Beth is a homemaker and professional author. She lives with her family close to the scenic Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee.
This is a recipe for Danish meatballs, called frikadeller by the Danes. I obtained the recipe from a good friend whose grandmother was born in Denmark and made it often. Although my friend likes to add cayenne pepper or turmeric to the meatballs, I prefer her grandmother's original recipe.
These Danish meatballs are similar to the Swedish version, except that in the Danish recipe pork is always the primary meat.
Savory and filling, these meatballs with dill sauce are an excellent main course. My husband and I enjoy them most when served over hot potato dumplings, though they are still very good when served over egg noodles. Without the sauce, frikadeller makes for tasty hors d'oeuvres.
Prep and Cooking Time
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
1 hour 10 min
Serves 6-8 people
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- 1 1/2 lbs ground pork, (best if unseasoned)
- 1/2 lb ground beef, venison or veal
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, ground finely
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/4 cup shallot or onion, finely chopped
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups dry breadcrumbs, crushed
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 cups sour cream
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1/4 teaspoon rosemary
- 2 teaspoons dill weed, dried
- In a large bowl, combine and knead together the ground meats and eggs. Add the chopped onions or shallots, the thyme, salt, pepper and heavy cream. Mix thoroughly with the first ingredients. Roll this finished mixture into small balls (1- 1 1/2 inch). Place the meatballs to the side.
- Dust a large plate with the breadcrumbs. Roll the meatballs in the breadcrumbs until they are coated. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Place the meatballs single layer in bottom of wide, deep baking pan. Drizzle the first 1/2 cup melted butter over the meatballs. Place the dish into the hot oven, and bake for 35-40 minutes, turning over every 10 minutes or so. Meatballs are done baking when they are evenly browned.
- THE SAUCE: Melt other 1/2 cup of butter over low heat in large pot or sauce pan. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Pour in chicken broth. Stir until thick and slightly bubbly. Slowly fold in the sour cream. Add the dried dill and rosemary. Keep warm for five minutes, stirring gently every few seconds.
- Move the meatballs from baking pan and place in serving dish. Spoon the sauce over the meatballs.
- Serve over dumplings, noodles, or with a side dish of potatoes.
Garnish for Visual Appeal
Garnishing your frikadeller makes for visual appeal when serving guests. Parsley leaves or sprigs are fine, though I've heard some people sprinkle toasted sesame seeds or decorate the finished meatballs with dandelion flowers baked or sautéed lightly in corn oil. NOTE: If choosing wild dandelions for this purpose, be sure to wash the flowers thoroughly before preparing to use.
To Make Spicy Frikadeller
If you wish to spice up your frikadeller like my friend does, add 1/3 teaspoon ground turmeric or cayenne pepper seeds to the meatball part of the recipe.
Serving as a Fall Harvest or Yule dish
Some people enjoy an apple flavor with these meatballs, and I have prepared them this way for Fall Harvest and Yule gatherings. To make: add 1/3 teaspoon natural apple extract, along with one additional tablespoon of bread crumbs, to the meatball recipe.
As Hors D'oeuvres
To use frikadeller as an hors d'oeuvre, insert clean toothpicks into the finished meatballs (without the sauce). Arrange on platter and serve.