Italian pork meatballs with creamy polenta

This week we are all about economy, keeping warm and ready for the cold spell, we don’t always think about pork mince but as regards economy it’s the best and  whatever flavours you fancy or range of dishes there’s something to suit most households. The meatballs are delicious and if you had extra mince, you could consider some pasta sauce, pork burgers, kofta and I especially like little meatballs cooked in vegetable or chicken stock with noodles, Chinese greens with lots of ginger, nothing better for the cold or a cold!

serves 4


450g pork mince

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 red onions, 1 finely chopped and 2 roughly chopped

2/3 cloves garlic, chopped

thumb size piece ginger, chopped

1 red chilli, chopped

handful basil, chopped

sea salt and black pepper

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar


250g polenta

1 litre approx. boiling stock or water

100g butter, diced

75g parmesan, grated

Start with the meatballs, place the mince in a large bowl, leave in the fridge until you are ready, meantime heat the olive oil in a frying pan, add the finely chopped onion and sauté for 2/3 minutes until golden brown, then stir in the garlic, ginger, chilli and basil,  cook for another minute, tip out of the pan and allow to go cold. When the onion mixture is cold, add to the minced pork, mix well and season. With wet hands make into small meatballs. Set the oven 180c gas 4.  Place the remaining 2 onions on a baking tin and drizzle with some extra oil and season, bake in the oven for 15 minutes, while the onions are cooking, fry the meatballs until nicely coloured, then transfer to the bed of onions, deglaze the pan with some water and the balsamic vinegar, stir well then pour the juices over the meatballs and continue cooking until  they are fully cooked 75c, keep warm.

To cook the polenta, whisk the polenta into the boiling stock or water, keep the heat low and continue whisking until the polenta thickens, the time will vary according to the polenta type. Add more liquid if necessary, when it’s a nice creamy consistency, ( it should also taste creamy) stir in the butter and parmesan, taste for seasoning. Serve with the meatballs, the pan juices some extra parmesan and chopped basil. any leftover polenta will set solid, can be cut into squares and fried till crispy for another meal, it also make very tasty chips!