Ok, let’s talk about meat balls …

Ok, let’s talk about meat balls …

By
From
Lagom
Serves
4
Photographer
Yuki Sugiura

This is a sensitive issue for me, one that fills me in equal parts with pride and prejudice. On the one hand, there are all the associations with the hurdy-gurdy chef from Sesame Street, the Abba-esque accents and of course the canteen of a certain furniture megastore. On the other, there’s what I know: my grandmother’s gorgeous, traditional, buttery speciality – half beef and half pork, laced with breadcrumbs, stock and lots of pepper; served frequently and much loved. We don’t normally have them with jam and mash, they just form part of a buffet (yes, yes, a smörgåsbord) when there’s lots of family and friends to feed. No occasion seems complete without them, but, as a firm kids’ favourite, they are equally served at family dinner tables every day. However, there is no need to resign them to rigid tradition, to salt, to butter and to the frying pan. They can be made much healthier by baking them in the oven and serving with lots of vegetables. My cumin-scented lamb meatballs are bulked out with lentils, which keeps them wonderfully moist. I also love to make a pork and pumpkin version, and the fish ball is also very popular – mine are Thai scented and served in a chilli noodle soup.

“Man får väl dom köttbullar man förtjänar” [“I guess you get the meatballs you deserve”] Desirée in the film Grabben I Graven Bredvid [The Guy in the Grave Next Door, 2002]

Pork, pumpkin & sage meatballs with lemon cream

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

For the meatballs

Quantity Ingredient
olive oil, for greasing
500g pork mince
1/4 medium pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and coarsely grated
1 apple, coarsely grated
1 red onion, coarsely grated
1 tablespoon finely chopped sage
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 lemons, zested
75g plain flour
1 handful toasted pine nuts, to serve

For the lemon cream

Quantity Ingredient
1 lemon, zested and juiced
100g creme fraiche
1/2 garlic clove, crushed
1 tablespoon honey

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C and generously grease a roasting tray with oil. In a large bowl, combine the pork, pumpkin, apple and red onion. Stir through the sage, garlic and the zest of 1 lemon. Finally, sift over the flour and season generously. Stir, adding a little more flour if it seems very gloopy – although be aware that this should be quite a wet mixture to prevent the meatballs from drying out.
  2. Roll into walnut-sized meatballs, about 5cm in diameter and place on the prepared roasting tray. Bake for about 20–25 minutes, shaking the tray occasionally, until all the meatballs are nicely browned and cooked through.
  3. Meanwhile, for the lemon cream, mix the lemon juice and zest, crème fraîche, garlic and honey together in a bowl. Sprinkle the meatballs with the remaining lemon zest and the pine nuts, then serve with the lemon cream.

Pollock dumplings with coconut & chilli noodle soup

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

For the dumplings

Quantity Ingredient
500g pollock, skinless and pin-boned
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/2 lime, zested and juiced
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1/2 thumb fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
5 spring onions, finely chopped
3 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil, for frying

For the noodle soup

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 thumb ginger, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon thai red curry paste
1 litre chicken or fish stock
2 teaspoons fish sauce
440ml coconut milk
200g dried rice vermicelli noodles

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
1 lime, cut into wedges
1 red chilli, sliced
1 small bunch coriander, roughly chopped

Method

  1. To make the dumplings, add the fish to a food processor along with the soy, fish sauce and lime juice, and pulse until broken up into a thick paste. Tip into a large bowl and mix together with the chilli, ginger, garlic, 3 of the spring onions, and the sesame seeds. Roll into walnut-sized balls and set aside.
  2. Heat the sesame oil in a frying pan and fry the fish balls in batches until cooked through, about 8–10 minutes, moving constantly so they are golden all over.
  3. To make the noodle soup, heat the olive oil in a saucepan, add the garlic, ginger and curry paste and fry for a minute or so. Add the stock, fish sauce and coconut milk, bring to a simmer, then add the noodles. Turn off the heat and leave until the noodles are just cooked, stirring occasionally so they don’t stick together.
  4. To serve, divide the soup among 4 bowls and add the dumplings. Serve with a squeeze of lime and scatter with the chilli, the remaining spring onions, and the chopped coriander.

Lamb meatballs with lentils & cumin

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
olive oil, for greasing
100g red lentils
300g lean lamb mince
1 onion, grated
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
400g couscous, cooked to packet instructions, to serve

For the tomato sauce

Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
400g canned chopped tomatoes
1 small bunch parsley, roughly chopped
1 small bunch coriander, roughly chopped, plus extra leaves to garnish

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C and generously grease a baking sheet with a little oil. Cook the lentils according to the packet instructions. Drain well and leave to cool a little. Tip into a large bowl with the lamb, onion, garlic, egg, spices and herbs. Season generously and combine to form a very wet mixture.
  2. Roll the mixture into balls (grease your hands with a little oil to make a little easier), about 3cm in diameter, and place onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes until golden and cooked through.
  3. Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Heat the olive oil in a medium frying pan and fry the onion over a low-medium heat until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and spices and fry until toasted and fragrant. Add the tomato purée and cook for a minute or two, then add the vinegar and cook for a further minute. Tip in the chopped tomatoes and a ladleful of water and simmer for 20 minutes until thickened. Carefully stir through the meatballs and the herbs. Serve on top of the couscous garnished with extra coriander.
Tags:
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again