- 1 large onion, grated
- 500g veal mince (or lean beef mince if veal is not available)
- 500g pork mince
- Small handful fresh thyme leaves
- 50g fresh white breadcrumbs
- 50ml milk
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 25g butter
For the rich gravy
- 3 heaped tbsp plain flour
- 1½ tbsp tomato purée
- 300ml red wine
- 750ml beef stock, hot
- Splash of Worcestershire sauce
- Splash of double cream
- 2 tsp redcurrant jelly
- To make the meatballs, mix together the onion, mince, thyme, breadcrumbs and milk in a bowl, and season well. Using a dessertspoon and one hand dipped in cold water (to stop it sticking), shape about 20 slightly oval balls out of the mince mixture. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper, cover with cling film and chill for 10 minutes, or overnight if time permits.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the meatballs, in batches if necessary, and brown until golden all over. Transfer to an ovenproof dish and place in the oven for 10 minutes until cooked through.
- While the meatballs are in the oven, take the frying pan in which you cooked them and place it over a medium heat. Whisk in the flour, add the tomato purée and whisk again for 1-2 minutes, then add the red wine. Turn the heat up to high and bubble for a few minutes. Whisk in the stock and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Season to taste with the Worcestershire sauce, salt and black pepper, then stir in a splash of cream and the redcurrant jelly. Allow everything to cool, then tip the meatballs into a freezer bag and cover completely with the sauce. Freeze for up to 1 month.
- Defrost completely and reheat in a saucepan until piping hot throughout. Serve 3-4 meatballs per person with lots of sauce, spiced red cabbage and mash.
- Try serving with the spiced red cabbage, a dish which also freezes very well. Avoid using low-fat mince; a high fat content boosts the flavour and prevents drying out.