Not to be confused with Swedish Meatballs, this family tradition recipe renders a tender, moist meatball that melts in your mouth. Christmas Dinner would not be complete without these meatballs sitting on a plate of mashed potatoes and topped with a creamy mushroom sauce.
The ingredient list is for one pound of meat, or roughly 8 meatballs. We usually do six pounds+, which results in about 50 meatballs. Guests usually eat 2-3…but 7 is not out of the question! Adjust the ingredient list accordingly – and remember, they are great leftovers as well.
One of the big advantages of this dish is that you can prepare it in advance and freeze it until the morning you plan to serve it.
- 1/4 lb ground Pork
- 3/4 lb ground Round *Have the butcher grind the two meats together three times
- 2 Slices Cracked Wheat Bread
- Milk (for soaking bread)
- 1 tsp+ Salt
- Pinch of All Spice
- Pinch of Mace or Nutmeg
- 2 tbsp Cornstarch
- 1 Egg
- Crisco or your preferred frying fat
- 1 can Campbells Cream of Mushroom Soup
- Lingonberry Jam
Plan ahead with this dish. Frying meatballs takes much longer than I realized! The good news though is that you can make this in advance, and have a clean kitchen the evening you’re entertaining.
When purchasing the ground pork and ground round, it is essential to have the two meats ground together three times. This technique really gives the meat it’s tenderness. Not every butcher will mix so be sure to ask around in advance. For those local, Carmine’s will do the grinding.
In a shallow dish, soak the bread in milk. Use enough milk to just cover the bread; you want it to get soft but not soggy. In a large bowl, mix together the meat, the soaked bread, the seasonings, cornstarch and egg. Using your hands, mix the ingredients all together until smooth, but don’t overwork the meat. Shape the meatballs to a size larger than a golfball but smaller than a tennis ball, and set aside.
Heat a large frying pan over medium heat, adding 1 cup water and your frying fat. You may need to add more water, depending on the size of the pan. Place the meatballs in the pan, careful not to crowd them though. Simmer the meat until the water cooks away and they turn brown. Do not turn until they begin to feel mostly cooked through. Once browned on most sides, place the meatballs in a glass pyrex pan. If they don’t seem to be heating through properly, loosely cover with a piece of tinfoil to trap the heat. Repeat this step until all the meatballs are cooked.
Once cooled, wrap the pyrex pans filled with meatballs in saran wrap, then tinfoil and place in a freezer bag. Freeze the meatballs.
Defrost the meatballs either in the refrigerator the night before, or on the counter the morning you plan to serve them. The defrosting process takes a couple hours, so plan accordingly.
Preheat the oven to 250. In a saucepan, heat the soup with some water to thin it, over low heat. Scoop some of the “gravy” over the meatballs. Remove the saran wrap, cover with the tinfoil, and bake for two to three hours (depending on how well they defrosted), monitoring for the centers of the meatballs to be hot.
Serve the meatballs hot with the gravy. They go well with Mashed Potatoes and Lingonberry Jam.