Recipe Wk02 Hairy Dieters Chunky Meatballs

For my second recipe of the year, I wanted to try something I have never been a big fan of...meatballs. I am not a huge red meat eater and can find the taste, well, 'meaty'. I thought if I tried making my own I might like them a bit more. I had a recipe from the Hairy Dieters in my little scrapbook of cutout recipes, where they included grated carrot in their mix and thought this might offset the flavour of the beef mince.

Here is the recipe

500g lean pork mince (less than 10% fat)

1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
    1 medium carrot, peeled and finely grated
    2 garlic cloves, 
    peeled and crushed
    1 tsp oregano 
    1/2 tsp fine sea salt
    1 tsp oil 
    freshly ground black pepper


    2 tsp oil1/2 medium onion, 
    finely chopped 
    1 garlic clove 
    400g chopped tomatoes 
    100ml red wine (or water)
200ml cold water


To make the meatballs, put the mince in a large bowl and add the onion, carrot, garlic, oregano, salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Mix with clean hands until everything is well combined, then shape the mixture into 24 small balls, they should be slightly larger than a walnut in its shell.

Pour the oil in a large non stick frying pan or sauté pan and fry the meatballs over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Keep turning and rolling the meatballs around the pan until lightly browned then transfer to a plate.

To make the sauce, pour the sunflower oil into a medium non stick saucepan and add the onion. Fry for 4 minutes, stirring regularly, then add the garlic and fry for 1 minute more.

Tip the tomatoes, red wine and water into the pan and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the browned meatballs to the sauce and bring back to a simmer.

Cover the pan loosely with a lid and leave the meatballs to simmer gently in the sauce for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 20 minutes, remove the lid and continue simmering gently for another 15-20 minutes or until the sauce is thick. Stir often and add a little extra water is the sauce reduces too quickly. Serve hot with a small portion of pasta or lots of freshly cooked vegetables.

One of the main problems I had with this recipe was the formation of the meatballs. I think the grated carrot and onion was a little too much for the mince so it was hard for the balls to form. Also it didn't have any binding ingredient so they started to fall apart as they were fried.
The sauce also took a little longer to reduce than I expected but it did eventually form a nice thick sauce.
I served (the slightly misformed) meatballs on a small bed of spaghetti and some veggies I had leftover in the fridge.
For me, the meatballs were better than some I had had before and they had other flavours within the meat, but they were still a little meaty for me. I had some cheese on the top which really helped and I ended up enjoying it.
The recipe is for four portions, and as there were only two of us, we have another two portions to eat which is great. I love it when a recipe takes a little more effort than normal, but it lasts a few more days!
I think I will persue more meatball recipes to find one that I really enjoy as I feel these were a good step forward and I really need to get into eating red meat a little more (and with a bit more variety)


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