Winter Warming Meatballs


Winter Warming Meatballs & Pasta
Winter Warming Meatballs & Pasta

We eat loads of meatballs in summer, with pasta and various sauces, but for some reason I’ve never seen these as a ‘winter’ dish.  This recipe adds a seasonal twist and makes for a great alternative winter warming pasta dish!

Serves 2-3

Ingredients

  • 1 medium Onion, finely chopped
  • 25g Butter
  • 1 clove Garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp Fresh Thyme
  • 4 Juniper Berries, crushed
  • 4 Black Peppercorns, crushed
  • 3 slices Wholemeal bread, finely chopped (or breadcrumbs)
  • 3 tsp freshly grated Horseradish root
  • 2 tsp Wholegrain Mustard
  • a splash of White Wine or Cider Vinegar
  • 500g Best quality Minced Beef
  • 1 small Egg, beaten
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 400ml Hot Water & 1 Beef Stock Pot  or 400ml good quality Beef Stock
  • 3 tbsp Mascarpone Cheese (or Creme Fraiche, or Sour Cream)

Method

  • Melt the butter in a large frying pan and sweat off the onions for a minute
  • Add the garlic, thyme, juniper berries and pepper and stir well.  Cook gently until onions soften
  • Stir in the breadcrumbs and stir well.  The bread will absorb all of the butter.  Cook gently for a couple of minutes but do not burn!
  • Tip the bread mixture into a large bowl
  • In a small cup or bowl, grate the fresh horseradish.  After a few seconds add a splash of vinegar to preserve the heat (Horseradish is Very volatile – if it is grated in advance, it will lose it’s potency.  Vinegar will stop this from happening)
  • Add the mustard to the horseradish & stir well, then tip about 2/3 of the mixture into the breadcrumbs.  With the remaining horseradish mix, stir in the mascarpone or creme fraiche and place in the fridge
  • Add the salt to the breadcrumbs and mix well, ensuring the horseradish/mustard mixture is well distributed.   Then add the minced beef
  • Mix the beef with the breadcrumbs.  There’s only one way to do this well – get stuck in with your hands!  Once it’s well mixed, add the egg and work this through to make a well bound mixture
  • In your original frying pan or casserole, heat up the olive oil
  • Take a small amount of meat mixture and mold into a ball, about the size of a golf ball and add straight to the pan
  • Repeat for all the remaining mixture – this will only take a couple of minutes
  • Gently turn the meatballs once browned on one side.  Turn 3-4 times over a 10 minute period to get a good seal (you’re not looking to cook them through)
  • Remove the meatballs from the frying pan and place in a casserole dish
  • Pour the beef stock into the frying pan and deglaze.  Bring to the boil and cook for a couple of minutes before pouring over the meatballs
  • Put the casserole in a pre-heated oven, 160ºC, for 30 minutes
  • Serve over pasta with a spoonful of the horseradish & mustard cream

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