Serve these Hungarian-style meatballs with buttered egg noodles
or even spätzle. The crisp onion on top is optional, but highly
20 gmbutter, diced3 tbspolive oil1onion, finely chopped1garlic clove, finely chopped1red banana chilli, finely chopped150 gmSwiss brown mushrooms, quartered1 heaped tbspHungarian-style sweet paprika1 tsp eachhot paprika and smoked paprika150 mldry white wine400 mlbeef stock or chicken stock400 gmcanned chopped tomatoes5 gmdried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 60ml warm water for 20 minutes¼ cupcoarsely copped flat-leaf parsley, plus extra to serve2 tsp eachfinely chopped thyme and rosemary, plus extra leaves to serve200 gmsour cream, plus extra to servePaprika meatballs400 gmminced beef50 gmspeck, diced35 gm(½ cup) fine fresh rye breadcrumbs90 mlmilk1egg1garlic clove, finely chopped1 tspHungarian-style sweet paprika½ tsp eachdried chilli flakes and caraway seeds½ cupfinely chopped flat-leaf parsley¼ tspsmoked paprikaCrisp onion1small onion, thinly sliced into ringsFor dusting:plain flour70 mlolive oil20 gmbutter, coarsely chopped
For paprika meatballs, combine ingredients in a bowl, mixing lightly with your hands, and season to taste (don’t overwork the mixture). Roll into walnut-sized balls, place on a tray, cover and refrigerate to rest (30 minutes).
Meanwhile, preheat oven to 160C. Heat butter and half the oil in an ovenproof casserole, add onion, garlic and chilli, and sauté until tender (5-6 minutes), then add Swiss brown mushrooms and sauté until just tender (1-2 minutes). Add spices, sauté until fragrant, then deglaze pan with wine and simmer until almost evaporated (1-2 minutes). Add stock, tomatoes, porcini and soaking liquid, and herbs. Season to taste.
Heat remaining oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add meatballs and brown all over (3-4 minutes). Add meatballs to sauce, bring to the boil, then transfer to oven and bake, stirring occasionally, until very tender and flavoursome (1-1¼ hours).
Meanwhile, for crisp onion, separate onion into rings and dust lightly in flour. Heat oil and butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion and fry until crisp (3-4 minutes). Drain on paper towels and set aside.
Remove meatballs from oven and transfer 250ml sauce to a bowl. Add sour cream, whisk to combine, then return to meatballs and mix well. Serve meatballs and sauce hot topped with extra sour cream, crisp onion and herbs.