Swedish Meatball Nests on Rye

Hiver 2010
food and drink

BY: Marilyn Bentz-Crowley

These meatballs are nestled into a bed of deliciously combined locally grown ingredients—including the secret ingredient of sauerkraut, the flavour of which melds into others while still providing tang. These are very popular with drinks, but the meatballs can also be a superb entrée for four. Just omit rye bread and serve meatballs on a bed of the
apple-sauerkraut mixture alongside a green vegetable and baked potatoes with sour cream.

½ cup (125 mL) quick rolled oats
⅓ cup (75 mL) whipping cream or whole milk
1 egg
¼ cup (50 mL) finely grated peeled apple
¼ cup (50 mL) finely grated sweet onion
2 tsp (10 mL) horseradish
¼ tsp (1 mL) ground cardamom
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
Several grindings of freshly ground black pepper
8 oz (250 g) each of lean ground pork and beef

Apple Sauerkraut
2 cups (500 mL) sauerkraut
½ cup (125 mL) dry white wine
1 cup (250 mL) peeled and coarsely grated apple, such as Royal Gala or Granny Smith
1 cup (250 mL) peeled and coarsely grated potato
¼ cup (50 mL) whipping cream
¾ cup (175 mL) dried cranberries
2 green onions, thinly sliced
3 to 4 tbsp (45 to 60 mL) softened unsalted butter
1 small loaf rye bread
2 tbsp (25 mL) finely chopped fresh parsley


1. Arrange rack above oven centre; preheat oven to 475°F (240°C).

2. Line a baking sheet, such as a jelly-roll pan, with parchment or foil coated with nonstick spray. Stir oats in a large mixing bowl with cream, egg, apple, onion, horseradish, cardamom, salt and black pepper until well mixed.

3. Crumble meat into oat mixture; thoroughly combine using hands. Form into 30 to 34 small 1-inch (2.5-cm) balls; place slightly apart on parchment. Bake 13 minutes. Switch on broiler; broil 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool, cover and refrigerate until needed, up to 2 days. (Meatballs freeze well.)

4. Drain sauerkraut; wash under cold running water. Drain again; squeeze dry with hands. Place in a small saucepan with wine, apple and potato. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cover and stir often for 15 minutes or until apple and potato are softened and mixture is thickened. Stir in cream, cranberries and green onions. (If making ahead, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days; do not freeze. Heat until warm, before using.)

5. To serve, melt 1 tbsp (15 mL) of butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Add meatballs in a single layer; cover and heat for 5 minutes or until hot. Meanwhile, slice bread thinly; toast and then butter. Cut into 2-inch (5-cm)squares or similar-sized triangles. Arrange a spoonful of sauerkraut mixture on bread, top with a meatball. Scatter with parsley.

Makes 30 to 34 nibbles

What to Serve