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Mark Hix recipe: Turkey meatballs in sweet and sour sauce


You’ll likely have turkey remaining after Christmas Day and this is a good variation for the leftovers, with cranberries helping to make a nice sauce.

Serves 4-6

For the meatballs

  • 800g minced turkey
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2tsp thyme leaves, chopped
  • 100g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce

  • 1 medium onion, peeled, halved and finely chopped
  • ½tbsp vegetable or corn oil
  • 2tsp plain flour
  • 150ml orange juice
  • 60g cranberries
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • 1-2tsp cornflour
  • 30g root ginger, scraped and finely shredded
  • 1 small carrot, peeled, cut into 6cm lengths and shredded into matchstick-like pieces
  • 1 green or red chilli, sliced
  • A few sprigs of coriander to garnish

First make the sauce: in a large saucepan, gently cook the onion for 2-3 minutes on a low heat until soft, stir in the flour then gradually add the orange juice and cranberries – simmer for 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock, season and continue simmering for another 10 minutes. Dilute the cornflour in a little water and stir enough into the sauce to lightly thicken, then put to one side and cover.

Meanwhile, mix all of the ingredients together for the meatballs, except the oil, and season to taste. Mould into bite-sized balls and put them in the fridge to set.

Heat some vegetable oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan until almost smoking and fry the meatballs a few at a time until nicely coloured, then drain in a colander or on some  kitchen paper.

Add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer for 8-10 minutes, then add the ginger, chilli and carrots and simmer for a couple more minutes. Transfer to a warmed serving dish and scatter on the coriander