Ham Balls

These tasty meat balls are economical when made from a cheap cut of ham, such as slipper, and served with side dishes of leek vinaigrette and Carottes Vichy.

4-6 SERVINGS

1 oz. fresh breadcrumbs soaked in

2 tablespoons milk

12 oz. lean pork, minced

10 oz. uncooked ham, minced

2 hard-boiled eggs, finely chopped

12 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon dry mustard mixed with

2 teaspoons milk

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 egg, lightly beaten

3 tablespoons flour

1 oz. butter

1 tablespoons vegetable oil

4 fl. oz. red wine

4 fl. oz. chicken stock

1 tablespoon beurre manie

In a medium-sized bowl, combine the soaked breadcrumbs, pork, ham, hard-boiled eggs, parsley, mustard mixture, salt, pepper and cinnamon. Add the egg and beat the mixture well until it comes away from the sides of the bowl.

Place the flour on a plate. Using damp hands, roll the meat mixture into large walnut-sized balls and then coat them with the flour.

Preheat the oven to moderate 350°F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C).

In a large frying-pan, melt the butter with the oil over moderate heat. When the foam subsides, add the meat balls, a few at a time, and cook them for 8 minutes, shaking the pan frequently, or until they are brown on all sides. With a slotted spoon, remove the balls from the pan and drain them on kitchen paper towels. Keep them warm while the remaining balls are cooked in the same way.

In a small saucepan, bring the wine and stock to the boil over moderate heat. Remove the pan from the heat. With your fingertips, form the beurre manie into small balls and., one by one, whisk them into the wine mixture with a wire whisk.

Return the pan to the heat and bring the liquid to simmering point, still stirring, and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes to completely absorb the butter.

Place the meat balls in a large shallow ovenproof dish and pour the wine mixture over them. Place the dish in the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the balls are thoroughly cooked. Remove one meat ball and break it to check that the pork is completely cooked.

Remove the dish from the oven and serve immediately.

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