Boulets à la liègeoise (Belgian meatballs)

    1 hour 30 min

    These sweet-salty Belgian meatballs are a specialty from the city of Liège. If you cannot find the Sirop de Liège used for this dish, use apple butter instead.

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    Makes: 15 meatballs

    • For the meatballs
    • 600g pork mince
    • beef mince
    • 2 onions, minced
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 3 pinches herbes de Provence
    • 2 pinches ground nutmeg
    • salt and ground black pepper
    • 1 egg
    • breadcrumbs
    • 4 tablespoons plain flour
    • 30g butter
    • For the sauce
    • 1L water
    • 2 onions, sliced, then cut into half rounds
    • 4 tablespoons sirop de Liège (see ingredient note)
    • 3 bay leaves
    • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon caster sugar, or to taste
    • 6 tablespoons cornflour

    Prep:30min  ›  Cook:1hr  ›  Ready in:1hr30min 

      To make the meatballs

    1. Combine the minced pork and beef, onions and garlic in a bowl. Add the herbes de Provence and nutmeg and season with salt and pepper, and mix everything together with a fork.
    2. Stir in the egg, then and egg enough breadcrumbs so you can shape the meatballs.
    3. Place the flour on a plate. With your hands, form about 15 meatballs, compressing them a little. Roll each one in the flour to coat completely.
    4. Heat the butter in a frying pan over medium heat, and fry the meatballs until golden on all sides.
    5. To make the sauce

    6. Bring the water with the onions to the boil in a large casserole. Stir in the sirop de Liège and the bay leaves. Add the meatballs to the liquid. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
    7. Stir in the vinegar and sugar to taste. Simmer for 15 minutes, then taste, and adjust the amounts of syrup and sugar. Season with salt and pepper.
    8. Whisk the cornflour with a little cold water to make a smooth paste. Whisk the cornflour mixture into the simmering sauce to thicken to your desired consistency.

    Ingredient note

    Sirop de Liège is a sweet, concentrated, dark fruit syrup. You may be able to find it in specialty stores or online.

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