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Guinness Meatballs

This is a recipe for Guinness Meatballs.  The original recipe originates from Chef Ethan Light, formerly of Kells Irish Restaurant and Pub in Portland, Oregon, and which he called Kells Guinness Meatballs.  It was shared with me by my friend Alana Cathey, who is from the Portland area, and had frequented the restaurant.  The recipe consists of two parts, with the first being the meatballs and the second being a Guinness based cream sauce.  Like any meatball recipe, they can be prepared ahead of time, and stored in the refrigerator or freezer.  The dish could be served simply as meatballs with a sauce, or it goes very well with any type of potatoes, such as mashed potatoes.  The photos above and below were taken by me before consuming the food, so there was no modification of the food as commonly done with many photos from cookbooks or food blogs.

The following are the ingredients and preparation steps to make the meatballs.  The Guinness based cream sauce can be prepared while the meatballs cook in the oven.  My modifications from the original recipe include using a blend of beef and pork, and using leek instead of onion.  The recipe is quite adaptable in that manner, and ground lamb could be used, as well.

Ingredients for Meatballs

  • Ground Beef:  1 pound

  • Ground Pork:  1 pound

  • Leek:  1/2 cup, finely diced from white and pale green parts

  • Garlic:  1 tablespoon, minced

  • Fresh Basil:  2 tablespoons, finely chopped

  • Fresh Parsley:  4 tablespoons, finely chopped

  • Bread Crumbs:  1/2 cup

  • Parmesan Cheese:  2/3 cup, freshly grated

  • Heavy Whipping Cream:  2 ounces

  • Salt:  1 teaspoon

  • Course Ground Pepper:  1 teaspoon

  • Eggs:  2 large, lightly beaten​

Steps to Prepare

Combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl, except for the eggs.

Lightly beat the eggs in a separate bowl, and then add them to the meat mixture.


Mix gently by hand until just incorporated.

Divide and shape the meat mixture into balls of a desired size, such as eight meatballs, and place the meatballs on a sheet pan.

Bake the meatballs in a pre-heated oven at 350˚F for about 20 to 30 minutes.  Use a meat thermometer to determine when the internal temperature reaches 160˚F.






The following are the ingredients and preparation steps for the Guinness based cream sauce, which can be prepared while the meatballs are in the oven.  My modifications from the original recipe included significantly reducing the amount of sugar, as I found the sauce to be far too sweet.  The sauce is quite adaptable to taste and thickness by adjusting the ingredients, as well as increasing the temperature to reduce the sauce and make it thicker.  I've also been known to splash some Jameson Irish whiskey in the sauce!

Ingredients for Sauce

  • Beef Broth:  1 3/4 cups

  • Cornstarch:  4 tablespoons

  • Guinness Draught:  3/4 cup

  • Brown Sugar:  1 tablespoon

  • Salt:  1 teaspoon

  • Garlic:  1 teaspoon, minced

  • Heavy Whipping Cream:  1 cup, room temperature​

  • Course Ground Pepper:  to taste​

Steps to Prepare

In a small bowl, mix about 2 to 3 ounces of the beef broth with the cornstarch, and set it aside.

In a sauce pot, combine the remaining broth and all of the other ingredients, except the heavy cream.

Bring the sauce to a simmer over medium low heat.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, while stirring regularly.

Add the heavy cream, and when blended, slowly drizzle in the cornstarch mixture, while whisking constantly until incorporated.

Continue to whisk until the sauce returns to a low simmer, about 5 to 10 minutes.  Taste may be adjusted by adding more broth, Guinness, or cream, and thickness may be adjusted by increasing the temperate to reduce it.






Guinness Meatballs - Photo 1.jpg




© Copyright  -  Timothy J. Barron  -  This page was updated March 11, 2023

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