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Fennel Pork and Veal Meatballs

Fennel Pork and Veal Meatballs

Fennel and apple are a winning combo in this hearty dinner.

Fennel Pork and Veal Meatballs

Serves 4

Fried sage leaves, to garnish

Mashed potato, to serve

Meatballs

2 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 tbsp finely chopped sage leaves

750g pork and veal mince

1 cup fresh breadcrumbs

1 egg, lightly beaten

½ cup grated parmesan cheese

1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg

Roasted Apple Cider Sauce

1 red onion, cut into thick wedges

2 small bulbs fennel, trimmed and cut crossways into 2cm slices

1 tbsp finely chopped sage leaves

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp plain flour

¾ cup sparkling alcoholic apple cider

1 red apple, cored and cut into 8 wedges

1 cup chicken stock

To make meatballs, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, fennel seeds and sage. Cook, stirring, for 3 to 5 minutes or until tender. Remove to a large bowl. Cool. Add mince, breadcrumbs, egg, parmesan and nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper. Roll 2 tablespoons of mixture into balls. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 180˚C. Heat remaining oil in a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Cook meatballs in 2 batches for 5 minutes, turning regularly or until golden. Set aside.

To make roasted apple cider sauce, place onion, fennel and sage in a deep ovenproof frying pan. Spoon over oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, covered in preheated oven for 45 minutes. Stir in flour. Add sparkling cider, apple and stock. Return to oven, uncovered. Cook for 30 minutes. Add meatballs. Spoon over fennel and apple sauce. Cook for a further 25 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through.

Scatter baked meatballs with fried sage leaves and serve with mashed potato.

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