Maple, Chilli Meatballs from “A Kitchen in the Valley”

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Maple, Chilli Meatballs and a trip to Tasmania via “A Kitchen in the Valley”

Chilli maple meatballsThese Maple, Chill Meatballs are incredibly soft and moorish. Skater says they taste a bit like the rib sauce he loves. They do have a lovely sticky sweet and sour style glaze with a touch of coffee.

They are straight from” A Kitchen In the Valley” a cookbook by Sally Wise. It’s not her first book, in fact it’s her third and this one showcases about 100 everyday family recipes highlighting local Tasmanian ingredients. It takes you to a time when life was all about the seasons, and leaves you wanting to cook her wholesome family favourites and in my case, revisit Tasmania for some more fresh air. Memories of the kitchen being a warm, comforting and hospitable place is what this book seems to be based on.

It has been a few years since I drove around this beautiful place but I have been so inspired am going to share some postcards after this recipe.

Chilli, maple meatballs

The picturesque green rolling hills of the  Derwent valley are a 30 minute drive from Hobart and this is where Sally has a cooking school. It’s the place that inspires simple everyday food. Her book is heavy on baking from breakfasts to cakes and desserts which of course always captures my imagination. But you will find cider roasted pork dishes and fish and braises.  This book would make a gentle gift for someones home.

It seems that around every corner and barn door all over Tasmania there is someone producing  an incredible product, food or craft. It’s all that fresh air and scenery that keeps the imagination active. Start in Hobart a city full of wine bars, cafes and exceptional restaurants and just drive. The east coast is known for it’s natural beauty but here restaurants, wine and oysters will keep you fortified while walking and staying in some of the best places in Australia. Follow the North Eastern food and drink trail up to Stanley in the very north if you have time and try cheese, berries, wines, cafes and always beautiful scenery as you pass. The waters of Macquarie Harbour on the west coast where seafood is grown and the wild wacky history of Australia’s past will have you shaking your head. Or spend some time in the wild outcrops of Cradle Mountain staying at the lodge, where you can work your way through a huge degustation menu and sit by a fire in the winter.  Walk and eat and take pictures. This is Tasmania. It’s a great place to bring kids.

So now, Maple, Chilli Meatballs are on the menu at my place and I am pleased to say they originated in Tasmania.

maple, Chilli meatballs

5.0 from 1 reviews
Maple, Chilli Meatballs
My Kitchen Stories: 
These are very easy to make with no real tricky ingredients. I like there lack of strong garlic flavour. Serve them in rolls slathered in cheese or as an appetiser with toothpicks OR as i did with some sweet potato chips and leafy greens
  • 500 gm mixed Pork and Beef mince
  • ¾ cup fresh breadcrumbs ( I used Panko)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg lightly whisked)
  • 2 teaspoons tomato chutney ( I didn't have this so i skipped)
  • 2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • 1 small onion grated ( on the cheese grater)
  • ½ apple grated ( I used a granny smith- green one)
Oil for cooking. Approx 125 ml / ½ cup
  • 125 ml water (1/2 cup)
  • 125 ml tomato sauce ( yes the one you put on your chips)
  • 60 ml cider vinegar* (3 Tablespoon)
  • 20 ml sweet chilli sauce (1 tablespoon)
  • 20 ml maple Syrup
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
  • 3 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
I doubled the recipe to make enough for 6
You'll need a fry pan that's not too shallow
  1. Combine the mince, breadcrumbs,salt,egg,tomato sauce, chutney, soy, Worcester sauce, onion, apple and mix very well. Shape into walnut sized balls and lay on a tray.
  2. Heat the fry pan then add ½ the oil, when hot add about ½ of the meat balls and cook turning till browned. ( If they are not fully cooked they will finish in the sauce at the end)
  3. Take out and drain on paper while you cook the rest.
  4. Mop out any excess oil and add the glaze ingredients. Bring up to the boil and stir then add the meatballs so they continue to cook and are nicely glazed by the sauce.
  5. The sauce will reduce and become a nice thick shiny glaze in about 5 minutes.
serve with sweet potato fries, with rice or as a party snack
These would be nice with smoked rpaprika
These are the meatballs in sauce before being reduced. Serve these meatballs as a party food or even with rice. I served them with a salad and some sweet potato chips done in the oven.

Maple , chilli Maeatballs

And now here are a few postcards from my trip to Tasmania. This is a Rufous Wallaby. We found this cute little fella at Cradle Mountain Lodge just hanging outside our room. Rooms at Cradle Mountain lodge are about half price during August.

Quakka Tasmania

Little Tasmanian Devils at the Cancer research centre


East Coast views on the way to Freycinet National Park ( Wineglass Bay area)

North East Tasmania

Macquarie Harbour, Heads ( Strahan)


Port Arthur


Salamanca Markets


The walk around lake St Clair,  Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park

Walking the lake, Tasmania

Ashgrove Cheese, Elizabeth Town, Tasmania ( Food Trail)


The crazy Convict history around Strahan on the West Coast will surprise you


I was sent this book by Harper Collins so I could show you. It is released by ABC books on April 1st, so look out for it.

A kitchen in the


  • Tasmania looks really beautiful!
    I love the add of apple in these meatballs and the glaze looks amazing, Tania.
    Angie@Angie’s Recipes recently posted..Oatmeal Banana Coconut Breakfast CookiesMy Profile

  • Maree says:

    I love Sally Wise’s work, there are some interesting, not too common flavour blends in this recipe. Thanks for the stunning shots of Tassie, my favourite place is Lake St Claire, I could just lose myself there and I love Strachan and how around every corner is somenthing else worthy of a look.

    • My Kitchen Stories says:

      Hi Maree, yes there are some unusual twists but they taste great. It is true that there is so much to see in Tassie

  • We took our kids to Tasmania about 12 years ago and loved, swearing to go back the next year. Of course that never happened, and sadly I haven’t managed to visit it since. It’s obviously time I did!
    Of course, I will also have to go back to Canada to get authentic maple syrup for this recipe. 😉

  • I agree with you about Tassie. When we were there the other year I was spotting food makers just about everywhere. Am desperate to go back sometime!

    As for these meatballs, it sure does have an unusual selection of ingredients. And coffee! The glaze sounds a tad sweet, but I’ll find that out when I make them. Yes! I think I’ll try the recipe later this week as I’m always up for trying a new meatball recipe!
    john | heneedsfood recently posted..Comment on Smoked salmon & garlic chive wontons with chilli oil by john | heneedsfoodMy Profile

    • My Kitchen Stories says:

      Hi John
      It gets better all the time, as do these meatballs . We made a double serving last time and ate them in all kinds of interesting ways including a slider and a great omlette

  • ChgoJohn says:

    Australia is such a large, beautiful country. Unless one’s holiday lasts more than a month, you’re sure to leave wishing your had seen this or that. I know that’s how I felt after my 2 week stay. Tasmania would definitely be on my “must see” list for my next visit Down Under. Your photos have done nothing to dissuade me, that’s for sure. As for the meatballs, I’ve yet to meet one that I didn’t love. Yours are certainly no exception, Tania. 🙂

    • My Kitchen Stories says:

      Wow you came to Australia?. thats how I feel about traveling in the US. So much to see. I am sure you are a meatball expert.

  • Those look amazeballs! How awesome is Tasmania? We popped our Tassie cherry for the first time in January – we fell in love with Hobart and can’t wait to go back for a bigger explore!
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