Globe Advent         20

Our recent Sundays as part of Globe Advent have focused on baking sweet treats in the kitchen. This time, Sandi and Jenifer Toksvig – creators of our festive film Christmas at the (Snow) Globe – share their recipe for a rather different dish: traditional Danish meatballs, also known as frikadeller.

According to the Tokvig family, this is the best recipe for the traditional Danish fare, and comes from the most famous and definitive Danish cookbook Frøken Jensen’s Kogebog with notes by their father, Claus Toksvig.

A plate of meatballs on a festively decorated table

Tokvig family meatballs: frikadeller

Serves 4


400g minced meat, half pork and half beef (some say pork and veal, but Claus used beef)
2 tsp salt
Finely chopped white onion
400ml milk
2 eggs
A scattering of flour to bind (some use breadcrumbs, but Claus used flour)

A tray of meatball ingredients including a bowl of mince, a jug of milk, a red onion, flour, 2 eggs, salt and pepper


Mix everything together using your hands. This is very important, because it wants to feel a little roughly mixed, plus it’s more fun.

A bowl of meatball mixture with finely chopped red onion added in ready to be mixed

Use two dessert spoons to make slightly flattened meatballs. This part is also fun, and you should definitely let the kids help out. (Any kids will do).

3 meatballs have been shaped and placed on a plate next to a bowl with the remaining mixture inside

Pan fry the meatballs in butter. (Or, if you’re anything like Claus, maybe you could mix in some of that bacon fat you saved from breakfast in the mug sitting by the stove?)

5 meatballs frying in a pan of melted butter

Serve the meatballs hot with any green veg, some sweet red cabbage*, boiled new potatoes, and thick brown gravy.

Alternatively, eat them cold straight out of the fridge at midnight, with some remoulade (piccalilli) washed down with the last of the coffee in the pot. (Maybe do this with some people you love, and light some candles, get hygge, put the world to rights).

*Sandi’s top tip: if you are making your own sweet red cabbage, add a splosh of undiluted blackcurrant cordial to give it a lovely flavor boost.

A plate of meatballs, and veg.



Animated image of a Robin with snow falling

[Thou art] As fat as butter

— Henry IV, Part 1, Act II scene 4



A small red knitted heart is cast onto a needle.