Comforting in the Kitchen: Norwegian Meatballs

Beef, Dinner, Main | January 20, 2016 | By

This really isn’t the meal you start when coming home from work just before 7 in the evening, but it had been one of those days and I needed the comfort of my kitchen and cooking. To stir and mix and get my hands dirty, well, sticky, while making my own version of Norwegian meatballs.

Inspired by: Half a head of cabbage in the fridge and wanting some childhood comfort.

The kitchen smells like my mom and my grandma. Butter. Meat. Onions. Comfort. And cabbage.

Make round meatballs and flatten them in the pan

My mom and I made a humongous batch of meatballs and onions for our wedding many moons ago. The two of us frying up a storm in a basement kitchen one August day in the early 90s when she was still around and had made the long trip from Norway to western Canada to be with us.

Food memories are good memories.

Norwegian meatballs and cabbage stew

Use a well seasoned pan for these meatballs and flatten them into cakes as they fry. A pan that’s been around and has seen a few meals. Like those battered ones you see in restaurants and wonder about the stories they could tell. Or maybe that’s just me.

Frying meatballs for comforting nordic meal

So we had dinner closer to 9 than 7 that night, but it was worth the wait. 

Cabbage in cream sauce with nutmeg

There’s a full recipe in an older posts, Kjøttkaker og Kålstuing, the meatball mixture changes slightly every time I make them. Like so many good things, they’re influenced by mood and what’s on hand. This version had lean ground beef, an egg, half a chopped onion, allspice, sea salt, and freshly ground black pepper. 

The cabbage, however, stays as plain as it looks, but I guarantee you’ll be surprised by the way it makes you feel.


And we skipped the gravy, made a pan sauce of caramelized onions, a spoonful of flour, and the juice from the pan.

Dinner felt like a hug.



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