Meatballs with Apricot and Walnuts (6)

A Greek recipe from Diana Henry. You can use dried prunes as an alternative to apricots.

Meatballs with Apricot and Walnuts (6)
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Meatballs with Apricot and Walnuts (6)
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  1. Put all the ingredients for the meatballs – except the oil – into a large bowl and mix with your hands to fully distribute the ingredients. Season well with salt and pepper.
  2. Using wet hands form the mixture into balls, just a little smaller than a ping-pong ball. As you form them, put them on a tray that will fit in your fridge. Cover with cling film and chill for at least 30 minutes (this helps them to firm up).
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large shallow casserole or sauté pan and fry the meatballs in batches to get a good colour all over them. You’re not trying to cook them through, just brown them. Transfer them to a dish once they’re browned. Pour off all the fat in the pan – this is really important – then put 1 tbsp of it back in.
  4. Heat the oil, add the onion for the sauce to the pan and sauté over a medium heat until pale gold and soft. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes, then add the stock, wine, vinegar, honey, apricots and bay leaves.
  5. Put the meatballs back in the pan. Bring to just under the boil then turn the heat down low, season, cover the pan and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and cook for another 10 minutes, then add the walnuts – they will thicken the cooking juices – and cook for another 10 minutes again. You should end up with meatballs surrounded by sauce but it shouldn’t be ‘soupy’.
  6. Taste for seasoning and add a squeeze of lemon if you need to then sprinkle with the chopped herbs. Serve with rice, bulgur wheat or orzo.
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