Sunday, 10 March 2013


When studying in university, swedish meatballs featured regularly in my lunches and dinners, amongst other similar mince or otherwise processed meats. I believe the first time I was introduced to them was when a good friend of mine and his household was moving out of his old place. He gave away his flatmate's half-finished bag of frozen meatballs to me amongst other things, which I gladly accepted. 

Over time I developed a taste for these things and so was glad that Sainsbury's offered packs of Swedish meatballs at a discount on a regular basis. They're still more expensive than the Ikea ones though, so whenever my flatmates bought new furniture for the new flat we were moving into, we would take the opportunity to buy and share bags of frozen Ikea meatballs to take home and share.

There is a recipe in my discount copy of Everything Meals on a Budget cookbook for meatballs that I thought would fit in nicely if I ever were to buy a bag of Basics frozen mince. At the time I was unfazed about rustling up all the other ingredients (which include amongst other things tomato paste, breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese), but of late work and other pressures have put me off doing it.

My kitchen now has most of the ingredients available now though, other than the tomato paste and breadcrumbs, so I no longer have much of an excuse not to do it. With the recent scare over horsemeat in Ikea meatballs, I thought this would be an interesting opportunity to explore making my own and remember yet another part of my university life.

I have never understood the need to add breadcrumbs to meatballs. I was aware though that breadcrumbs are absorbent, so they can retain any moisture that would otherwise be lost to cooking. A quick search on StackExchange's cooking page confirms this. 

So start by defrosting the frozen mince in a microwave. While that is going, dry a slice of Basics bread to make breadcrumbs, while beating an egg to use as a binder for the meatballs.

Combine egg and defrosted mince with Basics Grated Hard Cheese and Herb Mix.

Shape into meatballs and bake in the oven near 200 degrees celsius for about 12-15 minutes.

While the meatballs themselves bear a vague resemblance to the ones I am familiar with, having them together with Basics spaghetti dressed with herb mix and cheese certainly brought back memories. The meatballs would become dry if baked for too long, with the fats spilling onto the foil or baking pan, so time the time it takes to bake carefully.

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