This is the most wonderful, homely meal. Made with pork mince and simple spices, the frikkadels are amazingly tasty wrapped in soft cabbage in an apple sauce, just like Ouma made them.
Ouma’s cabbage frikkadels
- oil, to fry
- 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 1,5kg pork mince
- 2 slices white bread, soaked in
- 100ml milk
- 15ml (1 tbsp) garam masala
- 15ml (1 tbsp) dried herbs
- 15ml (1 tbsp) brown sugar
- 1 dried chilli, finely chopped
- 15ml (1 tbsp) balsamic vinegar
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 100g cake flour, seasoned
- 1 apple, skinned and diced
- ½ onion, peeled and finely diced
- butter/oil, to fry
- 250ml (1 cup) vegetable stock
- 250ml (1 cup) apple juice
- 330ml bottle dry cider
- 20 cabbage leaves (see ‘NOTES’)
- deep-fried sage leaves, to garnish (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180˚C. Heat a splash of oil in a pan over medium heat and fry the 1 chopped onion and the garlic until soft.
Mix together the pork mince, whitebread, fried onion and garlic, garam masala, herbs, sugar, chilli and vinegar and season the mixture to taste.
Heat a little oil in a deep pan over medium heat. Shape the mixture into balls about half the size of a tennis ball – don’t roll them too big or they will be difficult to wrap. Dust in the seasoned flour and fry in the pan until brown on all sides. Set aside to cool. Keep the pan to make the sauce.
Place the meatballs in an ovenproof dish and finish off in the oven, about 20 minutes. Removefrom oven, but leave the oven on.
In the same pan, make the sauce. Add the apple and ½ diced onion and saute in a little butter or oil until soft. Add the vegetable stock, apple juice and cider and reduce to about 375ml (1½ cups), about 30 minutes.
Blanch the cabbage leaves in boiling water, 15 seconds, thenrefresh in iced water and place on paper towel to cool and dry.
Wrap the cooked meatballs carefully in the cabbage leaves and place in an ovenproof dish. Pour over the apple-cider sauce and bake in the oven, about 30 minutes. Garnish with deep-fried sage leaves, if desired, to serve.
Smaller cabbages work better and are a more vibrant green once blanched. Look for cabbages with leaves a little bigger than you would like your meatballs to be.