My Grandmother's Meatballs


Milk-and-cream-soaked breadcrumbs and an egg are the secrets to these supertender meatballs from Swedish star chef Magnus Nilsson. Serve them as he does, with lingonberry jam and mashed potatoes. Slideshow:  More Meatball Recipes 

My Grandmother's Meatballs
Photo: © John Kernick


  • 1 medium baking potato (8 ounces), peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces

  • 1 large egg, beaten

  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon whole milk

  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream

  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons plain dry breadcrumbs

  • 12 ounces ground beef

  • 12 ounces ground pork

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped

  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground white pepper

  • 4 tablespoon unsalted butter

  • Quick-Pickled Sweet Cucumbers

  • Mashed potatoes and lingonberry jam, for serving


  1. In a small saucepan, cook the potato in salted boiling water until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain well, then pass through a ricer into a bowl. Let cool.

  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 425°. In a large bowl, whisk the egg with the milk and cream. Stir in the breadcrumbs and let stand for 5 minutes to soften. Add the beef, pork, onion, salt, pepper and riced potato and mix just until combined. Shape the mixture into 18 meatballs.

  3. In a large ovenproof nonstick skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add half of the meatballs and cook over moderate heat, turning, until golden all over, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate and wipe out the skillet. Repeat with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and meatballs.

  4. Return all of the meatballs to the skillet and bake until cooked through, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a platter and serve with the Quick-Pickled Sweet Cucumbers, mashed potatoes and lingonberry jam.

Make Ahead

The uncooked meatballs can be refrigerated overnight.

Suggested Pairing

Pair this dish with a generously fruity Zinfandel.

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