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Great (meat) balls of fire

By January 18, 2015 , , , , , ,

I used to love meatballs as a child, but the ones I really liked were not lovingly home made, but came out of a tin, Campbells Meatballs. God only knows what "meat" was in them but for someone who ate home cooked food all the time, junk food was a novelty, not something I ate often. This wasn't because of a ban on junk food at home, you just didn't really buy it, especially if your mother cooked from scratch all the time. 

450g beef  (rump or brisket) or 300g rump and 150g pork shoulder
1 onion finely chopped
1 clove garlic finely chopped
100g parmesan
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
1 tablespoon tomato purée
75g breadcrumbs
1 egg
Salt and pepper to taste

Fry off the onion and garlic till soft and leave to one side to cool
Place the onion and garlic in a bowl
Add the dijon, tomato purée and egg and mix thoroughly
Add the parmesan salt and pepper and mix again
Now add the beef, using your hands squeeze the mixture together until the beef and egg mix is starting to bind
Add the breadcrumbs and squeeze it again till it comes together
Form meat balls and place in the fridge to allow them to set for an hour or so

To cook, brown the meatballs in a cast iron pan and then add the sauce (below) and cook for 45 mins at 150 Celsius.

If you like a spicy flavour, add chopped chilli to the garlic and onion mix when cooking it out or use dried chilli flakes. Another variation would be dried porcini (rehydrated), again added to the onions and garlic and cooked off.

Meatball sauce
1 tin chopped tomatoes
100ml passata
100ml red wine
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
50ml extra virgin olive oil
5g sugar
20g oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
15g tomato purée

Fry off the garlic in the olive oil for 5 mins on a lowish heat
Add the tomatoes, passata, red wine and purée and stir well till the sauce comes together
Turn the heat up and cook for 2 minutes to take the raw flavour out of the purée and the wine
Add the oregano and stir through, lower the heat and cook for 20 minutes
Add the salt, pepper and sugar.

You can serve this with pasta or I prefer some nice crusty bread to mop the sauce up with.

The meatballs can also be roasted off in the oven, in a roasting tray at 150 Celsius for 20 mins and served with a gravy as well (Dutch style).

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