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Boiled Meatballs, Scandinavian Style

August 22, 2023 (Last Updated: December 27, 2023)

Boiled meatballs may sound like a recipe for blandness, but mastering this technique is a game-changer for home cooks.

It’s an easy method that produces tender, juicy, and wholesome meatballs, perfect for pairing with diverse sauces.

For a touch of Scandinavian flair, serve them with a coconut curry sauce—it’s among the most delicious and satisfying dishes I’ve ever made.

Can you boil meatballs?

Yes, you can boil meatballs. The method of boiling meatballs might differ in various cultures, but the essence remains the same: achieving tender and succulent meatballs.

In Romania, we boil meatballs directly in soup, imparting flavor to the broth and allowing the meatballs to absorb the rich nuances of the soup ingredients.

However, boiling meatballs in just water might sound less flavorful at first. But, it’s all about what you do after that makes the difference. Once boiled, these meatballs become a blank canvas, ready to soak up any sauce or seasoning you pair them with.

Danes found the perfect combination: of boiled meatballs, curry sauce, and Indian Basmati rice, to create one of the most delicious and satisfying homemade meals I’ve ever had, ‘Boller i karry’ (meatballs in curry).

If you’ve never tried boiling meatballs in water, I’d encourage you to set aside any reservations. The process is straightforward, and the outcome is consistently delicious. It offers a unique texture and allows for versatility in flavor pairings, making it a method worth exploring in any kitchen.

Boiled meatballs with coconut curry sauce

How long to boil meatballs?

The boiling duration for meatballs largely depends on their size. Personally, I tend to shape my meatballs using 1 tablespoon of meat for each, and these require about 10 minutes to be thoroughly cooked.

Should you opt for smaller meatballs, roughly half that size, a 5-minute boiling time should suffice.

A common misconception is that meatballs are ready once they float to the surface. While these meatballs might begin to float after just 4 minutes, they are not fully cooked at this point.

Instead of relying solely on the floating indicator, it’s best to follow the suggested boiling times based on size for optimal results.

Ingredients for boiled meatballs

Ground Pork: This recipe is made of ground pasture-raised pork, but grass-fed ground beef, pasture-raised chicken, or turkey can be used.

Aromatics and Spices: I love the simplicity of this recipe; you only need one onion, salt, and pepper.

Flour: For a gluten-free and lectin-free version, I use sorghum flour. You can use all-purpose flour if you are not concerned about gluten or lectins.

Milk: I used full-fat canned coconut milk, which pairs well with pork. You can use any milk you want.

Egg: We use one egg for every 500 grams of meat, as a binder.

Ingredients for the meatballs

How to boil meatballs?

In a large bowl, combine ground meat, chopped onion, sorghum flour, coconut milk, egg, salt, and pepper.

Mix well until the mixture reaches a uniform consistency. If preferred, a stand mixer can be used. If the mixture seems too wet, you can add one or two extra tablespoons of flour.

Cover the mixture and refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

The ingredients in a large mixing bowl with an egg on top
The ingredients have been mixed well

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium, maintaining a steady simmer.

Shape the meat mixture into balls, using about 1 heaping tablespoon of mixture for each meatball. Using a slotted spoon, gently lower the raw meatballs into the simmering water. Depending on the size of your pot, you may need to cook them in two batches, approximately 15 meatballs per batch.

Meatballs on a plate ready to be boiled

The meatballs will begin to float after about 4 minutes, but they will not be fully cooked. Continue simmering for a total of 10 minutes for meatballs of this size. If making smaller meatballs, reduce the cooking time to 5 minutes.

After 10 minutes, remove a meatball and cut it in half to ensure it’s cooked through. Once confirmed, use the slotted spoon to transfer the meatballs to a serving dish. Cover to keep warm. If cooking in batches, repeat this step for the second batch.

If you’ve cooked the meatballs in two batches, you can briefly return the first batch to the hot water to reheat them before serving.

Boiled meatballs on a plate

How to serve boiled meatballs?

While you can serve these boiled meatballs with any choice of sauce, I recommend you try them first with a Danish-style coconut curry sauce. Serve them over pressure-cooked Indian Basmati rice and sprinkle with fresh parsley and black pepper.

If you don’t like curry, try a tomato sauce, with freshly grated parmesan cheese and fresh basil.

To optimize the dish’s nutritional benefits, cool and then reheat the rice prior to serving—this technique helps lower its glycemic index.

Store any leftovers in the refrigerator. For reheating, place in the oven until warmed through. These boiled meatballs can also be frozen for longer storage.

Boiled meatballs served with rice and coconut curry sauce

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Boiled Meatballs, Scandinavian Style

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By Claudia Curici, Health Coach Serves: 4-6
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Boiled meatballs may sound like a recipe for blandness, but mastering this technique is a game-changer for home cooks. It's an easy method that produces tender, juicy, and wholesome meatballs, perfect for pairing with diverse sauces. For a touch of Scandinavian flair, serve them with a coconut curry sauce—it's among the most delicious and satisfying dishes I've ever made.

Ingredients

  • 500 grams (1.1 lbs) pasture-raised ground pork (alternatives: beef, chicken, turkey)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped or grated
  • 3 tablespoons sorghum flour (all purpose flour can be used if gluten is of no concern)
  • 100 ml coconut milk
  • 1 pastured egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Instructions

1

In a large mixing bowl, combine ground pork, chopped onion, sorghum flour, coconut milk, egg, salt, and pepper. Mix well until the mixture reaches a uniform consistency. If preferred, a stand mixer can be used. If the mixture seems too wet, you can add one or two extra tablespoons of flour.

2

Cover the mixture and refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

3

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium, maintaining a steady simmer.

4

Shape the meat mixture into balls, using about 1 heaping tablespoon of mixture for each meatball.

5

Using a slotted spoon, gently lower the meatballs into the simmering water. Depending on the size of your pot, you may need to cook them in two batches, approximately 15 meatballs per batch.

6

The meatballs will begin to float after about 4 minutes, but they will not be fully cooked. Continue simmering for a total of 10 minutes for meatballs of this size. If making smaller meatballs, reduce the cooking time to 5 minutes.

7

After 10 minutes, remove a meatball and cut it in half to ensure it's cooked through. Once confirmed, use the slotted spoon to transfer the meatballs to a serving dish. Cover to keep warm. If cooking in batches, repeat this step for the second batch.

8

If you've cooked the meatballs in two batches, you can briefly return the first batch to the hot water to reheat them before serving.

9

Serve warm with your choice of sauce. A Danish-style coconut curry sauce paired with pressure-cooked Indian Basmati rice and a side of greens is recommended.

10

Store any leftovers in the refrigerator. For reheating, place in the oven until warmed through. Meatballs can also be frozen for longer storage.

Notes

Check the post above for link to the best Coconut Curry Sauce recipe to pair with these meatballs.

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