Beef Meatballs in a Creamy Red Wine Sauce

Beef Meatballs in a Creamy Red Wine Sauce

One, two, three, four, …, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen! Antony Worrall Thompson has got to be kidding! Nineteen ingredients to make a straightforward meatballs and sauce dish. It is recipe number 37 in
Antony Worrall Thompson’s Top 100 Beef Recipes. Is it his short stature he’s trying to make up for? What about the step where you have to roll the meat into 1cm (½ inch) diameter balls?

Antony has got to get in touch with his audience. At the end of a busy working day people don’t want to buy ad infinitum ingredients for a fundamentally basic dish, nor do they want to spend an hour rolling tiny meatballs. Okay, there are some people out there who are willing to do it but they are definitely in the minority, right?!? Don’t get me wrong, I actually like the guy. His recipe idea is brilliant but is just too elaborate. Here is my simplified yet mouth-watering version of his dish.

P.S. This dish joins Presto Pasta Nights.

Beef Meatballs in a Creamy Red Wine Sauce
Serves 4
Preparation: 10 mins – Cooking: 30-40 mins
Suitable for freezing

Beef Meatballs in a Creamy Red Wine Sauce

  • 450g (1 lb) minced (ground) beef
  • 2.5ml (½ tsp) salt
  • pinch ground cloves
  • pinch white pepper
  • 25g (1 oz) butter
  • 200ml (7 fl oz) beef stock
  • 200ml (7 fl oz) red wine
  • 200ml (7 fl oz) double (heavy) cream
  • 5ml (1 tsp) corn flour (optional)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • chives, to garnish
  1. In a bowl, mix the beef with the salt, cloves and white pepper.
  2. With wet hands, form the mixture into balls, about 2.5cm (1 inch) in diameter.
  3. Heat the butter in a large non-stick frying pan and fry the meatballs until cooked and they have developed a dark golden colour on all sides. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and keep warm.
  4. For the red wine sauce, add the wine and stock to the fat in the meatball frying pan and simmer slowly for about 10 minutes until it has reduced about a third.
  5. Add the cream and boil the sauce for about a minute, stirring constantly, then turn the heat down. Optional: If you would like your sauce to be of a thicker consistency, add about 15ml (1 tbsp) of water to a cup and stir in the corn flour until it is smooth.
  6. Add the mixture slowly to the sauce, while stirring. After a short while it will thicken.
  7. Add the meatballs to the sauce, heat through and serve immediately.
Serving Suggestion
  • Serve over buttered noodles or pasta.
  • Feel free to add herbs and/or spices you fancy to your meatball mixture in the first step.
  • If you would like less sauce, just decrease the quantity of stock, wine and cream. It will be fine as long as you keep the ratio 1:1:1.

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  1. says

    Wow! This looks delicious and I loved that you simplified it. You’re right…There’s no way I’d go the distance to make the original recipe after coming home from work. I’m definitely going to give your recipe a shot!

  2. Amy says

    Always good to add a bit of (finely)grated onion, fresh garlic/cheese or parmesan and a bit of parsley and basil. If you like a little kick then bit of chilli powder or cayenne pepper.

    Thanks for the recipe smells fab, tastes even better!!! And very easy to prepare too.

    Happy 2008 all :)

  3. says

    Amy: Thanks for the positive feedback. I made the meatballs really simple so that if you have a preference for herbs you can season it the way you fancy. 😉

  4. Amy says

    Why not???? Just be aware burgers like Birds eye can contain quite a lot of fat which may affect your sauce but average fresh packed (e.g tescos) should be ok…. Give it a whirl I say and let us know how it turns out….

  5. says

    Lisa, Amy is right. You can take the beef burgers and roll them into meatballs. It’s just beef mince in another form, isn’t it? Thanks, Amy.

  6. Kevin says

    Hi, I’m new to your website but I already love it! I googled a meatballs & cream sauce and this beautiful recipe came up. Got a question: what kind of red wine do you recommend? Thanks

  7. says

    Thanks, Kevin! Since I’m not a big drinker, my wine knowledge is very limited. For cooking purposes I use any cheap, boxed wine. Leave the expensive stuff to savour sip by sip!

  8. Lisa Tinn says

    Hi again, i tried to chop up the 100% beefburgers in a blender prior to rolling them into balls – UGGH just made a soggy mess and changed colour. This will be because they were frozen burgers from the supermarket, possibly made of all of the cow!!

  9. amy says

    If you try frozen burgers again, I would recommend not to blend, just do by hand and make sure you defrost thorougly first as the water content won’t help. If still a little soggy you could always add a bit of egg and some fine breadcrumbs… Just experiment with small quantities and different ingredients such as parmesan or different cheeses. I like to put tomato puree in mine and garlic powder!! Always recommend fresh mincemeat though. Also once rolled put in the fridge to set a little before cooking, I find this can help…

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