Your beloved meatball recipes wanted

I would think so. If you don’t mind a bit of taste of five spice then go right ahead and experiment.

I would even try adding gochujang next time I make it.

I would prefer more of a savory flavor like your recipe. But since I have all of that sauce I’ll do an Asian Meatball dish this time :relaxed:.

Gochujang! Finally, something I already have a lot of.

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From another thread, here is the recipe for real Swedish meatballs from the big Rutiga Kokboken, which is like the bible of Swedish food.

The recipe is extremely simple and relies on having really good quality meat.

4 tsp breadcrumbs
2 dl water
400 gm ground meat (mix of pork & beef)
1 egg
Salt & pepper

Mix in a bowl, form balls, and fry by rolling them around to brown on all sides.

That’s it !

Skånska köttbullar are made entirely with ground pork, in Denmark they do the same pork only but call these frikadeller.

Tore Wretman, a famous cook in Sweden who used to run the Operakälleren restaurant, has a slightly more complicated recipe for Swedish meatballs as follows:

2 hg beef
1 hg veal
1 hg pork, gladly fatty
2 dl heavy cream
1 dl stale white bread
1 egg
1/2 onion finely chopped onion
Black Pepper

Soak bread in cream. Tore runs all the meat through a grinder 3-4 times, the last two times with the bread milk mixture. Heat the onion in a little butter until it softens. Add onion to meat mixture, season with salt and pepper.

He uses two spoons to form the balls, making them a little larger if for a meal, or a little smaller for the smorgasbord. They should be fried by rolling them around in a little butter, and then placed in a warm dish in a low oven.

The recipe above is from his book Husmanskost (classic cooking).

In any case when the meatballs are done you need to make the sauce.

When the meatballs are done add a little extra butter or fat to the pan and a tablespoon of flour. Brown the flour slightly and add the juices (sky) which collects at the bottom of dish holding the meatballs to the pan together with heavy cream or whole milk scraping up any brown bits. A little soy sauce may be added to the sauce at this stage, Tore uses Japanese, but most other Swedes use something called Colorit which is a thickened soy that helps to make the sauce brown. Cook everything together until sauce thickens.

Again, really simple and no nutmeg or allspice.

Unless these are part of a smörgåsbord, the meatballs are usually served with the sauce, either boiled or mashed potatoes, lingon berries, and a fresh cucumber salad.

Finally, meatballs are NEVER served with noodles in Sweden. Helga finds this hillarious when she sees it in the US.


I’m about to make some!

Hope it’s okay to park one of my favorite CH threads.

Need help for really good meatballs.

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I made 4 dozen, two types earlier today for the game.

ground pork mixed with scallion, egg yolk, lime, panko, fresh ginger, cilantro leaves. Baked in oven. Dip, a mix of lime ponzu, toasted sesame oil and tamari.

ground lamb mixed with crumbled feta cheese pan fried in grapeseed oil and served with plain roasted tomatoe puree.


I LOVE lamb meatballs.

Mine will be beef and pork. I seem to recall using gelatin when you don’t have veal. Anybody know of this?

Here it is!


I have never thought to add gelatin. I’m a big fan of lamb anything!

I recently made the meatball recipe from Rao’s and the end product was fantastic! I used meatloaf mix from my local grocery, which worked wonderfully. I also made the suggested sauce - highly recommend!


Lamb meatballs by preference, otherwise mixed beef and pork sausage.

Roast veg for sides.

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I’ve made these a few times and it is always a hit at my house:


is the alessi white vinegar balsamic reduction not that sweet?
What other alessi reduction have. you used?
I have some aged balsamic reduction that is a glaze, too sweet but great on strawberries However I have problem eating strawberries
Cannot find the access white vinegar coconut reduction anywhere except buying it thru amazon then odd it on alessi website
Need to buy $20.00 worth fo free shipping.
So, wander if I should stock up on this and perhaps the chocolate one ( supposed to be great on steak sandwiches?)
How about the mustard one?

If you want to do a meatless ball i’ve made these several times, although not recently.
They actually work better using canned lentils (!) since they are very soft. I leave out the dried cranberries. It’s best to chill the mix in the fridge at least and hour or two (or longer if you want) before rolling into balls, just makes it easier. I make them fairly small and get twice as many as the recipe says.
They’re delicious and very filling from the lentils and walnuts.
I’ve never made the cranberry sauce recipe suggested with this, usually i serve ontop of a salad, but they’re great with a mushroom gravy or red sauce too


I should have mentioned this. I couldn’t find that reduction either at my local store and I wasn’t about to special order it. I used this instead:

I actually have the raspberry one but haven’t even opened it yet. I should try it!

