Valentine Warner makes classic Swedish meatballs with a creamy dill and mustard sauce.


  • 100 g butter

  • 3 medium long shallots, very very finely chopped

  • 400 g minced veal

  • 400 g fatty minced pork

  • 50 g stale white breadcrumbs, (from a brioche if available)

  • 1-2 tsp milk

  • 1 medium egg, beaten

  • ½ a whole nutmeg, finely grated

  • 2 tsp ground allspice

  • ¼ tsp white pepper

  • For the sauce

  • 2 tbsp plain flour

  • 125 ml white wine

  • 50 ml white wine vinegar

  • 2 tsp caster sugar

  • 1 tbsp mustard, e.g. Frenchies

  • 500 ml chicken stock

  • 4 heaped tbsp creme fraiche

  • 3 tbsp dill, finely chopped


  • 1.

    Melt 50g butter in a small pan and sauté the shallots for at least 8 minutes or until tender but not coloured, stirring frequently.

  • 2.

    Scrape the shallots into a large bowl. Add the veal mince, pork mince, breadcrumbs, milk and egg. Add the nutmeg and allspice, white pepper and season well with salt. Really squeeze the mixture together, until completely combined.

  • 3.

    Fashion your meat into balls the size of a walnut in its shell.

  • 4.

    Melt the remaining 50g butter in a large frying pan and fry the meatballs carefully over a medium heat, turning regularly until golden brown all over. The object is not to cook the meatballs through but just to brown them. It’s important that you don’t burn the butter. Transfer the meatballs to a plate.

  • 5.

    For the sauce: sprinkle the flour into the pan and stir into the butter. Cook out for 30 seconds or so - be careful not burn the flour. Add the white wine and vinegar, stirring constantly. The flour will swell with the added liquid.

  • 6.

    Stir in the sugar and mustard, then add the chicken stock. Simmer rapidly until the consistency of the sauce is similar to pouring double cream.

  • 7.

    Add the crème fraiche and whisk in. Add the meatballs and bring to a gentle simmer. Put a lid on the pan and cook the meatballs for 5 minutes, checking that simmering hasn’t turned into boiling.

  • 8.

    Test the seasoning of the sauce one last time. Scatter over the dill.

  • Tips:

  • 1.

    Remember when seasoning the mince it will need a considerable amount more than you might normally put in - around 1-1½ tsp flaked sea salt. If you want to check your seasoning levels are correct, take a small amount of the mince and fry it in the shallot pan, give it a taste and then add more salt if necessary.

  • 2.

    Serve with plain potatoes that have been boiled and riced and accompany with large dollops of lingonberry jam.

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