11:30 am on 8 September 2014

This is the most popular recipe on my food blog. Genuine rissoles must be made with cold leftover roast meat. There’s no exact recipe, because quantities depend on the amount of meat available. This is how my mother made them from the Sunday roast leftovers, usually hogget or beef. They are equally good made with pork. The crucial thing is to use plenty of seasoning and not to overwhelm the meat with the padding, or the rissoles will be stodgy and dull. Serve with a good home-made chutney, relish, or tomato sauce, a salad, and bread and butter if required.


  • cold roast meat
  • cooked potatoes (preferably boiled or mashed) and/or fresh
  • breadcrumbs
  • plain flour (optional)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 1 handful assorted fresh herbs, e.g. parsley, thyme, oregano (if fresh herbs are not available, use dried)
  • 1–2 cloves garlic (optional)
  • 1–2 eggs
  • a little stock, wine or water to mix if required
  • flour for coating


Cut up into chunks all the cold meat you want to use, taking care to remove any solid pieces of fat, scraps of bone and pieces of gristle. Mince meat in a food processor until well ground but still dry, and place in a large bowl.

Add some form of carbohydrate – approximately half as much as there is meat. You can use leftover cooked potato or fresh breadcrumbs (made in the processor after you remove the meat) or a combination of both with a little flour. Mix all together well, with plenty of salt and pepper.

Using the pulse button, finely chop onion (small or large, depending on how much mixture you have), herbs and garlic (if using) together in the processor. Add all this to mixture.

Break in 1 egg (or 2 eggs for a large amount) and mix all together gently but thoroughly. If one egg leaves mixture a little too dry and crumbly, add a little stock, wine or water, taking care not to make it too wet. The mixture should just hold together enough to be shaped into balls about the size of a large mandarin. Use damp hands to do this.

Flatten each ball to make a round patty about 1.5cm thick. Spread a thin layer of flour over a plate and coat each patty lightly with flour on each side. If possible, set rissoles aside to rest, well spread out on a large flat plate or board, for approximately 10 minutes before cooking.

Set oven to 100°C and put a large metal oven tray in to warm, with a double layer of kitchen paper on it to absorb any excess oil. Coat a wide frypan lightly with a shallow layer of oil and heat until ready for gentle frying.

Cook rissoles over medium heat in batches, leaving space around each one (usually 5 or 6 will fit into a large pan). When one side is starting to become brown and a little crispy, turn and cook the other side. Add more oil if needed between batches. As each batch cooks, put them on the tray in the oven to keep warm.

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