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Braised Pork Meatballs in a Beer Sauce on Cheesy Polenta

>>>Braised Pork Meatballs in a Beer Sauce on Cheesy Polenta
Let's set spaghetti aside and rock some braised pork meatballs in a beer sauce on a super cheesy polenta base for a change!

For some strange reason I usually associate meatballs with beef and with pasta so this pork meatball dish was developed to encourage me to do something a little new and different with my balls… Behave! I quite shamelessly lifted the basic idea of the base for the meatballs from my recent beef osso bucco recipe, although the cheese has very much changed to be in keeping with the ideas of BBQ sauce and Beer, the other two main influences in this dish. If you have been following me for a while you may have noticed the occasional mention of beer, I am rather fond of the odd beerverage or two but don’t cook with it too often. Ok I often cook with it in the way that there is often a bottle of beer lubricating me as I cook, however it is rarely an ingredient in my cooking. So these Braised Pork Meatballs make a nice change.

Naturally the flavour of this dish is governed by the BBQ sauce you use and the beer you use, these pork meatballs half a dozen times playing with different flavours and ideas and they all worked really very well, although you do want to avoid paring a really sweet sauce with a really sweet beer and also avoid a really bitter beer with a tart BBQ sauce. My favourite combination ended up being Leffe Brun which is a dark Belgian Wheat Beer and the BBQ Sauce from these Ribs, it resulted in a wonderfully complex flavour profile, but you should definitely play around and go with what you like. A Pilsner style lager gives the most simple flavour profile to these pork meatballs and a Porter or Stout the heaviest, a little to heavy for my liking, which is odd as I love a good dark porter or stout. But hey let me know what you used and how it worked for you!

Like this recipe? Then you should definitely check out this one!  Mulligatawny Soup: Indian Pepper Water

Speaking of beer, it is hard to believe that or first visitors of the year arrive on Monday, always a time when our beer consumption increases considerably. My mother in law is visiting us early this year for the first of three visits and this one just happens to coincide with my Birthday, a year older but definitely not wiser. The handball team that we follow in Mezőkövesd have an away game in a town with a really nice thermal spa on my Birthday so at the moment that is the plan, plenty of beer, a bit of a soak and a bit of sports, can I claim it as exercise? I am sure there will be plenty of pictures floating around either on Facebook or Instagram and you will not be deprived of new recipes. I have been busy getting ahead and I have some great stuff heading your way next week whilst I am nurturing my hangovers, which will no doubt be getting worse as I age another year.

Let's set spaghetti aside and rock some braised pork meatballs in a beer sauce on a super cheesy polenta base for a change!

Braised Pork Meatballs in a Beer Sauce on Cheesy Polenta

Let's set spaghetti aside and rock some braised pork meatballs in a beer sauce on a super cheesy polenta base for a change!

Course Main Course
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 2
Author Brian Jones

Ingredients

For the Polenta

  • 500 ml Vegetable Stock.
  • 85 g Polenta.
  • 50 g Cheddar Cheese. Go for something sharp and then grate it.

For the Meatballs

  • 100 g Potato. Peeled and grated.
  • 300 g Pork Shoulder. Medium Ground.
  • 1 Egg.
  • 1/2 Tsp Dried Thyme.
  • 1 Tbsp Dijon Mustard.
  • 1/4 Tsp Salt
  • Black Pepper. Generous grind

For the Sauce

  • 30 g Butter.
  • 1/2 Tbsp Plain Flour.
  • 75 ml Water
  • 250 ml Dark Beer. I used a Leffe Brune a dark wheat beer.
  • 100 ml BBQ Sauce. Use your favourite I used a homemade one from but I'll not bash you for store bought.
  • Salt and Pepper. To Taste
  • 1 Onion. Peeled and cut into 6 wedges.

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C.
  2. Take the potato, egg, pork shoulder, mustard, thyme, salt and pepper and mix together in a bowl.
  3. Wet your hands and form this mix into 6 evenly sized meatballs and set aside, these meatballs are meant to be really rather wet at this stage so don't worry.
  4. Heat a frying pan that can be transferred to the oven over a medium high heat and melt the butter for the sauce and when melted add the flour and stir to and cook out for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Now pour in your beer, water and BBQ sauce and cook for 3-4 minutes whilst constantly stirring, now check the seasoning and add salt and pepper as required.
  6. Add your meatballs and onion wedges and roll around to get nicely coated in the sauce, then transfer to the oven and cook for 45-50 minutes.
  7. Now we can start or polenta, heat your vegetable stock in a pan and when boiling pour in your polenta stirring all the time.
  8. When your polenta returns to the boil reduce the heat to very low and keep stirring every few minutes for 45 minutes. Now is the perfect time to run some more quality checks on the beer and listen to some tunes.
  9. After 45 minutes stir in the grated cheese and check for seasoning.
  10. Serve in a bowl with the meatballs and if you are feeling so inclined a load of fresh chives.

Recipe Notes

You could of course serve these on some mashed vegetables if you cannot be bothered with cooking polenta.

