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Danish Meatballs with Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage

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  • Author: Dawn Myers
  • Total Time: 2 hours 48 mins


Repurpose the meatballs and cabbage into a Danish smørrebrød, an open-faced sandwich, the next day for a delicious lunch.



Rødkål (Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage)

  • 1 head of red cabbage
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon red currant jelly

Frikadeller (Danish Meatballs)

  • 1 medium onion, grated
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound ground veal
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup seltzer water
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • Brown gravy (optional)


Red Cabbage

  1. Remove tough outer leaves and white core of the cabbage. Slice the remaining cabbage into thin strips.
  2. In a preheated saute pan, place the cabbage, vinegar, water, salt, sugar and pepper over medium heat. Stir occasionally and cook until tender for about 2 hours. Before serving, stir in the red currant jelly.


  1. Mix together the onion, pork and veal until well combined. Forget all of the admonishments about overworking the meat for similar dishes. Stir the milk, eggs, bread crumbs, and flour into the meat mixture until well incorporated. Stir in the seltzer water, allspice and salt and pepper. Mix should be moist and more wet than a traditional meatloaf, but it should not be so overly wet as to lack consistency. Additional breadcrumbs or flour may be called for if the mixture is too wet. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.
  2. Heat the butter in a heavy bottomed skillet. Using a large spoon, pull oval shaped meatballs out of the mixture and fry in the butter, turning when well browned. Do not crowd the pan, or the meatballs won’t develop a nice brown crust. Remove meatballs when cooked through and set aside.
  3. For the optional gravy: add 1/4 cup chopped onion to the leftover butter remains in the pan. Sauté until translucent. Add a tablespoon (or so) of flour and brown. When the flour reaches a nice color for gravy, add beef or chicken stock slowly, while whisking, until you get the gravy consistency you want. Add salt and pepper as needed.
  • Prep Time: 45 mins
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 3 mins
  • Category: Main
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