You can never have too many meatball recipes in your culinary repertoire and this one which uses sweet black grapes in a sauce to accompany a nutty pork meatball is wonderful.
The flavours are very Middle Eastern and although I used to be sniffy about fruit in savoury dishes my more mature self is starting to enjoy the combination.
The recipe is from the ‘Good Carbs Cookbook’ which I’ve already mentioned on this blog. My husband Ben agreed that the dish was tasty but then asked where the carbs were? Like Ben, I always thought that grapes were low in carbohydrates, but a quick google search suggests that they are one of the highest carb fruits there are, alongside bananas. Not that I care too much about that.
I accompanied the meatballs with a whole roasted cauliflower using a recipe from the same cookbook. I couldn’t believe that I had not tried this before – it was incredibly delicious and so very easy. The nuttiness of the roasted cauliflower went perfectly with the sweetness of the meatball dish but I think it would also make a great addition to any standard roast dinner.
Pork meatballs with grapes
For the meatballs
- 600g of minced pork
- 2 shallots or small onions, very finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 3 tablespoons of hazelnuts, crushed with a pestle and mortar or a sharp knife
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- A little plain flour to coat
For the sauce
- 100g of sultanas
- 150ml of freshly brewed black tea
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 2 teaspoons of butter
- 270g of black seedless grapes (cut in half if they are large)
- 200ml of chicken stock
- Fresh parsley to garnish
To make the meatballs put the pork mince, half the chopped onion/shallot, garlic and hazelnuts in a bowl and season with salt and pepper to your own personal taste. I like a lot of seasoning but you may not.
Form the mixture into balls a bit smaller than golf ball size. Coat lightly with plain flour.
Heat the olive oil and butter in a deep frying pan over a medium heat. Then brown the meatballs until a dark golden colour on all sides. This will take around 10 minutes.
Turn the heat down to low and add the remaining onion/shallot. Put a lid on and leave to soften for a couple of minutes. Then add the sultanas with the tea, the stock and the grapes.
Simmer gently without a lid for 10 minutes, there is no need to stir. The sauce will reduce and thicken during this time.
Scatter with fresh, chopped parsley and serve.
Whole Roasted Cauliflower
- 1 medium cauliflower
- 1 teaspoon and a good pinch of sea salt
- 60 ml of olive oil
Set your oven to 220oC.
Trim away the green leaves of the cauliflower and chop off the bottom so that it stands up straight.
Take a pan large enough to fit in all the cauliflower and fill it with water until it comes to ¾ of the way up the cauliflower. Add a teaspoon of salt, put a lid on and bring to the boil.
Turn the heat down to a rolling simmer and cook for 8 minutes. Drain well.
Line a baking tin with baking parchment. Put the cauliflower in the middle and drizzle over the olive oil. Sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt flakes.
Roast in the oven for 35 minutes.