NOTE OF SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION: I have an Instagram picture in the November issue of Martha Stewart Living. It’s on page 4 & features one of the gluten-free pumpkin pies I made last Thanksgiving. If you’re interested in the recipe, the GF crust can be found here, and the recipe for my great-grandma Irene’s pumpkin pie filling can be found here. Just wanted to let you know while the issue is still on newsstands.
As someone who grew up in the Midwest & is of Scandinavian descent (well, technically I’ve got more than 10 different nationalities in my heritage), I did not grow up eating Swedish meatballs. Instead, my memories of Swedish meatballs (and gravy & mashed potatoes & lingonberry jam) all stem from the cafe at IKEA.
These days, we end up eating quite a bit of grassfed ground beef. I can find it in our local grocery store (most of the rest of the meat I have to get several hours away or I have to order online). And grassfed ground beef is a much more budget-friendly protein, especially when compared with other pastured & grassfed options.
This summer we grilled a lot of burgers, but now, as we move into fall and winter, I’ve been trying to expand my ground beef recipe repertoire & cook some new things. Case in point, these meatballs, which are my Paleo (and AIP, if you omit the egg) version of the meatballs I remember from IKEA. Instead of serving them with the traditional mashed white potatoes & lingonberry jam, I serve them with either white sweet potatoes mashed with a little coconut oil, or with a cauliflower puree, AIP-friendly cranberry “jam” (which also might be a recipe to file away for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday), and, of course, gravy.
1lb Grassfed Ground Beef (I used 85% lean)
65 g Shallot, finely chopped
1 large Pastured Egg (omit if AIP)
10 g / 1 Tbl Organic Coconut Flour
3/4 tsp Italian Seasoning
1/2 tsp Mace
3/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper (omit if AIP)
Solid Fat, for greasing the pan
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- In a medium bowl, use your hands to mix all the ingredients (minus the fat for greasing the pan) until well combined.
- Lightly grease a large cast iron skillet (or other large stainless skillet). Use a 1 Tbl scoop to portion the meat mixture into individual meatballs. Roll the mixture into balls & place into the greased pan.
- Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 20 minutes, or until golden & cooked through--they should reach an internal temp of 160 F. Start cooking the jam, if desired, while the meatballs are baking. Follow by making the gravy after the meatballs have baked.
Meatball Pan with drippings from the baking process
1 Tbl solid fat of choice (I used bacon grease)
8 fl oz / 1 cup Stock, (homemade if possible)
2 Tbl Arrowroot powder
2 Tbl filtered water
- Once the meatballs are baked, remove the pan from the oven. Don't forget the pan is hot! I speak from experience… Use a pair of tongs or a spatula to transfer the meatballs to separate plate or bowl.
- Melt the additional fat in the skillet over medium heat. Add the stock & whisk well to incorporate the two & to loosen any browned bits from the pan. Heat until simmering then reduce the heat to low.
- Make a slurry with arrowroot powder and a little filtered water. Whisk the slurry into the skillet. Continue to cook, on low heat, until thickened.
- Add the meatballs into the gravy & cook for a minute or two, making sure the gravy coats the meatballs.
- Serve with cranberry “jam” and mashed sweet potatoes.
130 g (1 c) Frozen Cranberries (sub fresh, if available)
2 Tbl Water
2 Tbl Pure Maple Syrup (organic Grade B, if possible)
Pinch of Mace or Cinnamon, optional
- Simmer the cranberries, water & maple syrup in a small skillet over medium heat until the cranberries “pop” 8 to 10 minutes. Mash with a fork. Add optional mace or cinnamon.
- Transfer to a jar or small bowl & serve alongside the meatballs. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.
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