Meatballs are one of my favorite foods. I love them old school Italian style, or prepared in more modern ways with sauces that are spicy, pungent or served with garlic & herbs. Swedish Meatballs are a classic preparation made with both beef and pork and seasoned with allspice, nutmeg and juniper berries. The mixture of meat and herbs gives these meatballs their unique earthy taste and are divine, especially during the cooler months of the year.
I originally learned how to make Swedish Meatballs from my step-grandmother Violet, who prepared them for her family throughout the years. She often made them in an iron skillet on the stove top, but I much prefer the slow cooker.
Using your slow cooker for meatballs is a brilliant idea because of the tenderizing qualities it provides. The meat baths in its own juices, not to mention the creamy sauce, and the results are stupendous. This recipe for Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs is not only delicious, but quite easy to prepare and feed a large family or crowd.
If you haven’t’ tried a Swedish Meatballs, then you don’t know what you are missing – rustic, juicy and authentically warming. I think these meatballs are delightful during the week, and make a great dish for parties and holidays.
1 pound ground beef
1 pound ground pork
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 slices bread
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup all purpose flour
4 juniper berries, found at most grocery stores
2 1/2 cups beef broth
1/3 cup heavy cream
1. In a large bowl, combine the beef, pork, allspice, nutmeg, salt, pepper and egg. Using your hands, gently fold the ingredients together. In another small bowl, combine the bread and milk. Squeeze together until the bread breaks apart and absorbs the liquid, let rest for 5 minutes. Add the soaked bread to the meat mixture and fold together with your hands.
2. In the slow cooker insert or another pot, add 2 teaspoons of olive oil and place over medium high heat. Form the meat mixture into ping-pong size balls and brown in batches on all sides, remove and set aside.
3. Add the flour to the oil and juices in the pot and stir to create a roux. Crush the juniper berries in a mortar & pestle or with a spoon, add to the roux. Pour the broth into the pot and stir until slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.
4. Return the meatballs to the pot and place insert in cooking element or pour the meatballs and sauce into slow cooker. Cook on low for 5 hours or until fork tender. Add cream and stir to combine. Serve with egg noodles, rice or mashed veggies. Enjoy!