Aking these meatballs for father’s day!

I’ll be looking for this later.

With all due respect I think you’re on the wrong track. As usual, SE’s priority is to show how smart they are by making things overly complex and to sell stuff.

Meatballs are small meatloaves. The SE video (ugh) overcooks the meat which is why they need so much fat. “Too hard to brown in a pan” is making excuses, not a fact. Lazy.

Just use a pan, tongs, and a paper-lined sheet pan and you’re done. You don’t need a mixer. Mixing entirely by hand reduces the chance of making paste out of your mix. Including cleaning time, mixing by hand for less than six people is faster than a mixer.

Following my meatloaf recipe, which I use for meatballs, and my lamb meatball recipe.


1 c breadcrumbs
1/3 c chicken stock
2 onions, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 eggs
1/2 c ketchup
2 # ground beef (or ground beef/pork/veal mix)

Meatloaf is very different from hamburgers. Don’t put stuff in your hamburger. Put stuff in your meatloaf (or meatball). There are volume to surface area ratio issues and structural integrity to pay attention to.

Recently I made a half-size loaf. I rather like the size so in future when I make a full size recipe I’ll divide the mix and make two small loaves. This will work particularly well on a quarter sheet pan with a rack for boat ovens.

Which leads to a comment. The problem with many meat loaves cooked in a loaf pan is that the bottom burns a bit, you have a bunch of soggy mess just above that, and end up with just half a loaf worth eating. I’ve had good experience just cooking on a rack. The loaf stays as a loaf just fine.

For this one I mixed all the wet (stock, Worcestershire sauce, eggs, ketchup) ingredients in a measuring cup and then stirred in the breadcrumbs. Meat, onions, garlic, and the wet all in a big bowl and mixed it by hand. If you are skeevy (<- technical cooking term) about putting your hands in raw meat wear disposable nitrile gloves or get someone else on the boat to do it. Too little mixing and the loaf won’t stay together. Too much and it ends up gluey without the desired texture. Good news is it is pretty forgiving.

You definitely want a very fine dice to the onions and a very fine mince to the garlic.

Bake at 350°F for 60 to 90 minutes to an internal temperature of about 160°F. This small loaf took 80 minutes to reach 160°F internal. Try not to open the oven too much. You’ll lose all the heat and burn a lot more propane.

The meatloaf was hot, somewhere between medium-rare and medium, moist, and really delicious.

Lamb meatballs

Meatballs in all their variety are great boat food, although in heavy weather you might want to eat from a bowl rather than a plate because, well, round. I’m going to address lamb meatballs here but the same techniques apply to beef and even fish meatballs. They are easy too.

If you are out cruising pay attention to where you are and where you are going. If you’re a US East Coast cruiser heading to the Bahamas, for example, there is little point in buying lamb in the US to feed the freezer. The lamb will be better and cheaper in the Bahamas. Why you ask? Good question. Any UK-associated country gets surplus New Zealand and British lamb, all very good, at low subsidized prices. Those are the places to feed the freezer with lamb.

There are two keys to really good meatballs. First is simple. Be sure they are all the same size. You can manage with a spoon. You can manage with an ice cream scoop scraped against the side or lip of your mixing bowl. There are specialized tools that look like big melon ballers specifically for this task (and making cookies) but I don’t make enough meatballs or cookies to justify that gadget. I use an ice cream scoop scraped off for these lamb meatballs. For big meatballs (like spaghetti and meatballs) I load up the scoop. For small meatballs like Swedish meatballs for a potluck (more on this later) I use a melon baller (which is useful for many things and earns its place aboard). The second important key is to roast your meatballs. You can cook meatballs in a skillet but you shouldn’t. Roasting in the oven requires less contact time on your part. It also contains all the splatter (which is less in the oven anyway) and reduces clean up significantly.

Let’s make some lamb meatballs.

Into a large bowl (a BIG one as you’ll be mixing with your hands) goes a pound of ground lamb, a large yellow onion finely diced, two cloves of garlic finely minced, zest of one lemon or a dash of prepared lemon juice, and about ½ cup of fresh parsley chopped. You can grate the onion and garlic if a fine dice or mince takes you too long. Alternatively you can watch the human Cuisinart in action and practice. See . This will reap you dividends in passage after passage, in anchorage after anchorage. There truly is no substitute for knife skills. Really. I promise. Remember there was some great cooking for centuries before food processors, blenders, and other electric kitchen appliances. Add spices: a couple teaspoons of cumin, a teaspoon of dried oregano, ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper, a pinch of salt, and some healthy grinds of pepper. You can add a bit of crushed red pepper flakes if you like.

