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Posts Tagged ‘Meatballs’

Spiced Meatballs in tomato sauce

We weren’t so sure about the cinnamon in this meatball recipe but it added a delicious warmth so don’t be tempted to leave it out or reduce the quantity. Much satisfied slurping!

Wine Suggestion: Tuscany beckons for this dish and the juicy red fruits of Morellino won this time to good effect. The MorisFarms (Spanish heritage but longtime settled in the Maremma in Tuscany) Morellino for our mind hits the spot and has an honesty and vitality of winemakers clearly part of their landscape. Bright red fruits and a delightful juiciness that only coastal Tuscany can deliver.

Spiced meatballs in tomato sauce – serves 6

FOR THE SAUCE:

  • 2 x 400g tins cherry tomatoes
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 oregano sprigs, strip off the leaves and discard the stalks
  • ½ tbsp tomato purée
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp soft light brown sugar

FOR THE MEATBALLS:

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
  • 900g beef mince
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped parsley
  • Cooked pasta to serve (allow 100g per person) .

Make the sauce first. Put all the ingredients into a saucepan together and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally and add a bit of water if necessary. Taste and season.

For the meatballs, heat 1 tbsp of oil in a pan and cook the onion until soft and pale gold. Add the garlic and chilli, and cook for another 90 seconds or so. Put the cooked onion mixture into a bowl with the beef, spices and parsley and season really well. Use wet hands to form the mince into pingpong ball sized meatballs.

Heat the rest of the oil in a frying pan and brown the meatballs in batches. They don’t need to be cooked the whole way through at this stage just nicely browned on the outside. Return all the meatballs to the pan, add the tomato sauce and cook for 10-15 minutes.

Stir the cooked pasta and meatballs together in a warm shallow bowl and serve.

(Original recipe from Food From Plenty by Diana Henry, Mitchell Beazley, 2010.)

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Meatballs with Broad Beans & Lemon

Delicious meatballs with a real summery feel. Use fresh broad beans if you can get them but frozen will work just as well. You can prepare this dish in advance and just reheat before serving.

Wine Suggestion: The trick with this dish is to make sure the wine is medium bodied so a lighter red with ripe (not dry) tannins would work a treat. An easy and uncomplicated shiraz cabernet blend from Australia or a nice Pinot Noir would work a treat. Alternately a medium bodied white like a good Verdicchio is a great option too. We drank the Umani Ronchi Casal di Serra Verdicchio which matched the dish perfectly with good depth of fruit and a great minerality which  allowed the food and wine to shine equally.

Beef Meatballs with Broad Beans & Lemon – serves 4

  • 4½ tbsp olive oil
  • 350g broad beans, fresh or frozen
  • 4 whole thyme sprigs
  • 6 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 8 spring onions, cut at an angle into 2cm lengths
  • 2½ tbsp lemon juice
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • salt and black pepper

MEATBALLS:

  • 300g minced beef
  • 150g minced lamb
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 120g breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbsp each chopped flat-leaf parsley, mint, dill and coriander; plus ½ tbsp extra of each to finish
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp baharat spice mix (apparently you can buy this or you can use the recipe below*)
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp capers, chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten

Put all the meatball ingredients into a large bowl. Add ¾ tsp of salt and lots of black pepper and mix well with your hands. Form into ping-pong sized balls (you should get about 20).

Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil in a very large frying pan with a lid. Sear half the meatballs over a medium heat, turning until browned all over, about 5 minutes. Remove, add another ½ tbsp olive oil to the pan and cook the other batch of meatballs. Remove from the pan and wipe clean.

While the meatballs are cooking, put the broad beans into a pot of salted boiling water and blanch for 2 minutes. Drain and refresh under cold water. Remove the skins from half the broad beans.

Heat the rest of the olive oil in the pan you seared the meatballs in. Add the thyme, garlic and spring onion and sauté over a medium heat for about 3 minutes. Add the unshelled broad beans, 1½ tbsp of the lemon juice, 80ml of the stock, ¼ tsp of salt and lots of black pepper. The beans should be almost covered with liquid. Cover the pan and cook over a low heat for 10 minutes.

Return the meatballs to the pan. Add the rest of the stock, cover the pan and simmer gently for 25 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning. If the sauce is very runny you can remove the lid and reduce a bit. The meatballs will soak up a lot of the juice so make sure you have plenty of sauce left. You can leave the meatballs off the heat now until ready to serve.

