Swedish meatballs with mashed potato

Warm-up the Scandinavian way with Stuart Gillies' lightly spiced meatballs served with mounds of creamy, buttery mash
By Stuart Gillies
Swedish meatballs with mashed potato
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 3-4
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the mashed potato

  • 500 g DesirĂ©e potatoes, , peeled and diced
  • 100 g unsalted butter
  • 7 tbsp double cream
  • 7 tbsp milk
  • 1 pinches nutmeg, , freshly grated

For the meatballs

  • 50 g fine breadcrumbs
  • 7 tbsp milk
  • 400 g lean minced beef
  • 1 small onion, , finely chopped
  • 1 egg, , beaten
  • 1/4 tsp mixed spice, see cook's note
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground white pepper, , ground
  • 50 g butter
  • 200 ml double cream
  • lingonberry jam, , to serve (see cook's note)

Tips and Suggestions

four spice mix, or 'quatre-epices', is a mixture of ground spices, usually made of cloves, ginger, nutmeg and white pepper. It's traditionally added to meat dishes but can also be used in sweet dishes, in which case the pepper is replaced with allspice.

Lingonberry jam is a traditional Swedish accompaniment to meatballs. It's available from specialist Swedish shops and some delis. If you can't find it use cranberry sauce instead, which has a similar sweet/tart flavour.


1. For the mashed potato: tip the potatoes into a large saucepan, cover with cold water and season with a pinch of salt. Cover the pan with a lid, bring to the boil over a high heat then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until tender.

2. Drain thoroughly then pass the potatoes through a vegetable moulis or potato ricer with 50g of the butter into a large bowl (alternatively use a potato masher to mash with the butter until very smooth).

3. Pour the cream into a small, clean saucepan, bring to the boil over a medium-high heat and simmer vigorously for 2-3 minutes until reduced in volume by half.

4. Pour the reduced cream into the mashed potato along with 4 tablespoons of milk and the remaining butter. Beat until smooth then season, to taste, with a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg and salt. Add as much or as little of the remaining milk as necessary to get a soft consistency. Keep warm.

5. For the meatballs: soak the breadcrumbs in the milk for 10 minutes.

6. Squeeze the breadcrumbs to remove any excess moisture then place the breadcrumbs into a large bowl with the mince, onion, egg, four spice, salt and white pepper. Use your hands to thoroughly mix everything together.

7. Splash a little cold water onto your hands, take about a tablespoon of the mixture and use your hands to mould it into a walnut-sized ball (about 3cm diameter). Repeat with the remaining mince mixture.

8. Melt the butter in a large heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat and fry the meatballs in the butter for about 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally, until golden-brown and cooked through (you may need to do this in batches to avoid overcrowding the pan).

9. Transfer the meatballs to a warm serving plate then pour the cream into the pan used to cook the meatballs, stirring to mix in any meat juices. Heat until the cream is hot, but not boiling, then pour this around the meatballs.

10. Serve the meatballs with the mashed potato and lingonberry jam alongside.

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