Chestnut and Pork Forcemeat Balls

This is a delicious way of serving an extra stuffing. Forcemeat balls can be prepared in advance, then finished off in the oven as the turkey roasts.


  • 40g butter
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 pack flat leaf parsley
  • 6 slices smoked back bacon, roughly diced
  • 500g pack minced pork
  • 1 large egg
  • Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
  • The leaves from 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 40g shelled pistachio nuts, roughly chopped
  • 200g pack Merchant Gourmet Cooked and Peeled Whole Chestnuts or 200g boiled fresh chestnuts, peeled weight, roughly chopped
  • 4tbsp sunflower oil


  1. Melt the butter in a small pan, add the onion and garlic and fry for about 4-5 minutes until soft.
  2. Finely chop the parsley in the food processor. Add the bacon and chop it with a few short bursts. Add the pork, egg, lemon zest, thyme, the buttery onions and seasoning. Briefly process so that the mixture is well mixed. Turn into a bowl and stir in the pistachio nuts and chestnuts.
  3. Check the seasoning by frying off a small patty of the stuffing until browned. Taste and adjust if necessary. Then neatly roll out 40 walnut-sized balls. Frequently rinse your hands in cold water to stop the mixture sticking to them.
  4. Pour the oil into a large frying pan and set over a medium heat. Gently fry the balls in batches until they are lightly coloured. Arrange them in a single layer on a small non-stick baking tray.
  5. Once cool, cover the tray and, if preparing the stuffing in advance, freeze until needed. Defrost fully before cooking.
  6. Preheat the oven to 200°C, gas mark 6. Roast for 10 minutes or until thoroughly cooked and the juices run clear.
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 15 minutes
  • Total time: 30 minutes 30 minutes

Makes: 40 small balls Serves: Serves 8 as an accompanying stuffing

3 stars

Average user rating Based on 6 ratings

This recipe was first published in Wed Dec 01 00:00:00 GMT 1999.