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Liège Meatballs

 


Preparation time:
45 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes


Ingredients - serves 6

For the meatballs:

  • 700g minced beef and pork
  • 100g white sliced bread (crusts removed) or 2 biscottes
  • 2 shallots
  • 100ml full-cream milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram or 1tbs fresh chopped marjoram
  • Salt and ground pepper
  • Pinch of mixed spice
  • Beef dripping for deep-frying


For the sauce:

  • 2 large onions
  • 50g butter
  • 1 tbs cornflour
  • 2 tbs sirop de Liège (apple and pear syrup)
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram or 1tbs fresh chopped marjoram
  • Salt & pepper


Preparation


To make the meatballs, soak the bread or biscottes in tepid milk for 5 minutes or until it swells, then drain. Peel the shallots and chop them finely.


Put the minced meat in a bowl and add the soaked bread or biscottes, the egg, the mixed spice, the marjoram, salt and pepper and mix well until a smooth paste is obtained. Shape the paste into 6 meatballs with wet hands.


Heat the dripping in a deep-fat fryer to 200°C and drop in the meatballs. Cook until well browned, then drain on kitchen roll and keep warm.


To make the sauce, peel the onions and chop them coarsely. Melt the butter in a frying pan and fry the onions in it for 1-2 minutes. Add 50ml of water and cook for 5 minutes over a medium heat, stirring constantly to prevent the onions from browning.


In a jug, mix together the flour with 200ml of hot water, and pour over the onions and cook for 3-4 minutes. Then add the sirop de Liège, the spices, the marjoram and season. Mix well and simmer for 20 minutes over a low heat: the sauce should be thick and glossy.


10 minutes before the end of cooking the sauce, add the meatballs to the sauce to warm through.


Eric Boschman’s suggested drink accompaniment: Any Pils-style beer