roots, apple cider vinegar and sugar for 5 minutes.
Cool the pickles and then refrigerate it until it is cold.

Pickled gherkins
Slice the gherkins 4 mm thick.
Boil all of the ingredients until the sugar has dissolved.
Cool the pickles and then refrigerate it until it is cold.

Meat balls and sauce
Chop the onions very fine.
Fry the onion in 20 g (0.71 oz) of the butter on medium heat until golden brown. Let the onions cool.
Mix the minced beef, salt and fried onions.
Roll meat balls and fry them in 30 g (1.06 oz) of the butter. Start with high heat and when the meat balls are browned, turn the heat down to low and continue to fry them until they are cooked through.
Transfer the meatballs to a plate and de glaze the pan with the cream. Stir and cook until the cream has reduced to a thicker consistency. Salt to taste.

Cut the potatoes into large cubes.
Use a knife to scoop out a little hole on one side of the potato cubes.
Bring a pot with lightly salted water to a simmer. Do not let the water come to a boil.
Add the potatoes and simmer until cooked through.

Strain the sauce and serve it separately.
Strain the pickled gherkins and chop it into a fine dice.
Make a line on the plate with the pickled cucumber.
Place the potato cubes in a line on the plates with the scooped side up.
Place one meat ball in the scoop of the potato.
Place one beet root on top of the meat ball. Place some small beet root rounds in a line.
Sprinkle with some swiss chard baby leaves.

Fun facts about Swedish meatballs

When you think of Swedish food, the first thing that you visualize is probably the meatballs. In Swedish they are called “Köttbullar” They are loved by both adults and kids and make a perfect lunch, dinner or snack. Put them cold on a sandwich with some beetroot salad, serve them quickly with some regular boiled potatoes or make something fancy with them! Like in this recipe where they are presented in a styled way to make the classic more modern.
There are just so much you can do with them. They are always served on a traditional Swedish “julbord” (Christmas buffé) but often on regular buffés as well.
Make a large batch and freeze them so you have meatballs ready whenever you like. Just put them straight from the freezer into a pan with some butter. Heat them up over low heat and serve.
Kids enjoy them with pasta and ketchup in many Swedish school lunch restaurants. Another kid favorite is to put them in a sausage bun and drizzle with some ketchup.
The Danish equivalent is “frikadeller” which are made of pork. But that is a different recipe. If you ask for “frikadeller” in Sweden you get boiled meatballs instead of pan fried…