Tag Archives: mince

some meatballs

Buried in the back of the freezer, I found 2lbs of sausagemeat, clearly left over from the festering season, and never used. I’m diabetic, and shouldn’t really eat sausage rolls, so I poddled up to the butcher and bought 300g of lean minced beef, and on Sunday we had a meatball cook-in.

Italian: Pete manfully combined the meats, then divided the combination into two equal parts. The first part had garlic, herbs and season added and was divided into walnut sized pieces. I chopped onions, carrots and courgettes, and more garlic. I made a sauce with half of  a 99p (huge) tin of tomato paste, and a good splash of red wine. Bunged the lot in the slow cooker, left for four hours. Gorgeous – made 9 portions.

Moroccan: The other half of the meats was seasoned with some Ras el Hanout, while I chopped red peppers and onions into thin slices, and cubed three yellow courgettes. I sautéd these down very slowly, with a teaspoon of honey, some olive oil, lots more garlicm and some sesame seeds. Then added the meatballs, a tiny bit of red wine (as it was too hand), and some seasoning. Left on a slow simmer for about an hour. Also made 9 portions.

The empty shelf space in the freezer is disappearing!

a load of mince

We are having the kitchen refitted  in the next few weeks. I cannot tell you how much I’m looking forward to the process, not least because I’m not. I want it to be done, obviously, but oh my … blocking up doors and knocking out walls and moving the gas points, etc. Still, it will be lovley when it’s finished, or so I keep telling myself.

As part of the preparation for this, I’m cooking all the ingredients in the freezer into meals that I can freeze, so we can at least eat well while I weep into the wreckage. So last night, I removed all the minced meat – 2lbs each of pork and lamb, and 1lb of beef. Stuck them all in the microwave to thaw (not to thaw electronically, just as a cat-proof box), then when we were warming the microwave hotties last night (rock’n’roll lifestyle that we live), I stuck them in the oven as it is similarly cat-proof

While rummaging for the mince, I found a box of frozen banana muffin mix: we love muffins, and they’re far nicer fresh, so I often freeze half the batter; banana muffins for breakfast, then! I came down and put the oven on to warm – and you’re all way ahead of me, aren’t you?

Thankfully I realised in time, and removed the meat before anything dreadful befell it, apart from the edge of one packet of lamb, which Iggy and Ron were quite happy to deal with. The pork and beef were turned into meatballs in a sweet pepper sauce quite, but not exactly, like this – only had two fresh peppers in the veg drawer, so added a jar of roast, and bunged honey and a dash of shoyu in the sauce. They’re in the slow cooker doing their thing.

The lamb was fried off and hurled in a big casserole dish (having realised that the first one I started wasn’t going to be big enough – roll on the dishwasher). Fried of carrots, courgettes, onions, celery in olive oil, added some home made Ras el Hanout, salt, pepper, tin of tomatoes, splash of home made wine and in it went with the meat. Added some bay leaves and thyme from the herb pots

I reckon I’ll get about seven meals worth from that lot for the two of us; moussaka tonight, with spinach under the aubergine (works really well) and a half pack of feta that needs eating up.

And now I must go and clean up the kitchen.

a pound of mince? Meatballs!

As mentioned, we had a pound of mince to use up, as it wouldn’t fit into the new freezer regime.

I minced some garlic and a shallot, and chopped some fenugreek leaves small, while Pete ground spices (black cumin, lots of coriander seeds, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamon, allspice, black pepper), and made that lot into meatballs with a bit of sea salt.  It made 16, I think.

I cut an onion in half and half again, and cut it into thin rings, then fried it in ground nut oil (together with more garlic) till it was translucent.  Then we added more spices (more coriander and cumin, ajwain, nigella, fennel) and cooked it down for a bit.  In went a jar’s worth of roasted yellow peppers, sliced thin, and I set it to cook over a low heat.

I browned the meatballs in more groundnut oil, and tipped them (and the oil) into the pepper sauce.  Left them to cook while I did some basmati, to which I added a shallot, some cardamon seeds, and a generous pinch of Marigold veg bouillon.

spag bol

Pretty much everyone (apart from vegetarians, I guess) loves spag bol, and most people have their own tried and tested recipes.  We had a load of mince in the freezer, and a slow cooker needing to be experimented with, so what could be better?

We took 4lbs of best Dexter mince from the freezer, and when it had thawed, I put 1lb in the fridge to make meatballs.  The rest was browned up and set aside.

I diced three carrots, two sticks of celery and a a courgette, chopped up a big onion and 5 cloves of garlic, and sweated them down in some olive oil.

Then into the slow cooker went the mince, vegetables, a tin of chopped tomatoes, oregano, seasoning, a bouquet garni, and good sloosh of red wine.  Mindful of the imprecations about things not thickening up in there, I left it at that, fluid wise.  Also mindful of the warnings about slow cookered food not having a depth of flavour (which I find a bit baffling, but still ..), I added a teaspoon of Bovril, and a gloop of tomato ketchup.

I made this while our supper was cooking, and it was cold when we switched it on low at about 10 p.m., before we went to bed.  I went down and inspected it at 7 a.m., and it was gorgeous.  I’d say it didn’t need the Bovril at all, but Pete disagreed.

I think I’m in love with this gadget!