The Trick To Better Texture In Swedish Meatballs Is In The Onions

Swedish meatballs are truly a thing of beauty. With each bite, you're greeted by an aromatic gust of allspice, nutmeg, and black pepper, as the meatballs's savory taste slowly settles in. These delectable morsels are smothered in a rich, creamy gravy sauce that perfectly balances out their robust flavor notes. All that's needed to seal the deal is good, tantalizing texture. This is achievable in many ways, but perhaps the most unexpected yet intriguing one is with the use of two different types of onions.

A fine dice is often the most favorable way to cut onions because it produces slightly crispy, juicy sweet bits that make for a fun mouthfeel when biting into the meatballs. Some like to lightly sauté the pieces before adding them to the meat mixture for a less harsh, more aromatic taste and softer feel, while others like to use them raw for a true crunch. If you can't choose, do both; this will give you the best of both worlds, ensuring the meatballs are infused with that deeply sweet, slightly peppery onion taste while also offering fun crispy bites here and there.

Onions bring flavor and dimension

When cooked, onions create a sweet yet subtly pungent taste as well as turning mushy and soft. This not only infuses the dish with an intricate depth but also diversifies the overall texture by bringing a succulent contrast to the meat's slight chewiness. Often finely chopped or minced, onions create little pockets within the meatballs, bringing a delightful burst of flavor and dimension. Moreover, onions have proteolytic enzymes that break down proteins and aid in tenderizing the meat. As a result, the meat becomes way juicier and less prone to dryness — arguably one of the most important qualities of good meatballs.

Another foolproof method to try is caramelizing the onions beforehand, and then adding them to the meat mixture. Slowly cook the onions in a pan with a bit of oil or butter until they turn golden brown and emit a rich, aromatic scent. Allow them to cool off a bit before mixing them in with the meat and other ingredients. Your meatballs will have that extra layer of sweet-savory flavors and a scrumptious melt-in-your-mouth softness that just can't be beaten.