Like this recipe? Then you should definitely check out this one!  InstantPot Rabbit Ragu with Orecchiette
Let's set spaghetti aside and rock some braised pork meatballs in a beer sauce on a super cheesy polenta base for a change!
Let's set spaghetti aside and rock some pork meatballs in a beer sauce on a cheesy polenta base for a change!
2017-07-08T06:57:36+00:00

24 Comments

  1. Julie Carlyle March 10, 2017 at 7:18 am - Reply

    This looks so delicious! I could almost lick the screen!
    We are just starting to get cooler weather so I will have to Pin it!
    Thanks so much for sharing.
    Julie

    • Brian Jones March 10, 2017 at 7:27 am - Reply

      And we are just coming to warmer weather 😀 Have fun and be careful with that screen licking problem 😉

  2. Claire@foodiequine March 10, 2017 at 7:33 am - Reply

    Another gorgeous recipe. You have managed to take what can sometimes be a boring meatball, into one of complex flavours – fab. Enjoy your birthday.

    • Brian Jones March 10, 2017 at 9:48 am - Reply

      Thanks Claire… It is a bit of a barnstorer this one, we love it 🙂

  3. Dannii March 10, 2017 at 9:04 am - Reply

    This literally sounds like my husbands favourite meal. He is obsessed with polenta at the moment, so I am going to have to give it a go.

    • Brian Jones March 10, 2017 at 9:48 am - Reply

      This definitely fits into the ‘Dude Food’ category I am often accused of slipping into 😉 Hope he enjoys it as much as we did 🙂

  4. Pretty March 10, 2017 at 10:57 am - Reply

    This looks like proper man food! I think my boyfriend would love this recipe! I might have to make it for him at the weekend.

    • Brian Jones March 10, 2017 at 11:16 am - Reply

      It definitely fits into ‘dude food’ territory but my wife loves it too 😀

  5. I laughed so hard after that first sentence (you behave!!!) haha You know I would laugh 😀 Well I’m glad your experiment worked and turned into this delicious looking polenta with meatballs. Polenta is a quite forgotten meal but so good for our health… Love how you revived it here. This looks very good Brian. Photos are incredible, as always… drooling as usual 😉 Pinning and sharing… off course! 😉

    • Brian Jones March 11, 2017 at 8:22 am - Reply

      I have no idea what you mean #innocentface 😉

      Thank you, I was quite late to the ‘polenta’ party and have only really fallen in love with it over the last year or so… Although the amount of cheese I use kinda negates and health benefits 🙂

      • Natalie | Natalie's Food & Health March 11, 2017 at 11:24 am - Reply

        I’m glad you discovered polenta 🙂 Yeah, cheddar cheese is kinda loaded with fats, but for someone who’s eating cheese only once a week this shouldn’t be a problem. I use parm cheese in my polenta.. less fat, more protein 😉

        • Brian Jones March 12, 2017 at 9:44 am - Reply

          I never consider healthy eating when it comes to cooking, when it happens it is an accident 😉 so for this recipe it was cheddar all the way, beer, bbq sauce and cheddar cheese just kinda work… However parmesan is my usual go to cheese for polenta too.

  6. Richa March 13, 2017 at 10:52 am - Reply

    We love Leffe too, and I can almost imagine how perfect it’s be in these meatballs. The colour of the sauce is gorgeous and I can’t wait to try this.

    • Brian Jones March 14, 2017 at 6:19 am - Reply

      Leffe is a lovely slurp, have fun… This recipe is a fab, really tasty 🙂

  7. Rosemary March 13, 2017 at 11:55 am - Reply

    Well that’s the perfect way to celebrate a birthday! And these meatballs look amazing. I love meatballs and what a great idea serving them with polenta.

    • Brian Jones March 14, 2017 at 6:21 am - Reply

      Thanks Rosemary, I am sure other people have paired the two together but it is new for me and it works fabulously.

  8. Dan from Platter Talk March 17, 2017 at 2:15 am - Reply

    What an exquisite meal you have put together here, Brian. Your combination of flavors for the meatballs, namely the mustard, beer and BBQ sauce are all perfectly suited for the meat star of the show – pork! I love it and never would have thought to use this as the primary base. Finally, serving atop the polenta is literally the incing on this cake. Very nicely done my friend!

    • Brian Jones March 17, 2017 at 7:37 am - Reply

      Cheers Dan, definitely one of my more adventurous combinations and it took a little while to get it right but it really works so well.

  9. Kristina @ Love & Zest March 17, 2017 at 3:04 pm - Reply

    Beer adds such a great flavor to the right dish, especially cheese! This looks amazing and I have to agree, usually when I think of meatballs I think of mom’s spaghetti. This is a great twist on the classic meatball! I’m loving this recipe.

    • Brian Jones March 19, 2017 at 9:25 am - Reply

      Thanks Kristina, this is definitely a barnstormer of a recipe.

  10. Meaghan | Cook. Craft. Love. March 20, 2017 at 2:35 am - Reply

    Braised with meat is just about the only way I’ll consume beer. These sound fabulous and you can’t ever go wrong with cheesy polenta!

    • Brian Jones March 20, 2017 at 7:28 am - Reply

      Noooooo, beer is the stuff of life, you must try harder 😉 :p

  11. April @ Girl Gone Gourmet March 24, 2017 at 1:01 am - Reply

    Beer in hand and beer in the ‘balls… sounds perfect to me lol. Great recipe, as always, Brian!

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