24 March 2008

Baked Spicy Meatballs

I never really used to be a fan of meatballs. To me, they just tasted like a lump of mince meat that lacked any flavor. When I saw an episode of Jamie Oliver's cooking show (forgotten which one it was), about a baked meatball dish that calls for some spices and herbs, I decided to give it a try. This meatball recipe is now P's favorite dish. So much in fact, that he actually participates in the preparation process (for a change)...

Baked Spicy Meatballs
Recipe originally adapted from one of Jamie Oliver's cooking shows

Spice Mix
Warm the Spices slightly in a pan until fragrant, then grind together:

  • 1 stalk of rosemary leaves (chopped finely)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon thyme seeds
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorn
  • 1 tablespoon dried chilli flakes
Marinate and mix together with spice mix:

  • 500g of quality minced beef
  • 1 brown onion (finely blended in a food processor)
  • 4 garlic cloves (finely blended in a food processor)
  • 2 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of cornflour
  • 1 egg
  • handful of breadcrumbs (add more if mixture is too moist)
  • Grounded spice mix

Mix all ingredients together. You do have to use your hands here.

Have a shallow bowl of water ready and form the meatballs while dipping your fingers into the water every couple of meatballs. The water makes it easier to form the meatballs without bits and pieces sticking to your hands. Once the the meatballs are formed, brown them in a heated pan with a dash of olive oil, until they are browned all over, then set a side in a baking dish.

Tomato Sauce
  • teaspoon of olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  • 2x cans of whole tomatoes
  • 1 handful of fresh basil leaves (torn)
  • couple of dashes of tabasco sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar (or more to taste)

In a saucepan, heat oil then add in garlic. Once the garlic starts to cook, pour in the canned tomatoes. Let simmer on medium-high heat until the tomatoes break down. Once the tomatoes break down, add basil leaves, tabasco sauce and sugar to taste. Stir and let simmer on low heat for a couple of minutes, then turn the heat off.

Pre-heat the oven to 200C, top meatballs with the tomato sauce then cover with parmesan cheese.

Put baking dish into oven for about 20 mins, or until the cheese has turned golden brown. Serve with some spaghetti.

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