Swedish Meatballs with Braised Red Cabbage

SERVES 4 (MAKES APPROX. 16 meatballs)

Who doesn’t love a Swedish meatball? Although chicken livers might not be the first ingredient that comes to mind when making them, they add the most delicious depth of flavour. Apart from being impressively high in vitamin B12, they are also a great source of L-glutamine that, alongside the red cabbage, helps strengthen the gut lining.

  • 1/2 medium onion, grated
  • 250g grass-fed beef mince
  • 150g free-range pork mince
  • 50g organic chicken livers, finely chopped (they really must be organic)
  • 100g (1 cup) ground almonds
  • 1 free-range organic egg
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg)
  • 1 large handful flat-leaf (Italian) parsley leaves, coarsely chopped, to serve


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1/4 medium red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 medium green apple, quartered, cored & sliced
  • 60mL (1/4 cup) water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unpasteurised apple-cider vinegar


  • 1 litre (4 cups) homemade beef or chicken Bone Broth or Vegetarian Bone Broth, or store-bought stock
  • 6 thyme sprigs
  • 180mL (3/4 cup) coconut cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons tamari
  • 2 teaspoons unpasteurised apple-cider vinegar
  • sea salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. To make the meatballs, combine all ingredients except the oil and parsley in a medium bowl with clean, wet hands. Shape the mixture into 16 golf ball-sized balls and arrange on a tray. Cover and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
  2. Add enough oil to coat the base of a large frying pan and place it over a medium-high heat. Cook the meatballs in batches, turning frequently, for 4–5 minutes until browned all over. Transfer onto a clean plate or tray and set aside.
  3. To make the braised red cabbage, heat the oil in a medium saucepan over a low-medium heat. Sauté the onion and caraway seeds until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the cabbage and apple and stir to combine.
  4. Pour in the water and vinegar. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, or until the cabbage is tender and the liquid is almost reduced. Set aside.
  5. To make the sauce, pour the broth into the pan used to cook the meatballs. Bring to the boil and, using a wooden spoon, scrape off any bits stuck to the bottom. Add the thyme and simmer for 10–15 minutes until the broth has reduced by half. Pour in the coconut cream and bring to a simmer.
  6. While the broth is reducing, combine the lemon juice, water, arrowroot, tamari and apple-cider vinegar in a small bowl. Gradually pour the mixture into the hot stock, whisking continuously.
  7. Simmer for a further 2 minutes, or until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove the thyme and season with salt and pepper.
  8. Return the meatballs to the sauce, stir to coat and cook at a gentle simmer for 4–5 minutes until cooked through. The meatballs will firm up as they cook; break one in half to check for doneness.
  9. Once ready, scatter with parsley and serve with braised red cabbage and your choice of sides.

    For more gut-nourishing recipe ideas – check out  THE BEAUTY CHEF GUT GUIDE which is out now!