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Curried beer meatballs

Curried beer meatballs from Stillroom Cookery by Grace Firth incorporates three traditional British elements, beer, the curry powder and white sauce. This is one of the easiest of all decent weekday dishes. Dinner for four.

  • Beer-poster001.png 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 cup beer ( see the Notes)
  • about 1½ cups breadcrumbs
  • 2 generous teaspoons curry powder
  • 2 beaten eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons flour (preferably Wondra)
  • heaped teaspoon minced garlic or ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • hot sauce if your curry powder is mild
  • 2 Tablespoons neutral oil
  • about ½ cup minced onion
  • about 1 teaspoon salt
  • neutral oil for frying
  • chopped cilantro
  • minced scallion greens


  1. Mix together the ingredients, form the mix into balls and fry them until brown and crusty.
  2. Remove and drain the meatballs, then simmer them in thin white sauce until done to your liking. Underdone beef is, of course, perfectly palatable.
  3. Serve the meatballs with a scatter of cilantro and scallion greens.



-“Excellent,” as Firth claims, “over broad egg noodles or rice.”

-You may select from any number of beer styles, but best to avoid anything ultrahoppy, Belgian or fruited. Chap lager is the default and a dark lager that is not too sweet works as well. A pale ale is better and porter is best.

Some of the recipes from Stillroom Cookery appear in conventional format. They list ingredients followed by instructions. Others appear in narrative form, and some combine elements of each format. The original Stillroom recipe is one of the hybrids.

-Firth includes a long and useful note to her recipe:

“When cooked in beer most meat dishes… all take on a piquant personality. Simmer a slice of ham in beer; pork chops, browned then cooked in beer and lastly smothered in sliced apples, steamed and seasoned with a bit of cinnamon; sausages or loin blossom with the beer treatment; and poultry, any style, captures a unique flavor when dressed with beer.”

-Recipes for white sauce appear elsewhere in the practical and in our archive.