Thursday, 25 April 2013

Baked Meatballs

A slight variation on the regular meatballs with tomato sauce. The only difference here is I baked them after. Looks much nicer at a party in terms of presentation. You could throw in some cheese on top just before baking.

baked meatballs
Baked Meatballs

Ingredients for meatballs:
500gms beef mince
fresh parsley chopped fine
1/4 tsp dried mint
3 tbsps or so of grated parmesan cheese
2-3 tbsps of breadcrumbs
1 egg
salt to taste
1/2 tsp pepper powder

Ingredients for sauce:
1 onion chopped fine
3-4 cloves of garlic
half a cube or salt to taste
1 small packet of tomato paste
pinch of sugar
1/4 tsp dry basil
1/4 tsp dry oregano

Mix all the ingredients together and form into small balls. If you do not have fresh parsley, substitute with fresh coriander or dried parsley. Shallow fry the balls in a pan with oil, till nicely browned. One tip to remember, since you are cooking with raw meat, do not fry it on a very high fire as the inside wont cook and the outside will brown quickly. Keep the heat on a medium flame tossing it around constantly so that all sides of the meatball get a nice chance to get browned.

To make the sauce:
Heat olive oil in a casserole, fry the garlic and onions till transluscent. Add half a stock cube or a 1/4 tsp of salt. This sauce should be barely enough to coat the meatballs. This dish is more or less dry with not a lot of gravy. Add the tomato paste. I prefer tomato paste as it adds more richness to the gravy as opposed to just crushed tomatoes. Saute for a bit, adding a pinch of sugar to balance out the tartness of the tomatoes.
If you would like a slightly more indian approach to this dish, you could add 1/4 tsp of cumin powder and a 1/4 tsp of dry red chilly powder. It will give it a background heat and a nice flavour as well, still keeping the dish continental.
Season with dry oregano and basil. If you have a bottle of herbs du provence(mixed herbs), it will do nicely as well.

Throw in some cheese on top if you like. 

Add in the already fried meatballs and coat them nicely. Lay them out on a baking dish and bake at 350F for about 30 mins. Since all the ingredients are cooked, you want the dish just warmed through in the oven with a slight caramelisation on the top. If it's browning too fast, then lower the temperature or cover it with a foil.

I served this dish with the mashed potatoes with bacon and it went really well together.