Meatball Gratin Parmentier…

It’s not often you will find me eating something that has a creamy sauce, BUT I have to admit even fussy pants me really enjoyed this one. This is our take on a classic French dish.

You can double the bechamel sauce ingredients and just use that in this recipe but after experimenting and using both a bechamel and a tomato sauce I personally found it gave this more flavour but experiment and see which you prefer.

Some recommended items from our kitchen for making this dish…

  • Non-stick milk pan as I love having the lip to make it easier to pour without spillage.
  • Silicone whisks in varying sizes, much prefer silicone to metal as it rusts.
  • A decent set of knives for chopping, with a knife sharpener which is always handy.
  • Double sided dry and liquid measuring spoons for times when you need to measure both liquid and dry ingredients.
  • Garlic crusher, we have had this one for a good while, easy to clean and can crush multiple cloves at once saving time.
  • A mandolin slicer, used on the thickest setting.
  • Cheese grater with varying grater sizes.

**NOTE: just a quick note about the seasoning we use in this dish, we have used a spice kit available from SpiceNTice which have all the spices you need all included in one kit so we don’t need to rummage through the spice cupboard for lots of different ones. Their spice kits and rubs are all Slimming Club friendly (Slimming World, Weight Watchers, Calorie counting etc). For 10% off your order you can use our code HICKMAN10 at the checkout.

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Meatball Gratin Parmentier

Serves 4



  • 250g 5% fat pork mince
  • 250g 5% fat beef steak mince
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon SpiceNTice chimichurri rub (**See note above about this rub)
  • 1 beef oxo cube
  • 1 small egg, beaten

Tomato sauce:

  • 250g passata
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon tomato puree
  • 1 teaspoon SpiceNTice Italian rub (**See note above about this rub)

Cheesy bechamel sauce:

  • 25g Clover light spread
  • 1 tablespoon cornflour
  • 200ml whole milk
  • 40g light mature cheddar
  • Salt & pepper

You will also need:

  • 3 large potatoes, sliced
  • 80g light mature cheddar


  1. Preheat oven 180Β°C fan.
  2. Boil the potatoes whole in lightly salted water until semi-soft, leave to cool.
  3. Make the tomato sauce, add the onion and garlic to a pan and saute for a few minutes until soft, add all other tomato sauce ingredients to the pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 5 – 10 minutes until thickened. Set aside.
  4. In a bowl add all the meatball ingredients, apart from the egg and mix everything together with your hands. Gradually add in the egg, just enough to bind it all together and make as many even sized meatballs as you can, roughly a mash potato scoop size. Fry for a few minutes in a pan just to brown the outside and seal the meatballs. Take off the heat.
  5. Meanwhile make your bechamel sauce, in a heavy bottomed saucepan melt the butter over a medium heat, add a little milk into the cornflour to make a paste then add the rest of the milk. Pour the milk into the melted butter and whisk on a medium heat until thickened, add the 40g of cheese and whisk until melted. Set aside for now.
  6. Now to start assembling the dish.
  7. Evenly slice the potatoes and line the bottom and sides of an oven proof dish, reserving some of the potato for later.
  8. Arrange the meatballs on top of the potato, place the remaining potato slices between the meatballs.
  9. Pour the tomato sauce evenly over each meatball then repeat with the bechamel sauce (whisk in a little water if the sauce is too thick).
  10. Scatter over the cheese and bake in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes until the meatballs are cooked, potato fully cooked and the cheese melted and golden.
  11. Serve with a simple salad or some steamed vegetables.