How to make pork and apple meatballs

Video guide to making pork, apple and mint meatballs

Hi, I'm Martin Blunos and in support of Climate Week, I'm going to show you a recipe that's easy to make and lo carbon too, my pork, apple and mint meatballs. Great for all the family, delicious eaten hot or cold.

Ingredients for pork, apple and mint meatballs

Now what you need for the recipe is 450g of lean pork, British apples, about 150g worth, some lovely fresh mint, fresh parsley, lemon juice, a small white onion and about 50g of fresh breadcrumbs. Then, obviously, a little bit of seasoning.

First thing I need to do is chop the onion. Cut them small because they'll spend less time in the processor. When you get to that stalky bit, reserve that, that can go in the stock pot, so there's no waste. Good bit of housekeeping there.

Once you've chopped it to that stage, just run the knife through again ad that just make it nice and even.

Chop the herbs

Now you're going to chop the herbs. I'm going to use about a dessertspoon of each fresh herb here. Again, it's very personal. If you want it a little bit more minty, then put a little bit more in there. That'll do for that and the parsley as well. Again, run the knife through, the smaller it is, the less time it needs to blend in your processor. So there's our herbs.

Grate the apple

Now, with the apple, you're just going to grate this. It's been peeled, obviously, but using a grater; now you can use a fine one or a coarser one, it doesn't really matter, because it's to add that moisture to the meatballs. I'm going to grate this down to the core. Lovely apple flesh into the mixture.

So the onions, the herbs and the apples now go into the processor. Now we need to process this to make it into a paste.

Add the pork and breadcrumbs

And now what we do is we're going to add the pork and the breadcrumbs and that little bit of lemon juice. Catch the seeds in your hands, you don't want to process those in there, because they're a little bit hard and crunchy. Lemon juice goes in. Then the final little flourish there, little bit of salt and pepper. Good pinch of pepper and a nice pinch of salt, bearing in mind that it'll take quite a little bit of seasoning because there's a lot of ingredients there. Now we're going to process it to bring the mixture together.

Scrape the bowl down, just to make sure that you combine all the ingredients together.

And there we've got our lovely meatball mixture. So remove the blade and now get the mixture back out, into a bowl and that's it, now we're ready to form the meatballs. What you need to do with that is a little bit of cold water on your palms, so that the mixture doesn't stick to you.

Roll the meatball mixture

Here's a little tip to keep them all the same size, use a spoon. Doesn't matter what size spoon, as long as it's all pretty much the same. Get a little bit of the mixture, you've got your wet hands, and then just roll them like that. This is great to get the kids involved. If you've got two or three or little ones getting a bit bored, give them meatballs to make. There you go. What we're going to do is just gather them up until we've got them all done. Little roll, as you can see, by using the teaspoon, we're keeping a nice even size. If you wanted to, you could use a dessertspoon, make them slightly bigger. Again, make them bigger and flatten them, you create burgers. Put them onto a bamboo skewer, you've got kebabs.

Make pigs in blankets

And another thing you can is make your own pigs in blankets. Basically, pigs in blankets is sausages wrapped in bacon and this is, in effect, is sausage meat. You've made your own sausage meat, you know exactly what's in it, and again, get the kids involved. Roll your little sausage shape, wrap it in a bit of streaky bacon, put it on a roasting tray, pop it in the oven, 180 degrees for about 12 to 15 minutes. The best way to know if it's cooked is just to cut it in half.

And this is the final meatball, look at that, over 30 meatballs, plenty to go around. Now I'm going to get the pan on. Let me tell you why this is better for the environment; the reason is I'm using British apples. They're locally sourced, they're in season. The variety I'm using here are Cox's but you can use anything, Bramleys are really really nice as well. If you've got that little rogue one in the bottom of your fruit basket that's bruised, little bit tatty, little bit leathery on the skin, don't throw it away. Just peel it, grate it, put it into the mixture and you'll find it'll still do the job, it's all about the flavour and the moisture it will give, not the looks.

Fry the meatballs

OK, our pan's nice and hot, now we're going to put in a little bit of vegetable oil. Not too much because our moisture's going to come from our apples in the mixture. We're going to add our meatballs, add them in.

What you need to do is just let them sit there for a minute or two and then give them the occasional turn. This sized meatball is going to take about eight minutes to cook. If they're bigger, obviously give them a bit longer and if they're smaller, obviously less time. And now, because I've been handling raw meat, it's time to wash my hands.

So these are looking pretty much done. They've had their eight minutes, I've been turning, and as you can see, they're nice and golden and nice and evenly coloured. What I'm going to do, just turn those off and they're going to sit in the pan there while I do the little bit of garnish.

I'm going to garnish with some fresh apple. We've got our cooked apples in the mixture and here I'm going to use the fresh apple, nice and crisp, to garnish it. There we are, we've got those little wedges we're going to put around. And one little tip here, if you want to, you can add a tin of chopped tomatoes to the pan, once the meatballs are cooked, and cook that out for about another 10 minutes on a low heat, so it just simmers. It goes great with pasta.

Delicious hot or cold

Just going to pop these little wedges in and you can eat them like this, hot or they're delicious cold.

And there you have it, my low carbon pork, apple and mint meatballs and they go perfectly with my pea and mint dip.

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