What’s Cookin’ – A Chafing Dish of Swedish Meatballs

A chafing dish?  What the heck’s a chafing dish?

Chafing dishes were designed to keep foods heated without additional cooking and have been in use since the 1500s.  In the early 1970s, the slow cooker or crock pot was invented, and, while professionals continue to use chafing dishes, most home kitchens no longer use them.

But, believe or not, I have an old recipe for Swedish Meatballs that calls for keeping them warmed in a chafing dish.


I use a crock pot.

This old recipe is one that I used to use a lot as an appetizer.  In the days before pre-made meatballs.  It was one of my favorites, and I had almost forgotten about it until I found it tucked away in one of my cookbooks.  In honor of my Swedish roots, I decided to make them.  I had forgotten how good and soft and creamy tasting these were.  Much better than the pre-made ones.  Even the ones that they sell at Ikea.

Swedish Meatballs ingredients.

Melt the butter in a skillet and sauté the onions until translucent, not browned.  Allow to cool.

Combine all of the ingredients, less the vegetable oil, beef broth, and cream, in a large bowl.  Make into 1″ meatballs.

Heat the vegetable oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Sauté the meatballs for about 5 minutes per side until nicely browned.  Place into a crock pot or oven-proof casserole dish, depending on which method you are using to finish them.

Add enough beef broth to almost cover the meatballs.  If using a slow cooker, set on low and cook for 2 to 4 hours.  If using the oven method, cover the casserole with a lid or aluminum foil and cook in an oven that has been preheated to 325°F for about 45 minutes.

Add the cream.  Cook for an additional 30 minutes if using a slow cooker and for an additional 15 minutes of using the oven.

Swedish meatballs may be served as appetizers.  (Notice the blue and yellow frilly toothpicks are the colors of the Swedish flag).

Or they may be served as an entrée over homemade style egg noodles.

Swedish meatballs are soft and delicate and uniquely flavored.  Served with the creamy broth, they are very yummy.

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