Coat your hands with a little olive oil (a teaspoon is plenty) and mix everything. If the lamb is dry or a little freezer burned add a lightly beaten egg as a binder. Remember that freezer burn is just dried food (like jerky) and won’t hurt you. I find it helps to let the mixed meat rest a bit so bung the bowl into the fridge while you make a sauce and prep whatever else is in the menu. You did check that you can maneuver your big mixing bowl into the fridge did you? We’ll get back to the meatballs in a bit.

There are a number of choices for a sauce. All are easy and boat friendly.

Tzatziki sauce is a simple yogurt based sauce. Grate or finely dice a large cucumber. Add a tablespoon of olive oil and one of lemon juice. A pinch of salt, some mint and dill if you can find them and two cups of Greek yogurt. Remember that making your own yogurt is super simple.

Mix everything and refrigerate until you’re ready for it. The cucumber really does make a difference but if you’re 600 miles from land just mix yogurt, lemon, and oil and declare success. Shhh. Don’t tell. If you have dried dill or mint the green flecks will fool everyone.

Avocado sauce for those cruising in the sub-tropics or near good shopping is a good alternative. Halve and dice an avocado into a bowl. Mash that with a fork. Add ½ cup of plain Greek yogurt, as much fresh cilantro as you can find (a cup, unless you have the genetic marker that makes cilantro taste like soap in which case you have my sympathy and can use parsley), a seeded hot pepper like jalapeno finely dinced or minced, and a tablespoon each of lemon juice and cumin. Dash of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Mix that all together with the avocado with your fork.

For something of the taste of Swedish meatballs you’ll make a Béchamel. This is a little bit of a last minute prep like pan sauces at Thanksgiving. Don’t let the vocabulary scare you. On the other hand, don’t be shy about offering Swedish meatballs Béchamel a la Auspicious. Just substitute your boat name and you’re good. If I can do this halfway between Bermuda and St Martin wedged into a tossing galley you can do it in the Avalon anchorage on Catalina Island. For those of a certain age who remember Martin Yan on “Yan Can Cook” I did indeed say it that way on purpose.

All the scrapings from the cooked meatballs (below) go in a pan. Add enough fat (oil or butter or a combination to get up to about a ¼ cup. Add ¼ cup of fat and stir until well combined AND it doesn’t smell like raw flour. What you have now is called a roux and opens up no end of French, Cajun, and Creole cooking. Slowly pour in about a cup of dairy whisking like mad. This takes about 30 seconds (to pour) or a minute (to be mixed thoroughly). You now have a Béchamel, one of the French mother sauces. See? That wasn’t hard at all. You can season this with a dollop of soy sauce and a teaspoon of Dijon mustard. Salt (go easy) and pepper (be liberal). You’ll be amazed how thick this becomes. It’s a great sauce.

I scored a bunch of tomatoes (a bunch is a technical term for “a lot” – in this case about five pounds). Side dishes for us tonight are Caprese salad and leftover potato salad. Lamb meatballs go well with green beans or peas and carrots or glazed carrots. Hasselback potatoes look fancy, taste great, and are fast and easy as long as you watched the Jacques Pépin video linked above and have a couple of chopsticks. Hummus and bread are another good side.

Now we turn back to the meatballs. Pull the meat out of the fridge which makes room for anything else you’ve prepped. Prep your baking tray. I love having quarter sheet pans. They are inexpensive, widely available, and fit in boat ovens. If you aren’t planning a roux-based sauce use parchment paper in the pan. Wherever you stock up on plastic wrap and aluminum foil you can find parchment paper. Use your ice cream scoop to capture meat from the bowl and scrape that off against the rim or side of the mixing bowl to level it off. Remember that consistency is more important than exact measurements. The ice cream scoops with a release hoop are easiest but you can use anything. Pop the meat into your hand and use both hands to make a ball. It doesn’t have to be perfect and less handling is better. Overworking the meat can make it dry and rubbery when cooked. Get close. When you think you need to touch it one more time, don’t. You’re done. That goes on the sheet pan and you move on to the next meatball. Lather, rinse, repeat.

These get cooked in a hot oven. The goal is about 425F but we are talking about boat ovens, so as hot as you can get. You can cook on a sheet pan in many log-style cockpit grills. Cook time is about 20 minutes, turning the meatballs about halfway through. Solid cooking tongs are a big help. Trying to do this with forks or spoons is an exercise in frustration. Get tongs. They’re cheap. Spatulas don’t work well in this application either. Tongs. Important: even if you are offshore in a sea you’ll want to lock the cooker before opening the oven door to turn or take the meatballs out. The weight of the door will put the sheet pan and the meatballs all over the cabin sole. You’ll end up with cold Pop-Tarts for dinner.

