Ok, so Swedes eat meatballs all year round. The classic way to eat them is with mashed potato, lingonberries and some fatty, creamy sauce. But I, and many with me, eat them in all kinds of fashion: with pasta, in salads, on sandwiches, with oven-roasted veg and so on. Because if you make them the right way they provide you with juicy, succulent and flavorful meat, every effing time! It’s not like with a piece of steak where you have to be Alton Brown to get it right. Making meatballs is the street-smart way to get juicy meat!
Ok, now let’s add Christmas to the equation. Oh my. The meatball consumption in Sweden now goes through the roof. There are probably some freakish stats of how many meatballs each Swede gulp down each Christmas. Cause meatballs is like the one thing that no one exclude from the Christmas table, not even the avant garde foodie that look down upon the medieval, fatty Swedish Christmas buffet (your plate look like the surf and turf from hell) and opt for Dim Sums and Sukiyaki on Christmas eve (last Christmas my grandpa tried to eat the dumplings that I made, holding his chopsticks as if they were regular cutleries….).
And all the meatballs we can’t force-feed ourselves with on Christmas Eve, we use making a special type of sandwich. And this sandwich is actually pretty good. It’s clearly the invention of a fat person, but, I would say, a fat person with taste. It’s made of bread, meatballs and a sauce with mayo, crème fraîche and boiled, chopped up and pickled red beats. And, I bet you can sense it already, meat, mayo and pickled red beats is an awesome combination.
So, I’ve taken this medieval invention and made a fresh, ridiculously good version of it. With juicy meatballs, tangy apples, salty caper and earthy, sweet red beats. Plus great umami-flavors from the mayo and the mustard. I mean, it’s so good you will either declare it NOT a Christmas sandwich, but an all-year-round sandwich or you will leave the Christmas decoration hanging until March. Up to you. Now, let the good times roll.
- Serves 4
- 400 g of minced meat
- 1 tbsp of Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp of double cream
- 1 tbsp of bread crumbs
- 1 egg
- A glug of olive oil
- 1 tsp of fine-grained salt
- 6 tbsp of homemade or not homemade mayo
- 2 tbsp of French mustard
- 2 tbsp of creme fraîche
- 1 tsp of honey/ Or 1 tbsp of sweet mustard
- A glug of olive oil
- Salt & pepper
- Salted butter
- Some small green leaves, like arugula or baby spinach, etc.
- 2 Apples, chopped in small squares
- 2 Red beets, boiled and chopped up in small squares
- 2 tbsp of caper
- Fresh Thyme/Oregano
- Flaky sea salt
- Olive oil
- Boil the red beats whole. It takes about 30-50 minutes, depending on size. (Later, when done, pour out water and let cool.)
- While they are boiling, take a big bowl and put in all the ingredients for your meatballs. Mix with a big spoon or a wooden spatula. Roll them in into plum-sized balls. Set aside on a plate or a cutting board.
- In a small bowl, mix together 2 parts mayo, 1 part mustard, 1 part crème fraiche. Season with salt, pepper and a glug of olive oil.
- Chop up your apples and your slightly cooled and peeled red beats. I prefer really small squares here.
- Now, time to fry your meatballs. Put 2 tbsp of butter in a pan. When really hot, put in the meatballs, gently, one by one. I usually fry half of the batch first, then the other half. After a few minutes when they are golden brown turn down to medium heat and fry for a few more minutes. I turn of the heat when they are still reddish in the middle.
- Toast or fry you bread. Butter it. Then put a layer of your mayo-mustard sauce on it. Then some green leaves. The a few halved meatballs. Then sprinkle the apples, the read beets, the caper and the thyme on top.