Helen Peterson Swanson’s Swedish Meatballs

1 lb. Ground Beef (though we often will mix with ground pork with a ratio of 2/3 lb beef, 1/3 lb pork)

1 c. Bread Crumbs

1/4 c. grated onion

1 TBSP salt

1 TBSP Corn Starch

1 egg well beaten

1 c. heavy whipping cream

allspice to taste

Mix the above and form into small balls. Brown in 1/4 c. fat in a fry pan.

Place in a casserole dish in the over and pour the gravy from the pan into the dish with the balls.

Cook at 300 degrees for 30 minutes (covered)

Gravy: Drain fat off of fry pan, stir in 1-2 tblsp cornstarch, mix in 1/2 can of beef consomme, 1.5 c. of water, and 3/4 c. whipping cream. Heat to simmer, pour over the meatballs.

From the Recipe Box of: Cynthia Betz

Recipe Story:

It is said that my great grandmother Esther’s mother Helen Peterson Swanson owned the floral shop on Nicollet Ave. (way back when) next to Dayton’s dry goods store in Minneapolis, MN. Helen provided floral arrangements for all of the major events and weddings for the founding families in Minneapolis such as the Pillsbury’s and the Washburn’s; through these interactions, they became great friends. Helen was invited to several family meals at the Pillsbury residence, and it has been said that Helen brought Swedish Meatballs for them one evening – though her cook had been the one to prepare the recipe (she was apparently from Sweden). The Pillsbury’s loved the meal so much that they asked for the recipe. Helen’s cook (unknown?) gave the recipe to Mrs. Pillsbury’s maid and that dish became part of their family traditional meals. Perhaps this could all be family folklore; but it is also very plausible for something like this to have happened in that era. To this day, my family makes this recipe every year for our Christmas dinner. It is a real treat, rich in flavor and makes you feel as though you have gained 1,000 pounds of sheer happiness.

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