Meat balls (frikkadelle) in tomato, wine, and onion sauce

Frikkadelle are South African meat balls. They can be as simple or grand as the occasion demands, and this recipe is definitely on the lavish side (but easy to make): the combination of perfectly flavoured frikadelle, served in a heart-warming tomato, onion and wine sauce, will tame the coldest and wettest of winter nights.

12 medium-sized meat balls.


Meat balls:

  • 500 gram minced meat
  • ½ large onion, grated
  • 3 tablespoons dry oats
  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) Worcester sauce
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) chutney
  • 1 egg
  • 1 clove of garlic (or more, according to taste)
  • Dash of ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
  • Dash of blackpepper
  • Fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 ml dried coriander or allspice


  • 1 tin (410 gram) of chopped tomatoes (or less if you prefer)
  • ½ large onion, chopped
  • ½ red capsicum (bell pepper), cut into strips
  • 50 ml red wine (optional)
  • 1 garlic clove (or more, according to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) sugar
  • If available, fresh herbs such oregano or marjoram, chopped


  1. Combine the ingredients for the meat balls and form into 12 balls. Be gentle and do not over-handle or squash the meat. Put to one side and start with the sauce:
  2. Fry chopped onion until it starts to become soft.
  3. Add capsicum strips.
  4. Ad a little oil and brown the meat balls on both sides.
  5. Turn down the heat slightly and add the rest of the sauce ingredients.
  6. Cover the saucepan and let it simmer gently for about 15 minutes, until cooked.
  7. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Serve warm as a main course, with rice or mash.