Monday, 19 March 2012

Meatballs - every man's dream!

Last week was a busy one for me.  I catered for 2 large events making around 450 amuse-bouche single-handedly - arancini, crostini, petit choux… I could have made it simpler but it’s not really the way I do things. It turned out to be a lot of work but fun. After a relaxing weekend it was time to make something hearty and warming – MEATBALLS.

Until about a year ago I’d never made meatballs, I always thought they belonged in terrible American sitcoms and thought they could never be that great…how wrong could I be! A friend taught me a basic recipe and then after a few tweaks this is the recipe I’ve come up with. I like throwing loads of dried flaked chillis in and then serving them with some sour cream to cool them down a bit but the ingredient not to miss is the lemon zest, it adds a really nice citrus note which is great with the chilli and sweet tomatoes. This is one for those cold spring nights when you can almost see the summer days to come. Enjoy!


500g mince beef (not lean)
5 crackers (I use Jacobs)
4 garlic cloves
½ handful parsley
½ handful coriander
4 dried chillis
1 zested lemon
salt and peppar

2 good quality tins of chopped tomatos
300ml Stock
2 dried chillis
plenty of salt and peppar


-      - Firstly put the sauce on as you want this to reduce before adding the balls – simply add all the ingredients and bring to a slow simmer
-      - In a bowl bash the crackers until they resemble bread crumbs
-      - Add the mince beef to the bowl
-      - Finely chop the rest of the ingredients and add
-      - Mix together well with your hands and form into small balls
-      - In a hot pan fry the balls briefly in olive oil until lightly browned and set aside
-      - When the sauce has reduced by around a third add the balls and simmer for 15-20 minutes

-       To serve add more fresh herbs and a dollop of sour cream