Pork & cranberry meatballs with tarragon sauce

Pork & cranberry meatballs with tarragon sauce

There’s a pleasing tussle here between the gentle comfort of soft, pork meatballs in their creamy, tarragon-rich sauce, and the sharp pop of cranberries. It makes for a cracking winter dish, reminiscent of Swedish meatballs and lingonberries.

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  • Serves4
  • CourseMain meal
  • Prepare20 mins
  • Cook25 mins
  • Total time45 mins
  • Pluschilling

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  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 echalion shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 clove/s garlic, crushed
  • 75ml dry vermouth or white wine
  • 250ml chicken or vegetable stock
  • 300g full fat crème fraîche
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped tarragon leaves
  • 90g fresh cranberries
  • ½ tsp sea salt flakes
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black peppercorns


  • 50g soft white breadcrumbs
  • 60ml whole milk
  • 60g fresh cranberries
  • 500g pork mince
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped tarragon leaves
  • ½ tsp sea salt flakes


  1. First, make the meatballs. Put the breadcrumbs in a mixing bowl and add the milk. Stir and leave to soak for a few minutes. Briefly pulse the 60g cranberries in a small food processor (or roughly chop by hand), then add to the soggy breadcrumbs along with the pork, egg, spices, herbs and salt. Use your hands to thoroughly mix, then shape into spheres slightly larger than a golf ball (around 45g each). Arrange the rolled meatballs on a baking sheet, then chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

  2. Find a saucepan or sauté pan large enough to hold the meatballs in one layer and set over a medium heat. Heat the oil and fry the meatballs for around 7-8 minutes, turning halfway through, so they colour a little and firm up (they don’t need to be fully cooked at this point). Use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a plate and set aside.

  3. Return the pan to the heat and add the shallot to the rendered fat with a pinch of salt. Soften for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, before adding the garlic and cooking for 1 minute more. Increase the heat. Add the vermouth or wine and let it bubble and reduce for 20 seconds before pouring in the stock. Stir in the crème fraîche, reduce to a gentle simmer, then add the tarragon, cranberries and the part-cooked meatballs. Add the salt and pepper and gently simmer for 8-10 minutes more, until the meatballs are piping hot and cooked through with no pink meat remaining. Serve with mashed potatoes and peas, if liked.

And to drink...

Elephant in the Room Jumbo Chardonnay, Australia

This fresh Chardonnay with its ripe stone fruit flavours and lasting finish cuts through the creamy meatballs.


Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


2,615kJ/ 630kcals



Saturated Fat












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