Listen, if you can brave the cafeteria line at Ikea for a taste of those famous meatballs, then you can absolutely make this recipe in your own kitchen. Our version sticks pretty closely to the classic in terms of flavors--but it's how we cook the meatballs that makes all the difference. Serve them as an appetizer (an excuse to bust out those cocktail toothpicks) or over mashed potatoes for a warming dinner.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ground beef
1¼ teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¾ cup plain bread crumbs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1½ cups beef broth
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish
1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and grease it lightly with nonstick spray.
2. Make the Meatballs: In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 1 minute more. Cool to room temperature.
3. In a medium bowl, mix the cooled onion mixture with the beef, egg, salt, pepper, allspice and nutmeg to combine. Add the bread crumbs and mix to combine.
4. Form the mixture into 1-inch meatballs and then transfer the meatballs to the prepared baking sheet. Bake until golden brown and cooked through, 15 to 18 minutes.
5. Make the Sauce: In a medium pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture is golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes.
6. Gradually whisk in the beef broth and bring the mixture to a simmer. Simmer until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Season with salt and pepper.
7. When the meatballs are fully cooked, transfer them to the sauce and toss to coat. Serve warm (preferably over mashed potatoes), garnished with parsley.