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Finnish Meat Balls (Lihapyöryköitä)


Serve with on the voileipäpöytä (bread-and-butter table) or for family or guest meals, accompanied by lingonberries, or cranberry sauce, sliced beets, pickles, and fluffy mashed potatoes.

Serves 4 to 6.


¾ cup soft brea crumbs
1 cup cream
1½ pounds ground lean beef
1 onion, minced
1 egg, beaten
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon ground allspice
2 tablespoons butter for frying
2 tablespoons flour
1½ cups milk


Soak the bread crumbs in ½ cup cream. Mix together the meat, onion, and bread crumbs. Add the beaten egg, salt, and allspice, and combine well. Shape into balls (make them tiny, using about a teaspoonful of mixture) if they are to be served as an appetizer or on the voileipäpöytä, or about walnut size if they are for a family meal. Melt the butter in a frying pan and put in the meat balls, a few at a time. Shake the pan to roll the meat balls so they brown on all sides.

After all the meat balls are browned and removed from the pan, brown the flour in the drippings. Mix with a fork until smooth; then slowly add the second ½ cup cream and 1½ cups milk, stirring well until smooth. Add water if the mixture gets too thick. Return the meat balls to the pan, cover, and cook for about 25 minutes on low heat. Serve hot.


Source: The Finnish Cookbook by Beatrice A. Ojakangas
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