Thursday, 12 April 2012

Recipe: the best meatballs ever!


You might be surprised to see another recipe on my blog only days after the last one but here's the thing: I'm not a very confident cook, so if I try a recipe that works I just feel the need to share it. And this is a good 'un.

Tall Daughter loves meatballs, and I've tried a couple of recipes before with varying degrees of success (from 'yuk!' to 'they were okay') so I pinched borrowed this one from Mum Reinvented who cooks these meatballs regularly for her family. I've reproduced her recipe (with her very kind permission of course) with my comments in italics. The photos are mine!

Ingredients
For the meatballs:
 ■ 1 onion peeled and finely chopped
 ■ small bunch fresh parsley, finely chopped (didn't have fresh, so used dried)
 ■ 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
 ■ 500g minced pork (or a combination of pork and beef mince)
 ■ 2 egg yolks
 ■ 50g breadcrumbs (I used one slice of bread in a mini chopper)
For the sauce:
 ■ 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes or a bottle of passata (I used a bottle of passata with herbs)
 ■ 1 onion peeled and finely chopped
 ■ 1 red and 1 green pepper, finely chopped
 ■ 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
 ■ A glug of wine (my wine seemed to have disappeared *shocked face* so just added some water)
 ■ 1 beef stock cube
 ■ Approx 10cm worth of chorizo chopped into rounds then quartered
 ■ 1 tbsp sweet paprika, sounds a lot but as it’s sweet not hot it add a lovely flavour rather than spice. (Arrghhh, forgot to add this!)
 ■ Dried or fresh parsley

Instructions
Start by making the meatballs. In a pan heat some olive oil and gently fry the onion for a few minutes. Once softened add the garlic and continue to cook until the onion is see through. Allow to cool in a mixing bowl then combine with the mince, breadcrumbs, egg yolks and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Mix with your hands and form into 24 balls. (They were quick big and very filling, so I think next time I will  make around 30 smaller balls). Pop them into the fridge for half an hour to firm up.

Next start on your sauce. Heat some olive oil in the pan and fry the onions and peppers until softened. Add the meatballs and brown on each side. Add the chorizo and garlic and cook for a minute or two before adding the wine and tomatoes or passata. Crumble in the stock cube, add the paprika  and parsley and stir, adding water if required. Bring to the boil then cook over a medium head for half an hour until the sauce is reduced and the meatballs are cooked through. This recipe creates delicious juicy meatballs in a rich tomato sauce packed with flavour.
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And I have to say they were absolutely delicious! I served them with spaghetti, but any type of pasta would be fine. They were a big hit with my two fussy daughters, and the Teenager's boyfriend who gave them 8 out of 10.  He's been invited back!