Swedish-style Meatballs with Eggnog

SwedishMeatballs9To celebrate the New Year, I had some eggnog, but had some left over. What can I do with leftover eggnog? Didn’t feel like drinking anymore of it since it is sweet and rich and wanted to avoid such things for a while, so, inspired by The Food In My Beard’s Beef StrogaNog, I decided to make Swedish Meatballs with Eggnog.

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Trader Joe’s Eggnog

I have been following The Food In My Beard for years now and there are some very inventive dishes on that blog. For the adventurous cook, it is worth checking out. The author of the blog, Dan, uses eggnog to make the beef stroganoff sauce. I think it is a genius idea, if you ask me! I haven’t tried the Beef StrogaNog yet, but his post has inspired me to use eggnog in cooking. Do you have any culinary ideas on eggnog besides drinking it? With the Swedish Meatballs, I thought, “Why Not?” There are some similar spice profiles in eggnog and traditional Swedish Meatballs. I first had Swedish-style meatballs when I was a kid enjoying microwavable dinners. Among those frozen dinners, the Swedish Meatballs (served with white bread) are my family’s favorites. I don’t eat much frozen dinners nowadays, but those fond memories of eating them linger on and inspire me to make homemade versions. 🙂

SwedishMeatballs1To start the meatballs, I sautéed some chopped onions in butter until softened. Then, I let it cool down for a bit and mixed it with the eggs, breadcrumbs, eggnog, meat, and seasonings.

SwedishMeatballs2These Swedish-style meatballs are made with lean ground beef and lean ground pork. I used a #40 disher to shape the meatballs. You can make them smaller or larger according to your preference. After they are shaped, they go into the oven for about 20 minutes.

SwedishMeatballs3At about 5 minutes into the baking time, I realized that I forgot to take a picture of the meatballs after shaping them. So here they are after 5 minutes of baking. It’s nice to bake meatballs as it eliminates some of the mess, oil splatters, and kitchen time.

SwedishMeatballs6While the meatballs are baking, it’s time to make the sauce. Here is the silky sauce bubbling away. The eggnog is mixed in already. You want to get a good gravy consistency, but it’s up to you if you want it thicker or a thinner sauce.

SwedishMeatballs5The browned meatballs.

SwedishMeatballs7After they meatballs have browned, simmer them in the sauce.

SwedishMeatballs8We like it creamier, so I finished the dish with some sour cream.

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Serve the Swedish meatballs with the traditional accompaniments of mashed potatoes, lingonberry sauce, and quick pickles. That would be the ultimate Christmas main course, according to Swedish Chef Marcus Samuelsson. I used his quick pickle recipe here.

Swedish Meatballs with Eggnog

adapted from Chef John

Serves 4 large portions

Ingredients
Meatballs ~ 36 pieces
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 yellow onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup eggnog
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup plain bread crumbs
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
pinch allspice (optional)
pinch of cayenne
1 pound ground chuck
1 pound ground pork
*Note: you can cook a little piece of the meat mixture to check for seasonings, adjusting seasonings according to taste.
Sauce
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons corn starch
3 1/4 cups beef broth, keep it simmering in a pot
1/2 cup eggnog
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste
sour cream to taste
  1. Prepare the meatballs:  Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. In a skillet, heat the butter on medium until melted. Add the chopped onions and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Set aside and let it cool. In a large bowl, combine the eggnog, eggs, and breadcrumbs. Using your hands, mix the ground beef, ground pork, pepper, salt, and allspice. Make sure that it is thoroughly combined. Shape into meatballs about the size of a golf ball or use a #40 disher to portion it. Place on a parchment-line baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes until browned.
  2. Prepare the sauce: In the same skillet, melt the butter on medium heat. Slowly whisk in the corn starch and make a roux–cook until the mixture has browned while whisking constantly. Keep whisking and add the hot beef broth a little at a time. Add the broth gradually to prevent clumps. If you do get clumps, you can strain the sauce later. Whisk in the eggnog slowly. Cook until it has reduced a little, stirring often.
  3. Once the meatballs are done, reduce the pan with the sauce to low. Add the meatballs to the sauce, cover and simmer for about 10 minutes and until you get a sauce consistency that you like. Turn off the heat and mix in sour cream to taste.

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This dish turned out pretty well! It was a nice holiday-twist on a classic dish. Though, next time, for a better flavor in the sauce, I would go the traditional route of browning the meatballs in the skillet rather than baking them. Then, for the extra flavor, I would use the pan drippings to start the sauce.  Also, along with lingonberry, I totally recommend eating these meatballs with quick pickled cucumbers. Really great combo of flavors that complement each other. Yum!

Next post: a baked good with eggnog

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9 thoughts on “Swedish-style Meatballs with Eggnog

    • Hi Lorely! If you can’t find eggnog, you can just make it the traditional way and substitute milk, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon allspice for the meatball mixture. You could also leave out those spices and the meatballs will still be good. Also, for the sauce, just sub in heavy cream instead of the eggnog. Thanks for the kind words 🙂

    • Thank you. It wasn’t hard to make at all. It’s great to make if you have some eggnog you are trying to use up. It’s the nonalcoholic eggnog you can buy in the market or make at home.

  1. Pingback: Eggnog Tea Cakes | food flavor fascination

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