Parma ham and cranberry stuffing meatballs

Alastair Hendy's deliciously flavourful cranberry stuffing balls makes a great side-dish for either Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner
By Alastair Hendy
Parma ham and cranberry stuffing meatballs
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 8
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes plus overnight chilling
  • Effort: easy



  • 340 g fresh cranberries
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 200 ml water
  • 30 g butter, lard or dripping or 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 6 shallots, finely chopped
  • 4 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 small bunch of sage, finely chopped
  • 6 sprigs of thyme, leaves picked
  • salt, and freshly ground black pepper
  • 500 g quality pork sausage meat
  • 400 g rashers of streaky bacon, pulsed to a mince in a processor or finely chopped
  • 200 g fresh white breadcrumbs, (made from crustless white bread whizzed in a processor)
  • 4 tbsp walnuts, lightly crushed
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemons
  • 16 large slices prosciutto, or Parma ham
  • vegetable oil, for dabbing


1. Put the cranberries and the sugar in a small saucepan. Add in the water and stir, then heat until bubbling gently and stir again until the sugar has dissolved.

2. Turn off the heat and leave to go cold. The berries should have softened and deflated slightly.

3. Heat the butter in a frying pan. Add in shallots and garlic and fry gently until the shallots have softened but not coloured. Remove from heat.

4. Mix in the sage and thyme then season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

5. Mix in the sausage meat, minced bacon, breadcrumbs, walnuts and lemon zest. Use your fingers and make sure everything is well mixed together.

6. Drain away the syrup from the cranberries, then stir the berries into the stuffing mix.

7. Shape the stuffing into 8 balls, each the size of a large golf ball.

8. Wrap each one in two slices of prosciutto. Cover with cling film and put in the fridge to firm up, ideally overnight.

9. Once the turkey has finished roasting, preheat the oven to 200°C/gas 6. Remove the cling film from the stuffing balls and place them across a shallow roasting tin, leaving lots of space between them.

10. Dab them all over with a little oil and roast for 30 minutes or so until crisped and cooked through.

Rate This Recipe