Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Svenska Kottbullar (Swedish Meatballs) Soup #FoodNFlix

In September, Food'N'Flix returned after a brief hiatus. Oh, happy day. I've missed this food-loving, flick-watching group. And this month, my friend Wendy of A Day in the Life on the Farm is hosting. You can read Wendy's invitation here, but she's invited us to watch A Man Called Ove.* 

I had never heard of the movie or the novel that inspired it, but Wendy's enthusiasm is contagious. I watched the movie three times before returning it to Netflix...and I ordered the novel. I'm looking forward to snuggling into a beanbag with a mug of Glögg, Swedish mulled wine, and the book. Soon!

On the Screen
We've seen this story countless times before: an old curmudgeon's gloomy life is brightened by an unforeseen person or string of events. That is the certainly the case of Ove. But our familiarity with that story line doesn't change the fact that A Man Called Ove is disarmingly charming with its understated, dark humor.

The movie opens with Ove trying to use a coupon at the store to purchase flowers to bring to his wife's grave. He is baffled that a coupon - 70 krona for 2 bunches of flowers - doesn't allow him to purchase one bunch for 35 krona. "If you only buy one bunch," says the cashier, "it's still 50 krona."

That begins your introduction to - and admiration of - this character who is so stubborn and steadfast in his desire to enforce neighborhood rules that he will interrupt his suicide attempts to scold anyone breaking those rules. And the paternal relationship that spring up between Ove and his pregnant neighbor of Iranian descent just solidifies your opinion that despite all his crabbiness, Ove is a good man.

I thoroughly enjoyed this movie and can't wait to read the book. Thanks, Wendy, for introducing me to it this month.

In the Bowl
There wasn't too much food in the movie, so I just decided to look at all my favorite Swedish foods...or Iranian foods. Rabarberpaj is a favorite, but rhubarb is out of season. And Morotskaka is always welcome on our table, but we've been indulging in lots of cookies recently, so I didn't want to do yet another cake.

So, coming in just under the wire, I made a soup inspired by Swedish meatballs for this month's Food'N'Flix. And I had ground venison, so I used that in my meatballs. Smaklig måltid!


  • 1 pound ground venison
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely minced
  • 3/4 C breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 t ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 t ground allspice
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 2 pounds marble potatoes
  • 2 T olive oil
  • freshly ground salt
  • 4 T butter
  • 1/2 C flour
  • 6 C beef broth, divided + more if needed
  • 1 C water
  • 1 C heavy cream
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 C chopped parsley

In a large bowl, using your hands, mix together all of the ingredients until well-combined. Roll walnut-sized balls and place them on a silicone-lined baking sheet. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Bake for 35 minutes until well-browned. They should be firm to the touch when they are done. If you aren’t sure, you can slice open one of the meatballs.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place potatoes in a medium mixing bowl. Sprinkle with salt and add 1 T olive oil. Toss to coat potatoes in oil and transfer to a roasting pan. Roast potatoes until tender on the inside and crisped on the outside, approximately 30 minutes.

Melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour until a smooth roux forms. Pour in 3 C beef broth and cream. Simmer, whisking constantly until thickened, approximately 5 minutes. Pour in remaining beef broth and water. Whisk until combined. If you think it's still too thick, add more stock.

Add in the meatballs and potatoes and warm through. Stir in parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

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  1. So glad you enjoyed the movie. The book is even better. Love the Meatball stew.

  2. Beautiful dish with those potatoes! Glad you were introduced to Ove!


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