Showing Belgian food culture

Recipe: Taste of Belgian home – “Ballekes” Meatballs with Lambic Beer Sauce


Courtesy of the Embassy of Belgium in Japan


Ballekes au lambic/Ballekes met lambic (Meatballs with Lambic Beer Sauce)

Ingredients for 4 people:

  • 350 g minced veal (or minced beef if veal unavailable)
  • 100 g minced chicken
  • 250 g minced pork
  • 2 slices of white bread
  • 25 cl lambic beer
  • 20 cl olive oil
  • 50 g butter
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • salt, pepper, nutmeg
  • 2 spoons of chopped parsley
  • 1 shallot, 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 20 g all-purpose flour
  • juice of half a lemon



  1. Cut the bread (using the inside of the loaf, without the crust) in small pieces and brown it with 4 spoons of beer. After a little while squeeze it to extract the remaining liquid.
  2. At the same time heat 2 spoons of olive oil in a non-stick wok, add 20gr butter and brown the finely chopped clove of garlic and the shallot until it becomes transparent.
  3. Bring 1 and 2 in a large bowl together with the three kinds of minced meat, the slightly beaten egg, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Mix well.
  4. Dip fingers in flour and shape 8 meatballs without compressing too much.
  5. Heat some olive oil and one spoon of butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. Place the meatballs, add the remainder of the beer, the 1/2 lemon juice and one pinch of caster sugar. Cover and simmer over low heat for about 30 min.
  6. Remove the meatballs with a slotted spoon, and keep warm under aluminum foil.
  7. Reduce the cooking juices by half over high heat. Transfer the remaining liquid in another bowl through a sieve. Off the heat, whisk the butter in and stir well to obtain a creamy sauce.
  8. Serve with roasted potatoes and a lettuce heart with a touch of vinegar.


Edited by: Rika Sakai & Robert Sakai-Irvine