These pork meatballs with ale gravy are well worth the effort – destined to become your new family favourite.
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One thing that most kids are guaranteed to like is meatballs. Not sure whether their huge appeal is due to the fact that meatballs are by their nature bite-sized, or just that they are simply delicious!
This recipe, adapted from Tom Kerridge’s Best Ever Dishes, pairs pork meatballs with a rich ale gravy that is completely addictive. I can honestly say this is the perfect comfort meal and a massive hit with both children (herbs and all!) and grown ups.
Use a brown ale for the gravy (worry not, the alcohol cooks off) but make sure you have enough Oxford Gold to serve alongside the meal for those old enough to imbibe.
Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes
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Greek Lemon Potatoes
Herby pork meatballs in ale gravy
- 450 g (1 pound) minced pork
- 100 g (1 cup) fresh breadcrumbs 1 thick slice of toast
- 4 slices pancetta or bacon
- 2 banana shallots peeled
- 6 fresh sage leaves
- 2 small sprigs fresh rosemary
- 1 tbsp English mustard
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 1 egg
- vegetable oil to fry
- 1 tbsp rosemary & 1 tbsp fresh sage very finely chopped, to serve
For the gravy
- 500 ml (2 cups) brown ale
- 480 ml (2 cups) chicken stock
- 2 garlic cloves skin on
- 2 shallots halved, skin on
- 2 rosemary sprigs
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 2 tsp cornflour cornstarch diluted in a little cold water
- Put the bread, pancetta, shallots and herbs in a food processor or mini chopper and blitz until finely ground.
- Place in a bowl with the mince, egg, mustard and salt and mix together thoroughly with your hands. Cover and put in the fridge for an hour or overnight.
- With wet hands, roll about a tablespoon of mince for each meatball until you have used up all the mix.
- Heat a little vegetable oil in a large frying pan and fry the meatballs, in batches, until nicely browned all over. Place in an ovenproof dish and set aside.
- Put the ale, shallots, garlic and rosemary in a medium pot and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the liquid is reduced by about half.
- Add the chicken stock, cornflour and sugar and bring to the boil again. Reduce the heat once more and simmer for 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 190C (380F). Strain the gravy over the meatballs and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the gravy is bubbling and thickened.
- Sprinkle with the chopped herbs and serve with potato or celeriac mash and wilted spinach.