Swedish Meatballs with Cranberry Sauce

Diana Henry makes a saucy dish of lightly spiced pork and beef meatballs swathed not only in a fruity accompaniment but with herb gravy too
By Diana Henry
Swedish Meatballs with Cranberry Sauce
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the cranberry sauce

  • 500 g cranberries
  • 1 lemon, finely grated zest and juice
  • 150 g caster sugar

For the meatballs

  • 60 g butter
  • 1 small onion, very finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ground ground allspice
  • 100 g breadcrumbs
  • 150 ml milk
  • 1 kg minced pork and beef
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp sunflower or groundnut oil
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 400 ml chicken or beef stock
  • 200 g soured cream
  • 3 tbsp roughly chopped dill
  • boiled or mashed potatoes, to serve


1. For the cranberry sauce put the cranberries in a small, heavy bottomed saucepan with 125ml water and the lemon juice and zest. Bring up to the boil, then turn the heat down low and cook for about 15 minutes. When the berries have started to pop, add the sugar and continue to cook until the sugar has melted. Take off the heat, taste to see if the sauce is as sweet as you want it (be careful it'll be very hot) and add more sugar if necessary. Leave to cool.

2. For the meatballs: in a large deep frying pan, melt 15g of the butter and sauté the onion until soft but not coloured. Add the allspice and cook for a further minute.

3. Soak the breadcrumbs in the milk until all the milk has been absorbed. Mix the onion and the soaked bread with the meat and egg and season really well with salt and pepper. With wet hands, form the mixture into balls a little larger than walnuts.

4. Heat half of the remaining butter (just over 20g) with half the oil and fry the meatballs in batches, making sure that they get a good colour on the outside. Try not to burn the fat, but if you do, discard it and add more before you fry the next lot of meatballs. Put the cooked meatballs aside.

5. Heat the remaining butter and oil in the pan. Add the flour and cook over a low heat, stirring, until the flour is golden. Take the pan off the heat and gradually add the stock, stirring well after each addition. Put the pan back on the heat and, stirring constantly, bring the liquid up to the boil, reduce the heat and add the sour cream. Add the meatballs, cover and cook gently for 15 minutes. The sauce will thicken. Taste for seasoning, add the chopped dill and serve with the cranberry sauce and boiled or mashed potatoes.

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