The Polish women on my mother’s side have kept this swedish meatball recipe a closely guarded secret for generations. I ate these bite-sized morsels by the dozen as a child, served hot with a piece of dunking bread and a sloppy kiss from Grandma Ni. This recipe can be easily adjusted for more or less people and can be broken down into two separate delicious elements: the sauce and the meatballs.


Prep Time: 60 minutes
Cook Time: 30-45 minutes
Total Time: 90-105 minutes

Servings: Makes around 5 servings

Half a jar (5 oz.) grape jelly
Half a bottle (6 oz.) chili sauce
Half a lemon, juiced
1 lb of ground beef
1 egg
1 large onion
3-5 tablespoons of butter

1. Heat saucepan over medium heat.
2. Add grape jelly, chili sauce and the juice of half of a lemon into the saucepan.
3. Stir the mixture slowly . Tip: if you’re doing this right, be prepared to smell something unreal
4. When sauce is reduces, or becomes thicker, lower heat to keep  warm.

ryan edited

Photo by Ryan Raichelson

5. Beat egg in a bowl and stir in ground beef, grated onion, salt and pepper.
6. With your hands, roll meat mixture into balls with about 1-inch in diameter.
7. Heat 3-5 tablespoons of butter in a medium skillet over medium heat.
8. Coat the meatballs in the butter and cook until they are browned on each side (this should not exceed 20 minutes).
9. Pat dry the meatballs with a paper towel, place them in the sauce and stir slowly.
10. Bonus: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Take a long French roll (hoagie sized) and scoop out the breading of the top half. I know males everywhere have long resisted following this dieting trend, and it still may seem like a travesty, but trust me on this. Lay the bread, face open, in the oven and wait until crispy.
11. When the bread is crispy, place a heaping spoonful of saucy meatballs into the divot you have created, and dig in.