RATIO RECIPE: Meatballs or meatloaf mixture


An easy formula to help you to get the proportions right when you make meatballs or meatloaf.

Meatballs/Meat loaf Ratio

For every 450g of minced meat that you use, add 1 teaspoon of salt and a 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper. Add 40g of fresh breadcrumbs (about a slice of white bread with crusts removed) and 1 egg. You can also add dried or fresh, finely chopped herbs.

Ratio of beef to pork in a meat loaf or meatballs

You can decide the ratio of beef to pork or use all beef: we use a ratio of between 60-80% beef mince and 20-40% pork mince depending on our recipe. For meatballs with pasta for example, we use 70% beef to 30% pork. First we soak the breadcrumbs in milk, and add them along with finely chopped sage and rosemary and a small handful of toasted pine nuts to the mixture. For meat loaf, we mostly use 100% beef because we want it to hold its shape and when we wrap it in bacon, that adds a pork flavour.

– Use clean hands to mix and mould the mixture into balls or use an ice cream scoop to shape even-sized meatballs.

– Bake the meatballs at 200C/400F/Gas 6 for 15-20 minutes depending on their size and add them to the cooked tomato sauce if you are making meatballs in tomato sauce –  continue cooking the meatballs in the sauce for 20 minutes. Make a cut in the middle of one meatball to check that they are cooked through.


Line an oblong tin with strips of streaky bacon and fill with the meat loaf mixture. Press down gently and fold the rest of the streaky bacon over the meat loaf.

– Bake the meat loaf at 200C/400F/Gas 6 for 35-45 minutes. Make a cut in the middle of a meat loaf to check it is cooked through – the juices should run clear.


CURATED RECIPE Felicity Cloake perfected a recipe for meatballs in The Guardian after trying Angela Hartnett’s recipe for meatballs among others.