Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Mountain Meatballs

This is not a meal for ladies who lunch. We have stumbled into full-on Man-Food country here. The fact is, I'm out-numbered by men. All the occupants of my household are male other than me, I have lots of male friends, I have a brother-in-law, my Dad, a nephew from one of my brothers, another brother with two sons and two sisters who both have sons. I'm totally surrounded. As I've never met a man who didn't like meatballs... on spaghetti... in a sandwich... along-side a pile of creamy mashed potato, when it comes to feeding my family and friends, meatballs are a no-brainer.

Mountain Meatballs
from Jamie Oliver's Jamie's America
Serves 8

For the Meatballs:
Olive oil
2 red onions, peeled blitzed in a food processor
pinch of cumin seeds
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1kg good-quality ground beef (I buy organic ground beef, buy the best you can afford)
1 heaping teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dried oregano
80g fresh breadcrumbs
2 large eggs
Salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 cup freshly grated cheddar cheese

For the Sauce:
1 large red onion, peeled and diced
2 red peppers, seeded and roughly chopped
10 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1 to 2 fresh red chiles, seeded and minced
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/3 cup Worcestershire Sauce
1/3 cup ketchup
4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup molasses or dark brown sugar
1 tablespoons Dijon
400ml cup brewed coffee
3 plum tomatoes, quartered

Heat oven to 240 degrees C. Place a large frying pan over medium heat and add a generous drizzle of olive oil. Add blitzed onions and cook for about 10 minutes, or until softened; remove from heat and let cool completely. Bash up cumin and coriander seeds in a mortar and pestle. Place ground seeds in a large bowl with ground meat, Dijon, oregano, breadcrumbs, eggs, a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper, and the cooled onions. Using clean hands, gently scrunch everything together until blended, but don’t overwork the mixture. Divide the mixture into 8 patties.

One at a time, shape each patty into a cricket-sized ball. Stick your thumb deep into the ball to make a pocket and stuff with a good pinch of grated cheese. Cup and repack the meat to cover the cheese and reshape into a ball. Place meatballs in a well-oiled Dutch oven or roasting pan and place in the oven for 25-30, or until browned and sizzling.

While meatballs cook, begin the chilli sauce. Wipe out the pan you cooked your onions in and return to medium heat with another glug of olive oil. Add onion, pepper, garlic, fresh chillies, and paprika; fry gently for about 15 minutes. Add Worcestershire, ketchup, vinegar, molasses, mustard, coffee, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes, or until sauce has thickened. Reduce even longer if you prefer a thicker sauce.

When meatballs have cooked for 25 minutes, remove from oven and gently loosen meatballs from pan (this will make serving easier later), spoon away as much of the fat as you can and add chilli sauce to pan and return to oven for about 5 minutes, or until sauce is hot and bubbling. Serve meatballs with a "mountain" of mashed potatoes and a corn salad.

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