Pork and caraway meatballs

Meatballs are easy to make and are something that I like to eat, and which are pretty versatile when it comes to ingredients and flavourings. These have a sort of Hungarian feel about them, because of the caraway and paprika, Continue reading

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 Kefta mkaouara (spicy egg, meatball and tomato tagine)

This recipe comes from a Rick Stein book, Mediterranean Escapes, which accompanied one of his BBC series from a few years ago. Continue reading

Yotam Ottolenghi’s meatballs with celeriac

I claim no credit for this, it was in today’s Guardian magazine, here.

Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipes always look interesting and I am always meaning to cook one of them. This week, I didn’t have any ideas for Saturday night dinner and these looked to be exactly the thing.

Here is the recipe in full. I followed it to the letter;

    Beef meatballs with lemon and celeriac

400g minced beef
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
120g breadcrumbs
20g chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves, plus 1 tbsp extra, to garnish
1 egg, beaten
½ tsp ground allspice
Salt and black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small celeriac, cut into 5cm x 1.5cm batons
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
½ tsp each ground turmeric, cumin and cinnamon
1½ tsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed
¾ tsp smoked paprika
500ml chicken stock
3½ tbsp lemon juice
60g Greek yoghurt

In a large bowl, use your hands to mix the beef, onion, breadcrumbs, parsley, egg, allspice, half a teaspoon of salt and some black pepper. Form into 5cm x 3cm kebab-like shapes.

Heat the oil in a large sauté pan for which you have a lid, and sear the meatballs all over for about five minutes in total. Remove them and add celeriac, garlic and remaining spices to the pan. Cook on high heat, stirring, for two minutes, return the meatballs to the pan and add the stock, lemon juice, half a teaspoon of salt and some black pepper. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat, cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes. Remove the lid and leave to bubble away for 10 minutes more, until the sauce is quite thick.

Remove the pan from the heat and let it sit for a few minutes to settle. Taste, season as necessary and serve topped with a dollop of yoghurt and a sprinkling of parsley.

Yotam suggests serving them with either plain rice or bulghur, we fancied couscous.

Meatballs in a cream sauce

The meatballs were made from a mixture of pork and beef with herbs and lemon zest that I use a lot and tend to keep some made up in the freezer.

They were fried in oil and butter until lightly coloured and then added to a stock made from chopped shallots, garlic and button mushrooms, chicken stock, salt, pepper and chopped parsley. this was then simmered for a while until the meatballs were cooked.

I added a small tub of crème fraiche and a tablespoon of whole-grain mustard and allowed the sauce to reduce.

The meatballs were served with some pasta flavoured with cepes that we bought in France last year and the whole dish was garnished with more chopped parsley.