Meatballs, especially small ones, are great as an appetizer or a potluck contribution. It’s nice to keep them warm and you can certainly wrap towels around your bowl in the dinghy ride. However, if you happen to have a few things you can up your game. We carry a slow cooker. Our electrical system can handle the relatively light load and the hands-off cooking is nice. In addition to the big boat inverter I have a couple of small 300W inverters I carry on deliveries sometimes. Our outboard has electric start as well as pull start so I have a small motorcycle start battery for that. Motorcycle battery plus inverter plus slow cooker means we not only can take meatballs to the beach in the dinghy but can keep them warm on the picnic tables for a potluck. The “Auspicious portable slow cooker” works great for Louisiana red beans & rice or pigs in a blanket. Best of all you never have to worry about someone walking off with your bowl or platter.


@Auspicious, that was a fun read!

Thank you @GretchenS. Cut and paste from the takeaway of my mini-cookbook from the presentation of “A Delivery Skipper Cooks” thus the emphasis on cooking on a boat. Small galleys (kitchens) and a moving platform. A little like cooking in a closet during an earthquake that doesn’t end. I also try to be entertaining.

@Auspicious, made you look ! Grin.

Seriously, thank you, and much appreciated.

I will be looking for the right track forever. I think I prefer the looking part.

I haven’t read the SE thread article, but I knew I’d be looking forcit later. I have used the suggestion for gelatin when I don’t use veal, and in rushed gravies.

As mentioned above, I usually start my semi-annual meatball project here on this old need help for really good meatballs Chowhound thread. Lot’s of “advice” there, some of which I use religiously. I do make a parade from my bread, and keep a few slices in the freezer for just such occasions. I believe this is also one of those rare occasions when I use granulated onion and garlic, because I don’t like the bits and the spread better. I do finish in the oven, and not tomato sauce. The hubs prefers brown gravy.

Maybe I will start with yours next time, but I like to be able to find all the tracks in one place. A grand central. I use a narrow offset spatula if they need a little help, but I do love my tongs.

And of course, I use my…wait for it…Instant Pot, rather than a slow cooker, if I’m serving a crowd.

Now when it comes to lamb, I have a whole 'nother set of tracks, and prefer quite a bit of fat in those “meatballs”, for more of a sausage experience.



Sometimes it is about the journey and not the destination.

I haven’t read the CH thread but I will take a look.

Hmm. Now if you would adopt me, I’d sharpen all you knives and show you how to do a really fine onion dice. Or just do them for you. grin Same with garlic, although I usually do a sort of smear of garlic.

For the same reason of size I use bread crumbs rather than the soaked cubes approach. Size matters. grin There is always a container of bread crumbs in our pantry. Sometimes I also make my own. I believe I started from Holly’s guidance here

but I have modified them. I trim crusts and cube the bread and lightly toast them in a sheet pan before crushing them with a large mortar or small rolling pin or an empty wine bottle. Come to think of it a full wine bottle would work. Then I toast the crumbs some more until they are as I like. Barely toasted for things like meatloaf and meatballs, a good bit more if destined for a crust on mac & cheese or tuna noodle casserole or baked, stuffed tomatoes.

Sourdough bread makes great crumbs.

Tastes differ. I like small lamb meatballs that collapse in my mouth when chewed. I can see a role for lamb sausage but that isn’t a meatball in my view. This falls in the category of whether adding bacon, onion, and tomato (Oxford comma!) to a grilled cheese sandwich is still a grilled cheese or a melt. And what exactly is the lamb in a gyro? grin

One of the appeals to me of meatballs is flexibility. With tomato-based sauces I see spaghetti and meatballs with red sauce. Brown sauces have their place also which to me are more stand alone although a bed of rice works for me. Lamb meatballs and tzatziki are a favorite. Perhaps indicating my own odd tastes I like lamb meatballs and tzatziki paired with Thai sticky rice and a sweet chili-garlic sauce. That may be because I like Thai sticky rice and have an emotional attachment through my late sister-in-law. Lamoun liked my lamb meatballs and I loved her sticky rice.

All of which dances around the issue of how big to make the meatball. The SE (ugh) video suggests about the size of a handball (they couldn’t say tennis ball? bollocks). On their own or with spaghetti I think that’s fine. As a component of more things golf balls are a better target I believe. For appetizers and for lamb meatballs in general I like smaller spheres about the size of a medium melon baller - 1.5 to 2 cm (a little bigger than the diameter of my thumb, a good bit bigger than the size of your thumb from the pictures in the veggie garden thread).

Now I’m going to be thinking about meatballs for weeks. And sticky rice. Definitely sticky rice.