If King Minos was around today, rather than create an elaborate labyrinth in which to imprison the Minotaur I’m sure he would save himself some hassle and leave the minotaur in the middle of the kitchen section at Ikea. Even Theseus with his ball of twine would not be able to find his way out of this winding, twisting maze of plates, cups and useless plastic hooks. If like me you find Ikea infuriating, confusing and after your second circuit of the bed linen section you start to worry that you are never again going to see daylight, do you ever stop and ask why you are putting yourself through this? Then you smell them and you remember why you keep returning. You sniff again, you know they are somewhere nearby, if only you could find your way out of the oversized prints of New York section. The little spicy balls coated in creamy, fruity sauce topped off with a big dollop of lingonberry sauce. There is something very moreish about the meatballs at Ikea, they pop in your mouth and are gone in one bite, then the next, then the next, you keep going until you have wiped every last smear of sauce off the plate. Then you stand up, clear away your plate and head back out into the maze knowing that even if you are destined to spend the rest of your days wandering aimlessly around the pot plant department you have provided your body with the sustenance to keep going. Now you just need to find the bags of Daim nuggets and you will be able to take on anything.
If you don’t fancy wasting a day of your life traipsing around the big blue box here is my recipe for Swedish meatballs.
- 2tbsp olive oil
- 350g pork mince
- 250g beef mince
- 1tbsp dill – roughly chopped
- 1tbsp parsley – roughly chopped
- 1 egg
- 100ml milk
- 75g dried breadcrumbs
- 1tsp mixed spice
- pinch of grated nutmeg
- Salt and pepper for seasoning
For the sauce
- 400ml beef stock
- 1 1/2tbsp plain flour
- 75ml double cream
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 2 tbsp cranberry sauce
In a large bowl mix together the herbs, beef & pork mince, egg, milk, breadcrumbs, mixed spice and nutmeg until completely combined – go on get your hands stuck in there. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
Clean you hands then roll the mix into balls – it makes 16 large balls or 24 small ones. Put the meatballs on a tray, cover and put in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Put the oil in a large pan, add the meatballs and fry on a medium heat for 10-15 minutes for small meatballs or 15-20 for large ones. Turn them over a couple of times so they brown on all sides.
Remove the meatballs from the pan and keep them warm. Add the lemon juice, flour, cream and 100ml of the stock to the pan. Stir well until the flour is mixed in. Add the rest of the stock, the cranberry sauce and a pinch of salt and pepper, stir well, bring the mix to the boil, then reduce to a simmer until the sauce becomes thick. Return the meatballs to the pan and coat in the sauce, cook for 2-3 minutes to re-heat the meatballs.
Serve with extra cranberry sauce, big fat chips and some peas.