Just before serving, reheat the meatballs and add a little water, if needed, to get enough sauce. Add the rest of the herbs and tablespoon of lemon juice, the shelled broad beans and stir very gently.

Serve with basmati rice.

*Baharat Spice Mix – 1 tsp black peppercorns, 1 tsp coriander seeds, 1 small cinnamon stick – roughly chopped, ½ tsp whole cloves, ½ tsp ground allspice, 2 tsp cumin seeds, 1tsp cardamom pods, ½ a whole nutmeg grated. Blend all the spices in a grinder or pestle and mortar until you have a fine powder. Store in an airtight jar.

(Original recipe from Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi, Ebury Press, 2012.)

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We found these to be a surprisingly tasty alternative to traditional spaghetti and meatballs. We loved these for their freshness and verve; it really hit the spot for a weeknight dinner. It was also usefully quick and easy as well as being very cost effective.

Wine Suggestion: try some of Italy’s thoroughly modern whites that are being rejuvenated and reinvented. If you can find a good Pecorino from the Marche you’ll be in for a treat. We had a glass of Umani Ronchi’s Vellodoro which had good freshness of fruit and terrific depth of minerality and nutty savouriness; showing what can be done with a forgotten grape variety when love and attention are given.

Spicy Chicken Meatballs – to serve 4

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • 1 red chilli, thinly sliced
  • 500g chicken mince
  • 3 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs
  • 50g pancetta, chopped
  • 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 500g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 125ml chicken stock
  • 500g fusilli  pasta, cooked, to serve
  • Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas 6. Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the coriander and chilli and cook for another minute.

Put the chicken in a bowl with the breadcrumbs, pancetta, parsley and some salt. Add the spiced onion and mix well with your hands. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then wet your hands with cold water and roll the mixture into small meatballs.

Put the cherry tomatoes on a baking tray lined with baking paper, drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil and season. Put the meatballs on another lined tray and drizzle with the remaining oil. Roast the tomatoes and meatballs for 15-20 minute, or until the meatballs are golden and the tomatoes are starting to burst.

Put the stock and tomatoes in a saucepan and add the meatballs. Simmer for 5 minutes and season.

Serve with the cooked pasta and some Parmesan shavings.

(Original recipe from Bill Granger Every Day, Murdoch Books, 2006)

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These meatballs are melt in the mouth. Don’t make them too big (no bigger than golf ball size) or they will dry out.

Meatballs in Fragrant Coconut Broth – serves 2-3

  • 2tsp coriander seeds
  • 4 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 2 lemongrass stalks, trimmed, bashed and cut in half
  • 5cm piece of fresh root ginger, peeled and sliced
  • 400ml chicken stock
  • 1 x 400ml tin coconut  milk
  • zest and juice of 1 lime

FOR THE MEATBALLS: 

  • 1 small onion, peeled and finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
  • olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 500g minced beef
  • 75g fresh breadcrumbs
  • 3-4 tbsp milk

First make the meatballs. Sauté the onion and garlic and some seasoning in a hot frying pan in a little oil for about 5 minutes or until soft and lightly coloured, adding the chilli flakes after a couple of minutes. Put the mince in a large bowl and season. Put the breadcrumbs in a separate bowl and moisten with the milk. Add seasoning, then stir the breadcrumbs and onion mixture into the mince and combine well. With wet hands, shape the mince mixture into golf-size balls. Transfer to a lightly greased plate or tray and chill for 30 minutes until firm.

Brown the meatballs in a clean oiled pan for 4-5 minutes, turning until brown on all sides.

Add the coriander seeds, cardamom, turmeric, cinnamon, chilli flakes, lemongrass and ginger. Heat through, stirring, until aromatic, then add the stock and coconut milk and bring to a gentle simmer. Taste and adjust the seasoning as necessary. Simmer for 8-12 minutes until the sauce has a good flavour and has thickened and the meatballs are cooked through.

Add the lime zest and juice and serve hot.

Wine Suggestion: this is a rich and bold dish and requires a fuller bodied white wine with texture and savouriness. We would suggest a good Grand Cru Pinot Gris from Alsace (a drier version) or a Condrieu from the Northern Rhone. The wines would ideally have a couple of years development in the bottle to enable the overt fruitiness to mature and the savoury flavours to come to the fore.

