Recipes that are delicious and that always work!

You know these recipes are delicious because if I didn't think that they were fabulous . . . I wouldn't be showing them to you. You can also be sure that these recipes work for the same reason! The rest is simply a matter of taste.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Meatballs Braised with Honey and Fennel

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One of the things I like most about being sent different things to try, is the challenge of creating new recipes in order to use them.  I was recently sent two new mustards from The English Provender Co. to try out.  We love mustard in this house, and I especially love grainy mustards. More about my recipe a bit later on, but first . . . let's talk mustard!

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This October, The English Provender Co., makers of naturally delicious chutneys, curds, condiments and salad dressings launched two brand new mustards that are sure to tantalise tastebuds all over the UK!  There is a rich and creamy Wholegrain Mustard with Fig & Honey and a hot and fiery Wholegrain Mustard with Horseradish.  Perfect for adding that final flourish to the dinner table, whatever flavour your family may prefer.

The Wholegrain Mustard with Fig & Honey is delicious stirred into creme fraiche for a creamy mustard sauce or savourd with sausages and roast chicken.  With just the riht amount of sweetness, the mustard can easily be mixed into your home cooking.   For those looking for a sizzling kick, the Wholegrain Mustard with Horseradish is perfect.  It's delicious stirred into buttery mash or smothered over tasty beef, be it a steak, a burger or a roast dinner, and it is fabulous in a roast beef or corned beef sandwich.  (With a bit of fresh rocket!  Yum!)

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I used the honey & fig mustard to make these deliciously moist pork meatballs.   I used several spices to flavour them . . . white pepper, mace, nutmeg, ginger and sage . . .  warm spices, and traditionally spices used to flavour pork sausage meat.

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I added  a heaped dessertspoon of the Honey & Fig Mustard, as well as a beaten egg and some soft bread crumbs to help bind them together. They were fried in a tiny bit of oil until golden brown and then braised in a mix of  sliced fennel, onion, stock and honey until they were meltingly tender . . .

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I do enjoy a tender meatball, don't you?   These were lovely with some of those braising juices spooned over top along with the braised vegetables.   A bit of mash and some peas . . .  and it was an economical meal fit for a king!  Very special indeed!  The mustard added just a touch of fruity piquancy that was quite nice.  If you can't get the mustard I used, just substute a regular Dijon grainy mustard and a touch of honey.

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*Meatballs Braised with Fennel and Honey*
Serves 4 

Tender meatballs made with lean ground pork, flavoured with a delicious combination of spices, honey fig grainy mustard, browned and then braised with honey, fennel and onion until meltingly tender. 

For the meatballs:
1 1/4 pounds lean ground pork
1 tsp ground white pepper
1/4 tsp mace
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground sage
1 large free range egg
2 slices of stale bread made into crumbs
1 large free range egg, beaten
1 heaped dessertspoon of grainy mustard
(I used the fig and honey by The English Provender Company)
(About 2 TBS)  

You will also need:
a bit of oil
a knob of butter
1 bulb of fennel, trimmed and sliced
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
120ml of chicken stock (1/2 cup)
1 TBS liquid honey
salt and pepper to taste    

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Gently mix together the ground pork, spices, egg, mustard and bread crumbs together for the meatballs.  Heat a little bit of oil in a skillet. (Only about a teaspoon)  Shape the meat mixture into twelve equally sized balls and brown them lightly in the hot oil, turning them frequently.  Remove them from the pan and keep them warm.  Add the fennel and onion to the skillet, along with a knob of butter.  Cook and stir to soften and then add the stock and honey.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Return the meatballs to the pan.  Cover with a lid and simmer over low heat for about 25 minutes.   Serve hot with some of the braised vegetables and some pan juices.   I like to have mashed potatoes and a green vegetable with this. 

These mouth-watering mustards are now available from Waitrose stores nationwide and prices at £1.49 each for 200g jar.

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