Meatballs in tomato sauce on the Weber


This was one of those times where I wanted to fire up the BBQ but I needed to do something different than the ol’ standards.

Enter the meatballs.

Meatballs are absolutely banging when they’re cooked in any type of BBQ, and also tasty as when cooked in the oven. The choice is yours. But these meatballs? These meatballs were desitined for the Weber kettle today.

NB This recipe for meatballs is not one my own brain created, but in fact it is a recipe given to me by a previous employer who is of Italian descent. When I say recipe, I do believe there was not so much a recipe as a (very) short list of ingredients… two ingredients in fact; “ricotta and pinenuts”. I think maybe she was losing her mind a little and was just muttering some random words to herself as she walked by, never-the-less I took this as a sign from baby Jesus himself that I should be putting ricotta and pinenuts into my meatballs. So into my meatballs the ricotta and pinenuts went.

Also, just remember meatballs are so easy to make even a child could do it… so, well, you know… don’t be afraid to get your kids to help or even force them to take the whole process and make it their own.

All of the good things

Those balls all rolled up and bally looking

Just having a little simmering-over-the-coals party

MEATY BALLS

(serves 4-5)

500 g beef mince
500 g pork mince
1 onion, peeled and finely diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 cup fresh ricotta, crumbled
¼ cup pinenuts, lightly toasted
¼ cup currants
1 teaspoon ground coriander seed
1 small handful of parsley, chopped
1 sprig rosemary, chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Zest of half a lemon
2 slices sour dough bread, crusts removed, processed into coarse breadcrumbs
A big pinch of salt and pepper
3 cups of your favourite pasta sauce – Dolmio, tomato pasatta, nona’s home made special tomato sauce, tinned tomatoes or heinz tomato sauce (depending on your own personal preference and presence of taste buds) – tomato pasatta wsa my choice
Grated parmesan, to serve
Soft polenta, to serve

Preheat your BBQ or oven to 200 C-ish (390 F).
Saute onion and garlic until softened and just starting to colour.
In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients excpet tomato sauce and mix until amalgamated.
Roll your meatballs*. I rolled mine somewhere in the vicinity of the size of a golf ball.
Pour your sauce of preference into a baking or casserole dish that will fit your balls (heheh).
Place the meatballs into the sauce and then into the BBQ or oven for somewhere between 45 and 60 minutes.
Check to see if they are cooked by whatever method you see fit.
Check seasoning in the sauce and adjust if necessary.
Serve on soft polenta with extra sauce, a splash of oilve oil and grated parmesan.

*there is no ‘wrong way’ when it comes to rolling meatballs.

Really good meatballs

porking good polenta balls

Something I had to share with you because it was just so effing awesome.

On Sunday Jennee declared she would make dinner that night, and when I enquired about what it may be she had her mysterious little it’s-going-to-be-something-you’re-going-to-love-and-I’m-not-going-to-tell-you thing going on. Quite honestly I love it when she starts getting all Jessica Fletcher on my ass. I know she’s got hold of a good idea, waltzed about the kitchen waving her “right to be extravagant” licence and made a family dinner of epic proportions. It’s an event. Kind of like the coming of colour TV or the moon landing, but with just the slightest tinge of “Hey Graz. I can still cook eh. You love this shit eh. I could still be a chef if I could stand working with you eh…”

So what would it be? I’m not the best at pretending I’m curious when people have surprises, and I tend to find that this really annoys them. Jennee is no exception. She starts getting so frustrated by my reaction that she ends up almost begging me to ask her the answer. Needless to say, I knew what we were having around mid afternoon. This is how it went.

FRIED POLENTA AND PORK BALLS, PARSLEY SALSA VERDE, PAPRIKA MAYONNAISE

Soft polenta mixed with some fried pork mince, onion and herbs, left to firm up a bit in the fridge (not where I prefer to do my “firming up” but apparently works well for the polenta), and then formed into balls and rolled through flour, egg wash and then breadcrumbs AKA. The crumbing station. Then these little balls of love can be shallow or deep fried, and enjoyed with your favouritist condiments. Who would’ve thunk it? Not me. And normally I’m on the food ideas in this household. I won’t lie to you, I’m a little pissed off I didn’t think of it first (I’m sure someone in the world has made them before, or maybe not). I’m actually feeling a tad inadequate. I’ll get over. Don’t worry about me. The show must go on!

FRIED CAULIFLOWER, CHERRY TOMATOES (we have half a garden full of them right now), ONIONS AND CAPERS

This is the cauliflower and tomatoes before they were combined with caramelised red onion and spinach to make the salad.

Couldn’t get a proper photo because of the excessive amounts of red wine we drunk. Thought I was rocking the vogue magazine styles until I got up in the morning and realised I didn’t use a flash… or hold the camera still… or level… I tried, and I think sometimes that is actually the main thing.

Fucking really good. No other way to describe this one. And I have to congratulate Jennee on the concept, the beautiful balance of the meal, the homemade sauces, just the complete effing packing.

Dericious.