Pork & Fennel Meatballs, a good match with Spier’s new Seaward Shiraz 2017…

Spier Seaward Shiraz 2017

Fun to receive a new release from Spier, a Shiraz and a Chardonnay called Seaward, wine affected by a maritime climate. Cool breezes blowing of the chilly Benguela Current ameliorating the summer heat in Durbanville and Darling. Breezes off False Bay doing the same in the South of the Stellenbosch Wine Appellation.

Spier Cellarmaster Frans Smit

Pour
From a Burgundy shaped bottle, closed with natural cork. The label is simple and elegant. In the glass, the wine is a deep bloodplum which pales out to ruby garnet at the edges. The aromas meld with the palate flavours, generous fruit, sappy ripe plums and roadside brambles. The oak is in supportive undertow – 14 months spent in a combination of new, second and third fill barrels, its presence made by vanilla and oak spice. The fruit acidity and cashmere clad tannins fill the mid palate and the aftertaste wanes gently.

This recipe is a welcome update on your regular beef meatball recipe. Serve these hearty nuggets with pasta, mashed potato or crusty bread.

They pair wonderfully with Spier’s new Seaward Shiraz.

Recipe serves 6.

Italian Pork & Fennel Meatballs

Pork & Fennel Meatballs with Tomato Sauce

For the sauce
45 ml olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed/grated
2 cans (800 g) whole Italian tomatoes, blitzed to a smooth pulp
10 ml (2 teaspoons) sugar
Salt and pepper to taste

For the meatballs
30 ml olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 fennel bulb, finely chopped (save some of the fronds for serving)
Rind of a small lemon, finely grated
10 ml smoked paprika
1 kg pork mince
Salt and pepper to taste

Method
Prepare the sauce
Heat the oil in a medium-sized pot and fry the garlic over medium heat until golden. Add the smooth tomatoes, sugar, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered for about 15 minutes or until reduced by a third. Set aside.

Prepare the meatballs
In a wide pan, heat the oil and fry the onions, fennel and lemon rind until they are soft and fragrant. Remove from the heat and transfer to a mixing bowl, adding the smoked paprika, mince, salt and pepper. Mix well. Shape into balls (about 4-5cm in diameter). Using the same pan as before, add more olive oil and fry the meatballs on all sides over medium heat until just cooked. Serve with the warm tomato sauce, scattered with fennel fronds.
Serve with pasta or steamed rice

Spier Seaward Chardonnay 2018

The Spier Seaward Chardonnay 2018 is made from grapes from the Tygerberg Hills in the Durbanville Wine Appellation. As expected, the wine is delicately oaked. Wonderful whiffs of pink grapefruit skin oil, tropical fruits and marzipan. From entry the palate is full and generous. A thread of acidity and supportive oak runs through the creamy citrus and stone fruit mid-palate into the long aftertaste.

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