Fantastic soft meatballs and mountains of melting cheese; a fantastic evening meal
· 1 Diced onion
· 250g each of pork and beef mince
· 125g fresh breadcrumbs
· 1 tsp fennel seeds, dried oregano, ground cumin, salt, pepper and paprika
· 2 tbsp each of chopped fresh parsley and coriander
· 4 cloves garlic finely diced
· 1 egg beaten
· 1 large glass red wine
· 2 onions sliced
· 3 fresh bay leaves
· 1 large bunch fresh thyme
· 2 tbsp tomato puree
· 1 tin chopped tomato
· Salt and pepper
· 250g grated mozzarella and cheddar
1. Preheat an oven to 180C.
2. Begin by making the meatballs mixing the mince, onion, breadcrumbs, dried and fresh herbs and half the garlic together in a bowl. Slowly add the egg and mix until the ingredients have come together. Avoid mixing any further than this as it will result in a tough meatball at the end.
3. Once the mixture has come together, divide it out into balls and leave to chill in the fridge for at least one hour
4. Once chilled, roll the meatballs in seasoned flour and then introduce to an ovenproof pan preheated over a medium heat with a tbsp of oil in. Brown the meatballs in the pan in batches, frying for approximately 5 minutes, making sure all sides are coloured.
5. Next, begin the sauce in which the meatballs will sit. Using the pan you have cooked the meatballs in, bring the heat up high and then add the red wine. Make sure that you use this wine to scrape off any little bits that have stuck to the bottom of the pan. Boil the wine over this high heat until it has reduced in volume by approximately half and then take the heat right down.
6. Add the onions, garlic, bay leaves and thyme into this pan, along with a knob of butter if you wish, and cook them for at least ten minutes on a low heat, until the onion is beginning to turn translucent
7. Now add the tomato puree and cook for approximately three minutes in order to reduce the bitterness. Add the chopped tomatoes to this pan and bring the heat back up again until the mixture is boiling. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer and allow to cook until the mixture has again reduced by half. At this point, season to taste.
8. Add the meatballs back into the pan and then top with the grated cheese before placing the whole thing in the oven for 15 minutes, until the cheese is melted, and the meatballs are cooked through. Make sure you check the meatballs are cooked through as cooking times will vary slightly depending on size and they must be cooked as you are using pork mince as well.
9. Serve with a simple salad and garlic bread, or with pasta for a fantastic evening meal.