This is the type of meal my mom would make when we had friends round for the weekend.  The meatballs are only browned in the oil and then allowed to finish cooking in the sauce, because you aren’t turning them repeatedly you can make the meatballs without adding any extra binding agents.  I like to add some chili to the meat mixture but if you are making it for people who don’t like the heat, leave it out they are still delicious.


Giant Spicey Meatballs
Serves 4

–  600g beef
–  1 medium onion, finely chopped
–  2 cloves garlic finely minced
–  2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
–  1 free range egg (optional)
–  2 chili finely chopped
–  salt & pepper
–  250ml oil
–  2 tbsp flour

–  1 can cherry tomatoes
–  1 onion sliced
–  1 clove garlic
–  10 basil leaves, torn
–  salt & pepper
–  3 tbsp olive oil
–  1/2 cup red wine
–  200g mozzarella, grated

To start get your sauce on first.  Heat the oil in a heavy based saucepan, before adding the finely chopped garlic and onion, allow this to cook for a few minutes, till the onions begin to soften.  Now add the red wine, tomatoes and fresh herbs, reduce the heat and allow to simmer.

To make the meatballs combine all the ingredients except for the oil and flour in a bowl.  Combine thoroughly and then divide the mixture into 4 large meatballs.  Heat the oil in a shallow pan before dusting the meatballs with some flour, now gently place the meatballs in the pan and allow them to brown.  Do not keep turning the meatballs or they will break apart.  Once they have browned on both sides add them to the simmering tomato sauce.   Cover with a lid and let simmer for about 15 minutes before removing the lid and cooking for a further 10-minutes.  The sauce should be nicely mellowed and the meatballs juicey and fragrant.  If you are using the mozzarella switch the heat off and then cover the meatballs with the cheese and allow it to melt in the residual heat.

You can eat these meat balls with mashed potatoes, or simply with some good crusty bread.  I always give them a sprinkle of extra herbs, some grated Parmesan and a good slug of a great quality extra virgin olive oil.