Pork, Apple & Cheddar Meatballs in Creamy Mustard Sauce

Pork, Apple and Cheddar Meatballs in Creamy Mustard Sauce // Amy Elizabeth

Is anyone else sick of the stormy weather we’ve been having? I know it’s terribly British to speak about the weather, but it feels like it just takes over at this time of year. It’s so grim outside that all I want to do is eat comfort food and hibernate. Battling the wind and rain to even go for a cosy drink at the local pub feels like an ordeal, which makes me feel very anti-social. Of course, the solution to being anti-social in this instance is to invite others round to your house for an evening of board games, good food and plenty of wine. That way, you don’t have to go outside in the rain, and you still get to see your friends. It’s really a win-win. 

A dish like these meatballs is perfect for a cosy evening in, whether it’s for two people or twenty (although I’d think twice about catering for twenty people, if I were you…). Mixing up the meatballs is oddly satisfying, and the combination of the sharp cheddar and the sweet apple is a subtle but very pleasing flavour. You can serve them anyway you want, but at this time of year I think they’re probably best with piles of creamy mashed potatoes, some steamed greens and a creamy mustard sauce. All you need to do is pop on your slippers, and you’ll feel warmer than you ever have done before – even if it is hailing outside… 

Pork, Apple and Cheddar Meatballs in Creamy Mustard Sauce // Amy Elizabeth

Pork, Apple & Cheddar Meatballs in Creamy Mustard Sauce
Serves 4
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For the meatballs
  1. 500g pork mince
  2. 1/2 onion, coarsely grated
  3. 1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and coarsely grated
  4. 150g cheddar, grated
  5. salt and pepper
  6. 1 egg, beaten
  7. 75g dried breadcrumbs
For the sauce
  1. knob of butter
  2. 1 tbsp. flour
  3. 300ml chicken stock
  4. splash of Worcestershire sauce
  5. 1 tbsp. wholegrain mustard
  6. 1 tsp. runny honey
  7. salt & pepper
  8. 50ml double cream
For the meatballs
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C and line a baking tray with foil.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine the pork mince, apple, cheddar, onion, salt & pepper, egg and breadcrumbs.
  3. Using your hands, shape the mixture into 16 meatballs and place on the prepared tray.
  4. Bake for 15-18 minutes until cooked through and golden on the outside.
For the sauce
  1. Whilst the meatballs are cooking, melt the butter in a small saucepan. Stir in the flour until you have a smooth paste.
  2. Gradually add the chicken stock, stirring continuously to avoid lumps.
  3. Stir in the mustard, Worcestershire sauce and honey. Season with salt & pepper.
  4. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Taste and adjust flavours and seasoning where necessary.
  5. Remove from the heat and stir in the cream.
Amy Elizabeth http://amyliz.co.uk/
Pork, Apple and Cheddar Meatballs in Creamy Mustard Sauce // Amy Elizabeth

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Chilli Cheese Fries (and a Giveaway!)

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Is there any greater comfort food than chilli cheese fries? When you’re feeling a bit bummed out about life, then a big pile of carbs and cheese is definitely the answer. I am an emotional eater and whilst usually it’s my sweet tooth that’s crying out for attention, when it’s really an emergency then salty, cheesy, carby goodness is what I crave. Add a little bit of spice to the equation and I’m so there. Don’t get me wrong, I know this isn’t the healthiest of habits, but sometimes you just need a little bit of something bad for you. Or a lot of something bad for you. There’s no judgement here, trust me.

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These bad boys were inspired by a casual flick through the Joy the Baker cookbook. That first time I chose to make a cake instead – a beautiful brown butter banana and rum cake, which sadly did not net me first place at the Blognix bake off – but the seed was planted. The next time emotional turmoil came a-knocking, chilli cheese fries was all I wanted. The ones I made certainly don’t look as fancy as the one in Joy’s picture, but they tasted darned good – scoffed with no regard to etiquette (although I did use a fork) whilst sat in front of the final episode of Orange is the New Black Season 2. I’m going to need another batch to get over the fact that it’s another year until Season 3. So dramatic.

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I love Joy the Baker. I love her blog. I love her podcast. I love her commitment to butter and sugar. She’s my kind of lady. Her cookbook is full of comfort food – for times when you are alone and times when you want to share that comfort with others. So I want to share a little of that with you, my lovely readers – I’m giving away a Joy the Baker cookbook! All you have to do is use this fancy little widget to let me know that you follow my blog – easy peasy. Good luck!

joy the baker

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Penne Alla Vodka

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Sometimes you just need comfort food. Whether it’s a bad day at work, a fight with a friend or just an overwhelming feeling of ‘meh’, comfort food is like a warm hug from within. My comfort food staples have a few things in common – they’re carby, they’re creamy and usually they’re cheesy. Comfort food is different from junk food. Whilst these dishes may not be the healthiest in the world – there ain’t no kale here – they are so much better cooked from scratch and eaten in (some) moderation. They cease being comforting if you get an intense feeling of guilt once you’re done.

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This recipe is the one I reach for if I’m feeling a bit down. It’s simple enough that I don’t have to spend the whole night in the kitchen, but it still feels a bit special. It’s got everything I like in my comfort food – plus vodka, which although is not my drink of choice, adds a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’ which can’t be beaten. You can leave the prawns out if you’re not that way inclined, but they add some luxury that you just can’t beat when you need to treat yourself.

This recipe makes enough sauce for about three generous portions, but I usually eat this alone and keep the rest in the freezer for emergencies. Serve with a glass of wine (or of vodka, since you’ll have it on hand…) and a liberal helping of trashy TV. Feel better, friends.

You’ll need:

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 can chopped tomatoes (or passata, if you prefer)
  • a big squidge of tomato paste
  • vodka (a shot and a half-ish)
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • a pinch of sugar
  • 175g raw prawns (or thereabouts)
  • 50ml double cream
  • 300g pasta (or 100g if you’re on your own)
  • small knob of butter

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1. Fry the onion in a saucepan over a medium heat until softened. Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes more, being careful not to brown the onions or garlic too much.

2. Add the chopped tomatoes to the pan along with the tomato paste and a shot of vodka.

3. Season with salt and pepper. Add the sugar and stir through thoroughly.

4. Bring to the boil before turning the heat down and simmering for ten minutes or so until thickened.

5. Meanwhile cook the pasta in a separate pan.

6. With around 5 minutes to go, add the prawns to the sauce and stir through.

7. Once the prawns are cooked through (about 3-4 minutes), remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the cream.

8. Drain the pasta and return to the pan. Add the knob of butter and another splash of vodka (about half a shot).

9. Turn up the heat and stir the butter and vodka into the pasta. Continue stirring for a couple of minutes until the butter has melted and the alcohol in the vodka has burnt off.

10. Turn off the heat and add the sauce to the pan. Stir until pasta is fully coated.

11. Serve with grated cheese of your choice, some extra black pepper and a glass of wine.

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Want more? Follow me: Twitter / Instagram / Bloglovin / Pinterest