Frikkadels | A South African Meatball

A word that in my mind delivers exactly what it means is frikkadels. I cannot translate this for you, but when I say this Afrikaans word, or hear it, I know I am going to get baked meatballs. This is a traditional Afrikaans dish and I have adapted the recipe from Cape Winelands Cuisine to share with you. To pronounce this word combine FRICK (as in wick) + A + DELLS = FRICKADELLS. I promise, it won’t bring tears to your eyes!

When is it OK to walk off a job? Is it OK to take a contract which means leaving home for the first time, and leaving the job not even half way through, because you miss your family? It is OK to take a contract knowing your wife is pregnant and that you will be there for the birth, but not for most of the first year of your child’s life, and then leave the job less than one month in, because you just cannot face being away? Is it OK to walk out because the job you were promised is not the one you got? Or the job makes you emotionally and mentally worn down? There are so many fine lines as to when you should stay, and when it is alright to just walk away. I know that if I took a contract and the job was what I was told it would be, then I would not be able to leave it. On the other hand, I also know that if my job makes me miserable, threatened or scared, then I have every right to leave. If anything reduces you to tears then it is time to walk away. But if life or ‘missing out’ is what is causing the tears, then tough it out! Well, that is my opinion anyway. When do you think it is OK to leave a contract?

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Frikkadels | Meatballs

Recipe Category: Meat
All Rights Reserved: adapted from Cape Winelands Cuisine


  • 15 g butter
  • 2 shallots chopped
  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • 1 cm root ginger chopped
  • 1 chilli deseeded and chopped
  • 125 mls fructose
  • 125 mls champagne wine vinegar
  • 60 mls mango atchar
  • 230 g ground beef
  • 120 g ground pork
  • 15 mls coriander pesto
  • 60 mls chutney
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
  • 125 mls stock


  • Preheat the oven to 180° Celsius
  • Heat the butter in a large frying pan
  • Add the shallots, garlic, ginger and chilli and sauté until soft
  • Add the fructose, vinegar and atchar and once the fructose has dissolved, remove and set aside
  • Place the beef and pork into a large bowl and mix in the pesto and chutney until well combined
  • Season generously
  • Roll the meat into 80g balls
  • Place the frikkadelle into an ovenproof dish and cover with the shallot mix and the stock
  • Bake for 25 minutes

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44 thoughts on “Frikkadels | A South African Meatball

  1. Tough question; I think if the contract leads to abuse you can walk away, otherwise you have to stick it out. Frikkerdells are a winner any day 🙂

  2. I have never, ever made frikadels! I think you should leave if the job scenario is abusive. But if it’s just about missing out on something, then you should tough it out

  3. The trouble with a contract where no one is happy is that it isn’t working properly and the quality of the work will suffer. I say leave – annoying as it is for the employer, I find unhappy employees more destructive.

    1. which is why in our industry we mostly let people leave as soon as they resign, rather than let them work the month out 🙂

  4. Tandy, I’m going to need some suggestions as to alternatives for the fructose (sugar?) and the mango atchar (mango chutney?) – or if the mango atchar isn’t sweet, maybe abandon the sugar altogether and go for the chutney as a replacement for both?

    As for the question of when to leave, I have had experience of being in a job where the abuse and stress was so intense it nearly drove me to suicide. These days, I’d say if ever a job started to go in that direction – even in these uncertain economic times – I’d abandon it straight away. There’s no job worth the insanity. If it was a matter of missing the baby, or conditions back home – I’d say tough it out until the day you realise that the stress it is causing just isn’t worth what you are missing. Very often, that doesn’t happen and you are able to continue through to the end – but there are the occasions when it just isn’t worth it – from everyone’s point of view.

    1. Hi Jenny, in all of my recipes I use fructose, but you can use sugar on a one for one basis. Usually I state this in my recipes, so this was a slip up on my behalf. If you cannot get atchar which is a pickle then use mango chutney and omit the sugar as most chutneys are sweet. I don’t blame you for leaving that job! Destructiveness is not something we should embrace ever!

  5. I totally agree with you…life is too short to stick with something that makes you miserable. Even if it’s only for a finite amount of time,

  6. I love the word “frikkadels.” it sounds so much better than meatballs, although it doesn’t really fit so well into that song, “On top of old smokey.” 😉 You sound as though someone has let you down, Tandy. ;(

    1. You could try and translate the whole song! I have been let down, but I am learning that such is life – some people just don’t care enough.

  7. I agree with Cindy, where there is abuse or ill treatment, or a contravention of agreed working conditions you walk and not otherwise – unless it compromises your state of mind, which makes you not-very-useful to the employer in any case. But you should never accept a contract or job if you know that you might not be able to stick it out…

  8. I am not sure what exactly is the problem. But like others have said, if the situation is abusive then by all means leave. If the job is not similar enough to what you were led to believe it would be, you might have the right to leave. But if this is an issue of homesickness and it is possible to get back home for visits, you should stick it out or renegotiate the contract. I hope that gives you food for thought.

    1. thank you for the comments. Thankfully this situation is not about me, but merely a commentary of what I have seen around me 🙂

    1. atchar is a pickle. In Indian foods they do many types of atchar using various vegetables. Frikkadels would have been made by the Dutch settlers here 🙂

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