Sausage Balls, mustard and cream sauce (Nigel Slater)

sausages, beef stock, double cream, Dijon mustard, chives

Remove the skins from 450g really good-quality butcher’s sausages.

Roll the sausage meat into about 24 balls, slightly smaller than a golf ball. Warm a little oil in a non-stick frying pan over a moderate heat and cook the balls till they colour, turn them over and continue cooking till they are evenly browned. Tip away any excess fat and pour in 500ml beef stock.

Bring to the boil, allow to reduce a little then pour in 250ml double cream and stir in a tablespoon of Dijon mustard. Season with salt and pepper and continue cooking for 15–20 minutes.

Remove the balls to warm dishes, turn the heat up under the sauce, there will be lots of it, and let it reduce a little. It will not thicken. Pour the sauce over the meatballs and serve with a fork and a spoon for the sauce. A few snipped chives can be added if you wish.

For 2–3. My favourite meatballs, ever.

A few thoughts
Get a good sausage Perhaps something with plenty of parsley and pepper in it. To peel them, slit the skin from one end to the other with a knife, pull the skin apart and squeeze the filling out into a bowl.
Beef up the seasoning a bit if you like, with some chopped thyme, crushed garlic, black pepper or grated Parmesan.
Use a good-quality ready-made stock Supermarkets and some butchers have it in sachets or tubs.
Add chopped dill to the meatballs and the sauce.
Use crème fraîche instead of cream Or, for a less rich dish, use just stock and forget the cream.
For a milder version use chicken stock instead of beef.
Serve with wide ribbon noodles such as pappardelle.
Instead of using shop-bought sausages, season plain sausage meat as you wish. Try juniper, thyme, garlic, cumin or ground cardamom.
Freshness of lemon, warmth of rosemary Season the mixture above with very finely chopped rosemary, crushed garlic and a little grated lemon. Shape into balls, fry in olive oil, adding a little butter and lemon juice to the pan juices at the end.

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