Thursday, July 26, 2007

Meatballs and Mash

I’ve been hanging out to try this recipe since I first stocked up on pots, pans and cutlery last week. I’m also sad to admit that I missed out on a really superb goodget in the form of a free microwave – I was walking past the apartment block dumpster and someone had left a microwave outside it, with a big sign saying, “Works fine. Enjoy if you like.” At the time I had my hands full of clean laundry so quickly sprinted back to my place, then sprinted back, only to find that some other opportunist out there had snapped up my microwave. Maybe that’s why I’ve been determined to prove to myself ever since that I don’t really need one, and hence have been managing to cook every dinner fresh thus far. Wonder how long I’ll take to crack?

This recipe is simple and doesn’t take too long to make either – the bit where you mix up the meat and breadcrumbs etc. is also fun since you get to dirty your hands. It comes from Gabriel Gate’s Good Food For Men (I was so insulted when my mum suggested that I try a few recipes from here when I first started to cook, but it’s proved to be very valuable since I moved over here – good for people with the male mentality of wanting something tasty with minimal effort and time wastage – sorry fellas). I make up the meatballs in one go, and cook them in two separate batches over two days, so add only half the quantity of wine and tomato sauce each time.

Serves 2 (or 1, but over two days)

200 g (7 ounces) lean ground beef
1 1/2 tbsp breadcrumbs
1 tbsp cold water
1 clove garlic, very finely chopped or crushed
1/2 egg
black pepper
plain flour
1/2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp dry white, or red wine
1 cup Italian tomato sauce

In a large bowl and using your hands, thoroughly combine the ground beef with breadcrumbs, water, garlic and egg. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Form this mixture into golf-ball-sized bits, dipping your hands in water between each one. Coat each ball lightly with flour.
Heat the oil in a wide, non-stick frying pan and brown the meatballs for about 1 minute on each side, on medium heat.
Add the wine (stand well back to prevent getting splattered) to the pan and bring to the boil.
Add the tomato sauce, bring to a gentle simmer and cook for about 8 minutes, stirring regularly and spooning the sauce over the meatballs to keep them moist. Season with pepper and serve hot.

Yummy with mash!


  1. now see, why can't i think to accompany a nice sauce with something other than pasta?i've made three different kinds of meals made with pasta this week (shells, fusilli, spag) and never did it occur to me to try a different starch-based accompaniment, unlike you with the hearty and nourishing mash. I think i got some mince that i might thaw out to try out your recipe!

  2. btw i saw a bit of monsieur gate during the cooking segments tour de france telecast and i reckon he really did lay the accent exceptionally thick: "put ze limon zest with ze mixture and stir for 'alf en aouer and voila!"

    ...and i'm more insulted by gate. the nerve of the man... excluding women from time-efficient and low-effort recipes. hmmph!!!

  3. had a shot at this yet, serenity?? if it's two foods i've discovered the virtues of while abroad, it's spuds and spinach - always handy to have some loitering around somewhere in the kitchen.

    and i agree - gabriel shouldn't assume that all us girls enjoy toiling for hours on end in the kitchen - we can be lazy too!


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