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IKEA Meatballs Made Better

I have a culinarily-challenged friend who openly abhors the kitchen. Obliged to occasionally reciprocate dinner invitations, the only dish she ever serves visiting guests is her Grandma Sadie's famous meatballs, and she has always refused to share this sacred, family recipe. At a recent dinner, friends offered to take out the bulging garbage bin bag, which was stuffed to capacity and tore open as it was lifted. A stack of IKEA Swedish Meatball packages slid across the kitchen floor and, just like that, both my friend and Grandma Sadie's cover was blown. While IKEA's meatballs rank as their best selling food item - you don't even have to assemble them yourself - I'm a firm believer in knowing exactly what's going into your food. These delicious Swedish Meatballs are inspired by the IKEA classic - though admittedly minimal building is required - but way better. With Meatland's best quality ground beef as your base, plus a handful of other easy-to-source ingredients, you're guaranteed premium results every time.

Ikea Style Meatballs

MEATBALLS 500 grams ground beef 1 small onion, finely chopped 1 teaspoon (5 ml) crushed garlic 1/2 cup (125 ml) fresh breadcrumbs* 1 teaspoon (5 ml) Italian herbs* Salt and coarse black pepper 1 to 2 tablespoons (30 ml) canola oil GRAVY 1 - 2 tablespoons (30 ml) canola oil 1 medium onion, finely chopped 1 tablespoon (15 ml) flour 1/2 cup (125 ml) Kiddush wine OR red wine 1 1/3 cup (330 ml) beef stock (Ina Paarman is great) 2 tablespoons (30 ml) tomato paste Chopped parsley to garnish 1: Place the ground beef in a bowl, add onion, herbs, garlic, breadcrumbs, and salt and pepper and mix well. 2: Divide the mixture into 20 to 25 portions - depending on required size - and roll into small balls. 3: Heat the oil in a deep pan and lightly fry the meatballs for approximately 6 to 8 minutes till lightly browned on all sides then remove from pan 4: To make the gravy, heat the oil in the same pan, and gently fry the onions for a few minutes till softened. 5: Add the flour to the pan and stir well then stir in the wine, stock and tomato paste and simmer for a few minutes. 6: Return the meatballs to the pan, reduce the heat, and simmer for approximately 15 minutes till sauce is thickened and meatballs are cooked through. 7: Season to taste with salt and pepper, sprinkle over chopped parsley, and serve over pasta or with rice or mashed potato. COOK'S NOTES: For dried herbs I use a mixture of basil, oregano and thyme or any one of these. Make your own breadcrumbs by grating fresh bread. Add extra liquid for extra gravy. Meatballs keep well in the refrigerator and most likely freeze well.

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