Grande Angus meatballs with smokey tomato sauce



Cooked in a large cast-iron pan or any sort of oven-proof dish, this makes a spectacular warming dish on a cold night or simply a delicious dinner to serve the family. Filled with grande beef and pork meatballs, this dish is made with smokey paprika, plenty of fresh herbs and bubbling tomato sauce. Serve with grilled smoked cheese over the top and a side of pasta. All the flavours in the dish work well with the robust, concentrated profiles of our lovely Matawhero Merlot.

Course Main Course
Servings 6


  • 800 g Angus beef mince
  • 400 g free-range pork mince
  • 1 large onion peeled, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed
  • 2 cups soft bread-crumbs
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs, parsley, thyme, oregano
  • 1 tsp each of salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp mustard powder
  • 1 tsp smoked sweet paprika
  • 1 cup plain flour for dusting
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Smoked tomato sauce

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion peeled, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic crushed
  • 400 g can chopped tomatoes in puree
  • 400 g condensed tomato soup
  • 1/2 cup Matawhero Merlot
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp smoked sweet paprika
  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped oregano and thyme leaves
  • 150 g vintage smoked cheddar or parmesan grated
  • thyme leaves
  • 400 g dried spaghetti


  1. Mix together the beef and pork mince with the onion, garlic, breadcrumbs, herbs. Add the worcestershire sauce, mustard, sweet paprika and season to taste. Mix in well, using hands if necessary to combine all ingredients evenly.

  2. Take spoon lots of the mix and mold into golf-ball sized balls. Roll the balls in the flour, coating the whole surface. There should be about 26-28 meatballs.

  3. Heat a large cast-iron, or oven-proof frying pan with olive oil, on a medium-hot heat. Cook half of the meatballs in the frying pan, browning on all sides. Remove to a dish, and repeat with the second half of the meatballs.

  4. Once all the meatballs have been cooked, cover and set aside. Preheat oven to 200°C. Wipe out the large frying pan, removing any burnt flour.

  5. To make the smokey tomato sauce, place the frying pan back on a medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, with onion and garlic. Saute until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato soup, red wine and 1 cup water. Add the brown sugar, smoked paprika, fresh herbs and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  6. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer. Allow to cook down for 10-15 minutes to thicken.

  7. Place the meatballs back into the frying pan, arranging close together, to fit them all in. Sprinkle the grated smoked cheese over the top and place the whole pan into the oven. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes, until cheese is bubbling and golden. Serve hot with fresh cooked spaghetti or fettucine pasta.