Meatball madness

 

IMG_5506 Through the addition of grated courgette and carrot, these meatballs are a great way of making mince stretch even further! And are incredibly moist!

I cook them all and freeze the left overs in batches, ready to be added to a sauce whenever we need a quick dinner. They are also a great way of getting additional veggies into fussy eaters!

Serves 8

Cost per person £1.22

Ingredients 

Meatballs

Beef mince 500g

Pork mince 750g

2 x onions

3 x carrots grated

2 x courgettes grated (try and squeeze out the excess liquid) 

3 cloves of garlic

1/2 tbsp of oregano

1/2 tbsp of  thyme

1 x egg

Generous pinch of salt & pepper

1 tbsp of  Paprika

3 heaped tbsp of breadcrumbs

1 handful of fresh, finely diced Parsley

Large handful of grated cheese (I always have a box of left over grated cheese in the freezer, so you can grab a handful whenever you need it)

 

Sauce 

Generous glug of rapeseed oil

2 x medium onions

3 x garlic cloves

2 x tins of value tinned plum tomatoes

1 x tin water

1 x tbsp tomatoes puree

2 x tsp white wine vinegar

Pinch chilli flakes

1 x tsp of sugar

1 small glass of red wine- I keep a freezer bag in the freezer and top it up with the (rare) dregs at the end of a bottle

1/2 tsp of dried oregano 

Generous pinch of salt & pepper

 

Method

For the meatballs

Finely dice your onions and garlic and add to a frying pan with a glug of rapeseed oil. Turn up to a medium heat and cook until translucent. Once cooked, leave the onion/ garlic mix to cool before adding to a bowl with the mince, grated veg, dried herbs and spices, breadcrumbs, egg, fresh herbs, and cheese. Mix well and start to shape into balls, then put back in the frigde to chill for 30 mins- this lets them firm up slightly.

Cook the meatballs in batches so not to overcrowd the frying pan, ensuring you a turning the meatballs frequently, letting them brown on all sides. You do not not cook them through.  Finally, when your sauce is reducing, add your meatballs so they can finish cooking, this normally takes about 6-7 mins.

For the sauce

Start by finely dicing your onion and garlic. Add rapeseed oil to a pan and put on a medium head. Add the onions and cook for 5 or so minutes before adding the garlic. Once caramelised, add the chili flakes and the tomato puree and cook for a further 2 mins.

Next you need to add the red wine, and continue to cook it for minute or so to burn off the alcohol. Finally add the tinned tomatoes, water, herbs and spices and start to reduce. Once nearly thickened, add the vinegar and the meatballs, and continue to cook until the  meatballs are cooked through. Serve with spaghetti, courgetti or whatever else you fancy!

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