Pork meatballs in brown ale gravy

Love this quote, it speaks volumes about the pleasures of cooking and the enjoyment of food.

“No one who cooks, cooks alone. Even at her most solitary, a cook in the kitchen is surrounded by generations of cooks past, the advice and menus of cooks present, the wisdom of cookbook writers.”

― Laurie Colwin

Ok, so I must have at the moment about fifty recipe books decorating my kitchen shelf unit. They look great,but since our move I have bearly looked at them…so, thinking about the quote above, I have decided to have a purge and cook something from each of them over the coming months.

One of my favourite chefs is Tom Kerridge, I love the way he uses simple ingredients and turns his recipes into something quite easy and lovely to eat.

Anyway, having already posted his Peppered Lemon Chicken recipe here is his equally delicious ” Pork meatballs in brown ale gravy”, taken from his book Best Ever Dishes.

I chose this dish because I now have a lovely little herb garden and this recipe can make the most of the herbs I have available ( all herbs can also be bought readily from the larger supermarkets). Also, hubby likes Brown Ale and lets face it meatballs are always a winner. So I figured it’s a win, win recipe.


Vegetable oil for cooking

1 onion, finely diced

600g minced pork

100g breadcrumbs

2 tbsp ready made English mustard

1.5tbsp chopped rosemary leaves

2 tsp dried oregano

2 tsp dried sage

2 tsp salt

2 tsp cracked black pepper

1 egg, lightly beaten

2 tbsp finely chopped sage

For the gravy

2 shallots,skin on

2 garlic cloves, skin on

4 Rosemary sprigs

300 mls brown ale

500 mls rich chicken stock


Warm oil in the pan and over a medium heat, fry the onion, until soft – about ten minutes.

Cool the onion slightly, then place the onion in a large mixing bowl with the pork,breadcrumbs, mustard,Rosemary, dried herbs, salt,pepper and egg. Mix thoroughly with your hands. The more you mix the better the meatballs will be ( stretching the proteins gives a firmer ball). Place the mixture into a clean bowl, cover the mix with cling film and put in fridge for at least an hour, or overnight. ( handy for those of you who work, do the prep the night before and the mix is ready to use when you come home)

Divide the mix into four equal portions, them roll six meatballs from each portion, so you have 24 meatballs. Put them on a plate, cover with cling film and put in fridge for 30 mins. ( this will prevent the meatballs breaking up when you cook them, so is worth doing ).

While they are resting make the gravy.

Slice the shallots and garlic, keeping the skins on and place them in a saucepan. Add Rosemary sprigs and pour on 250mls of the brown ale. Bring to the boil over a high heat then reduce to a simmer. Cook it down slowly to a glaze, so almost all of the ale is gone and the shallots are soft and brown.madd the chicken stock, turn the heat back up and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until reduced by a third.

Preheat your oven to 190C/Gas 5.

Warm a large frying pan over a medium heat add a little oil and. Gently fry the meatballs in batches, making sure they get a lovely brown colour all over. When browned remove them and put them into an oven proof dish.

Pass the gravy through a fine sieve over the top of the meatballs and bake them for a further 10-12 minutes until the gravy has thickened and the meatballs are cooked through.

To finish the meatballs pour in the rest of the Brown Ale and sage. Give it a good stir.

This was served with peas,mushrooms and onions, ( cooked in a stock,reduced then sprinkled with fresh mint,) and mashed potatoes and Yorkshire puddings. But you choose the accompaniments…vegetable rice or pasta would be just as nice.

A very enjoyable meal👍