Boulets à la Liégeoise - a Classic Belgium Meatball Recipe (2024)

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Boulets à la Liégeoise are a traditional Belgium meatball recipe made with a mixture of pork and beef mince cooked in a delicious sauce.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Difficulty: Moderate

Table of Contents[Hide][Show]
  • A Belgian holiday
  • A trio of Belgian specialities
  • Recreating Belgian meatballs at home
  • Boulets à la Liégeoise – Belgium Meatballs
  • Other meatball recipes you might like

A Belgian holiday

It feels like an absolute age since I have cooked anything properly. It’s been nearly a month since I blogged a recipe, as I’ve been that busy travelling.

I had just returned from a two-week bike-packing trip through the highlands of Scotland (part one can be read here. Before I had finished unpacking from the bike-packing trip, my family and I were off on another holiday, this time to Brussels for a weekend’s Belgian Chocolate Experience courtesy of P&O Ferries.

A trio of Belgian specialities

The first evening, we had dinner at Chutney’s in the city centre. We chose this restaurant over the others because it had a handwritten sign outside boasting traditional Belgian cuisine.

I tried a trio of Belgian specialities. This included vol au vent, beef carbonade and the Liège meatball, aka Boulets à la Liégeoise. This was served with Belgian fries and a bottle of Le Fort craft ale to wash it down.

I’m not really a beer drinker, but this ale was really rather lovely, dark and rich with an excellent flavour.

Recreating Belgian meatballs at home

The whole meal tasted amazing, and I vowed when I returned home, I would look up the recipe for the meatballs. Also, the fries were the best fries I have ever eaten.

It turns out that Belgian frites are fried in beef dripping instead of the vegetable oil I have grown accustomed to in the UK. Genius! How can I ever go back to oven fries again?!

We arrived back from our weekend trip abroad yesterday, and so with Belgium fever still upon us, I picked up a few Belgian beers at the wine shop in Lerwick and set about recreating the classic meatball recipe I’d tried in Brussels.

Traditionally, these meatballs are baked in the oven, and the sauce is prepared separately.

I originally made this recipe for a multicooker brand I used to create sponsored content for. I’ve since updated the recipe.

It’s a really rather simple recipe. Blend the meatball ingredients, combining beef and pork mince, form into large meatballs and bake.

The gravy involves sauteeing some onions with fresh thyme. You then add a good quality beef stock and some Belgian brown beer.

The special ingredient is sirop de Liège, an apple-butter-like spread made with evaporated apple and pear concentrate. I couldn’t obtain this in Shetland, so I replaced it with pear and apple spread.

The gravy is thick and fruity, ideal for dipping fries into. Although this recipe is a classic Belgian dish, there are as many different ways to make it as there are families. Everyone has their own style. I adapted two recipes from here and here to prepare mine.

Recipe Difficulty Levels


Requires basic cooking skills and ingredients you most likely already have in your kitchen.


Requires more experience, preparation and/or cooking time. You may have to source special ingredients.


Recipes requiring more advanced skills and experience and maybe some special equipment.

Boulets à la Liégeoise - a Classic Belgium Meatball Recipe (10)

Boulets à la Liégeoise – Belgium Meatballs

Boulets à la Liégeoise are a traditional Belgium meatball recipe made with a mixture of pork and beef mince cooked in a delicious sauce.

4.19 from 16 votes

Print Rate

Prep Time: 15 minutes minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes minutes

Total Time: 1 hour hour

Servings: 6 people

Calories: 616kcal

Author: Elizabeth


for the meatballs

  • beef dripping
  • 300 grams lean beef mince
  • 700 grams pork mince
  • 4 thick slices of bread crusts removed, soaked in milk
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 large handful fresh parsley finely chopped
  • 2 free-range eggs
  • 35 grams dried bread crumbs
  • Shetland sea salt to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • freshly grated nutmeg to taste

for the sauce

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frying pan

roasting tray

mixing bowl

measuring jug


  • Preheat your oven to 200 C and lightly grease a roasting tray with beef dripping.

  • Put 300 grams lean beef mince, 700 grams pork mince, 4 thick slices of bread (soaked in milk), 1 onion, chopped, 1 large handful fresh parsley, chopped, 2 free-range eggs, 35 grams dried bread crumbs into a large bowl. Season well with Shetland sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and freshly grated nutmeg. Using your hands, combine well.

  • Measure out 10-12 meatballs weighing approximately 120 grams each and place into the roasting tray.

  • Bake for 35-40 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp Scottish rapeseed oil in your saute pan.

  • Cook 3 onions, chopped, with 4 fresh thyme sprigs for a few minutes until they begin to change colour. Add 3 tbsp dark muscovado sugar, stirring to caramelise the onions.

  • Deglaze the pan with 1 tsp red wine vinegar and then add 330 ml dark Belgium beer and 670 ml good quality beef stock.

  • Bring to the boil and add 2 tbsp Sirop de Liège, 4 whole cloves, 6 juniper berries and 2 bay leaves. Season with Shetland sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

  • Pop the lid on the frying pan and set the timer for 30 minutes.

  • During the final five minutes of cooking add 20 grams cornflour dissolved in some water to thicken the sauce.

  • Add the meatballs and serve with frites, salad and a good Belgium beer.


Calories: 616kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 38g | Fat: 34g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 170mg | Sodium: 488mg | Potassium: 910mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 167IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 101mg | Iron: 4mg

Other meatball recipes you might like

Grandma’s Sweet and Sour Meatballs Recipe

Italian-Style Meatballs in a Rich Tomato Sauce

Boulets à la Liégeoise - a Classic Belgium Meatball Recipe (2024)
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