Wednesday, 24 April 2013
Ruby's favourite. And one of my favourites to make.* Anything that's quick, easy and tasty gets a good run on the dinner rotation round here. There's just something about squishing wet mince between your fingers, no? I feel a little closer to Jamie and that's never a bad thing.
I don't remember what version I made before Jamie's 30 Minute Meals meatballs. Who cares. The 30MM version was tasty and we were happy. Then Jody posted her best ever spaghetti and meatballs and I had to test them out. Every one of Jody's recipes I have tried has been delicious, and these were no exception. The only things lacking for me were the zesty lemon tang and hint of mustard I was used to from Jamie's meatballs. So since then, I've been mashing the two together. It goes something like this.
Jamie + Jody's Meatball Mash Up
500g beef/pork mince
2 cloves garlic, bashed and chopped
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 cup parmesan
good heaped tablespoon of mustard (I use dijon)
zest of 1/2 - 1 lemon (add some juice too if you like more zing)
lug of olive oil
salt + pepper
dried chilli flakes, optional (of course you could use fresh, but I prefer to use dried for these because I can control the heat for the kids, whereas with fresh, sometimes they're hotter than you think!)
//Mix everything together in a bowl using your hands. Roll into small walnut sized balls. If you added the lemon juice as well, you may find it a bit too wet. If so, add some more breadcrumbs.
//Heat some oil in a heavy based pan over medium heat. Add your meatballs and brown, a couple of minutes each side.
//Add two tins of diced tomatoes into your pan plus about a third of a tin of water (I buy the tinned tomatoes with basil + garlic). Wait for your tomatoes to bubble and add your stock of choice - I use one of those Continental Stock Pots. Perhaps because I quite like Marco Pierre White. Maybe I have a thing for chefs.
//Knock your heat back to low-ish and add some more finely chopped parsley/basil, salt and pepper, dried chilli flakes if you like. Have a taste - if it's too tomatoey, add a teaspoon of raw sugar.
//Give everything a gentle mix, making sure your meatballs are covered by the sauce.
//Cover (I leave the lid slightly ajar) and allow to bubble while you cook some pasta or rice.
//About five minutes before they're ready, add a few shakes of balsamic vinegar - a trick I learned from watching one of Jamie's shows. I do this with my lasagne sauce too. If your sauce has thickened too much here, just add a bit of water to loosen it up.
//Serve with a generous pile of pasta or rice, cracked pepper and more parmesan. Watch gleefully as the kids inhale it.
*Perhaps a favourite because each time I make it, I am reminded of my nephew's arrival into the world, as this was what I was doing when I got the call that he arrived unexpectedly early - with no name - hence the Baby T scribble. Clearly I was having a very organised day if I was making meatballs at 11.15am!