A really tasty dish that can be prepared before and frozen if you are looking to batch up quick meals for later in the week. The meatballs go great with pasta, rice or even sauté potatoes.
Personally I prefer to make my own meatballs, generally it works out cheaper. If you compare the price of just mince and then the price of meatballs basically you're paying the supermarket for a 2 minute job. It doesn't take long to quickly make up a batch of meatballs so you may as well save yourself a little bit of cash, maybe spend it on a nice dessert instead!
Ingredients for the tomato sauce recipe
- one small onion, finely chopped
- one small clove of garlic, finely chopped
- a tin of chopped tomatoes
- 2 heaped teaspoons of tomato purée
- teaspoon of basil
- teaspoon of paprika
- teaspoon of oregano
- tablespoon of white wine vinegar
- pinch of salt
- grind of pepper
- pinch of sugar
Ingredients for the beef meatball recipe
- 300 grams of mince beef
- 2/3 slice of bread, crumbed
- 1 medium egg, beaten
- pinch of salt
- few grinds of pepper
- small onion, finely chopped
- small clove of garlic, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon of medium curry powder (increase this for spicy or change to cayenne pepper)
- 1 teaspoon of basil
- 1 teaspoon of corriander
- Optional grated cheese on top (I prefer with cheese) such as cheddar or emmental.
How to make the tomato sauce for the meatballs
In a saucepan I quickly fry the onions, towards finishing I add the garlic. Once they're soft I add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 15 minutes or so to get rid of some of the water from the chopped tomatoes. The sauce should not be watery, more like a salsa consistency. Once I'm happy it's thick enough this is ready. If I've done this before it's needed I cover it and allow it to cool before storing it in the fridge until it's needed.
How to make the meatballs
I fry the onion a garlic gently in a little oil to soften and allow them to cool a little so I don't burn my hands.
I grab a mixing bowl and put in all the other ingredients and add in the fried onion and garlic. The I mix well with clean hands so that I can see the onion has been distributed evenly. I normally now put this into the fridge for a bit for the flavours to mingle. It's probably not necessary, but it's what I do so I thought I'd best mention it.
Pre-heat your oven to 200°C.
The meatball are formed using hands to the size just under a golf ball. A frying pan is ready, heated with some oil in it, I use the same one I fried the onions & garlic in, and then I fry the meatballs so that they brown on the outside only. I don't want to cook them through.
I use small one person ceramic dishes to cook them in the oven. Normally I put six maybe seven meatballs in each dish. Then I pour over the sauce (recipe below) and grate the cheese over the top. This is popped in the oven until it's heated through and the cheese has melted. Probably will take around 20 minutes or so.
- Written by Stuart Edge
- Category: Beef Dishes
- Published: 09 July 2012