(Original recipe from Gordon Ramsey’s Ultimate Cookery Course, Hodder & Stoughton, 2012.)

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In Morocco they serve bread with every meal. If you want eat this Moroccan-style, put the dish in the middle of the table and use flat-breads to mop up the little meatballs and eggs. It’s really worthwhile seeking out hot paprika (the paprika available in supermarkets is the sweet version), but don’t be tempted to use smoked paprika as it has a much stronger flavour and will overpower the dish. You can use minced lamb instead of beef if you prefer. The tagine also works well without the eggs, but they do add an extra layer of flavour and texture.

Kefta Mkaouara – to serve 4

  • 500g minced beef
  • small handful chopped parsley
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp hot paprika
  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • sea salt
  • 4 eggs (optional)
  • handful fresh coriander, chopped

Preheat the oven to 200ºC.

Mix the mince with the parsley, 1 tsp of the cumin and ½ tsp of the paprika, some black pepper and about 1 tsp salt. Wet your hands and make lots of tiny meatballs (about the size of cherry tomatoes).

Heat a couple of good glugs of olive oil in a frying pan and brown the meatballs in batches. Remove them with a slotted spoon.

Add the onion to the pan with a little extra oil if necessary and cook gently until very soft (about 10 minutes). Add the tomatoes, the rest of the cumin and paprika, 1tsp ground black pepper and the garlic. Simmer gently for about 20 minutes but be careful that it doesn’t reduce down too much and become thick. Season well.

Add the meatballs to the tomato sauce and pour into a shallow ovenproof dish. Push the back of a ladle into the mixture to make 4 wells to crack the eggs into. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the eggs are just set. Serve with the coriander and some warm flatbreads.

Drink with: a fruity red. We had a glass of our favourite “everyday” wine of the moment which the the Selvapiana Chianti Rufina and it worked a treat.

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These are lovely and low-calorie (just 236 calories per serving to be exact). The creamy sauce gives them a nice richness too. Great with tagliatelle for a mid-week meal.

Creamy Swedish Meatballs  – to serve 4

  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 450g lean minced pork
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 sprigs dill, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3-4 tbsp soured cream
Mix the onion, pork, egg yolk and half the dill in a bowl and season well. Lightly wet your hands, then make 12 golf-ball sized meatballs.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the meatballs, turning often, for about 12-15 minutes or until nicely coloured all over. Mix together the sour cream and the rest of the dill and spoon over the meatballs.

Serve with tagliatelle or mashed potato.

Wine Suggestion: We’d probably go for a light red here, perhaps a Dolcetto from north-west Italy or a light Zinfandel/Primativo.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Rigatoni with Meatballs

A great weeknight supper that we cooked when Jules’ brother Peter came to stay during last week … only to discover that this is one of his reliable weeknight dinners too! Another Silver Spoon convert as we’d given him this book for Christmas.

Rigatoni con Polpettine – to serve 4

  • 300g minced meat (we used a mix of beef and pork)
  • 1 sprig flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • ½ garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • plain flour, for dusting
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 celery stick, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 small sprig rosemary, chopped
  • 400ml passata
  • 350g rigatoni
  • 25g Parmesan

Mix the meat, parsley and garlic together in a bowl, then stir in the egg and season with salt and pepper. Shape the mixture into small meatballs, dust with flour and set aside.

Heat the oil in a pan, add the onion, celery, carrot and rosemary and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

Add the meatballs and turn up the heat to medium. Cook until lightly browned all over, add the passata and season with salt. Lower the heat, cover and simmer, stirring now and then, for about 40 minutes.

Cook the rigatoni in a large pan of boiling salted water until al dente, then drain and tip into the meatballs. Mix well and heat through for a couple of minutes.

Sprinkle over some Parmesan to serve.

Wine Suggestion: Italian of course, but it doesn’t need to be anything fancy. We drank a delightful Chianti Rufina from Fattoria di Basciano which was perfect; full of lovely cherry fruit, fresh acidity to match the tomato and ripe, grippy tannins to work with the meatballs.

(Original recipe from Silver Spoon Pasta, Phaidon Press Ltd. 2009)

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