I’ll admit it, I’m a sauce girl. And while I don’t make special sauces for every single meal, I sure do appreciate them when they are a staple part of the dish. Much like French Au Jus to roast beef, or what I thought was gravy to Swedish meatballs… So, you can imagine my dismay when I learned that gravy actually isn’t a traditional element of the Swedish Meatball. Like, at all.
If you have ever been to an Ikea, or have any awareness around their Swedish meatball situation, you may have similarly assumed that the gravy was a crucial part of the dish. Well, I’m here to tell you it is absolutely not customary. In fact, the Swedes like to serve their meatballs with casserole noodles just as much as they do mashed potatoes. Insert head explosion emoji.
One of my best friends from high school is Swedish with strong ties back in Sweden. “How could I have not known this?” I thought as I dove deeper and deeper into the gravy-gate betrayal scandal of 2021. The dish I saw in my head was so dry and so lackluster without it. I just couldn’t let it go and ditch the gravy. I wouldn’t.
Luckily, luckily, luckily, gravy is not dead. In fact, gravy has recently been adopted by the Swedes! Mostly due to the exposure the saucy dish has received through Ikea’s promotion of it with the gravy. So, because I am a sauce girl, I decided it was absolutely okay to keep this component in my recipe of Swedish Meatballs and Mashed Potatoes.
I make a fuss only because I wanted to honor this delicious meal, and make a traditional Swedish meatball meal. It was going to be in the title, after all! So, in an attempt to give a major nod to the tradition of this dish, I decided to focus on what made the meat seasoning so special. Queue the Grillkydda! Now this, my friend, is the thing to know about.
Grillkydda, or Piffi, is an all-purpose seasoning used in Swedish cooking. Made up of common spices that you likely have already in your spice cabinet, the homemade spice mix will elevate your meatballs tenfold. Plus, this seasoning would be amazing on chicken, fish, in creamy salad dressings, or anything else you can dream up.
A few recipe notes: