Meatballs are always handy to have in the freezer so it’s a good idea to make a double batch and freeze half. We add some pork mince into the mix, along with beef, as you need a bit of fat in there so the meatballs don’t become too dry


Serves 8 

For the meatballs:

1kg beef mince

1kg pork mince

100g Dijon mustard

10g cumin powder

10g parsley, chopped


150g onions, diced

1 clove garlic

1 lemon

1 small bunch thyme

Sunflower oil

1.5 litre tomato passata

Salt and pepper

1 aubergine

2 tablespoons olive oil

Basil leaves and lemon peel, to garnish


1 Mix all the meatball ingredients together and form into medium size rounds. Pan fry till brown. Place into a suitable ovenware dish.

2 Add onions, garlic, thyme and lemon zest with a dash of sunflower oil to a heavy based pot and cook till lightly coloured. Add the tomato passata and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for 15 minutes.

3 Slice the aubergine and toss in the olive oil. Place on a preheated grill pan and char on both sides until cooked. Dice and add to the sauce.

4 Pour sauce over the meatballs and cook in a preheated oven for 15 minutes. Allow to cool completely before freezing. Once defrosted, reheat in the oven until piping hot again. Garnish with basil leaves and lemon peel.


TIP: We love this with spaghetti, but rice or potatoes would work too.

This recipe originally appeared in FOOD&WINE Magazine, October 2016

Recipe credit: The Butler’s Pantry

Photography credit: Harry Weir, assisted by Brian Clarke 

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