Fiona Hugues, a talented food stylist who creates moreish recipes and artful food styling shares this unique and delicious winter recipe using Stevens cookware.

My kids love meatballs most days and now that they’re getting older, they have a hankering for expensive Spanish style ones from fancy restaurants that come out Tapa’s style, two to a plate. I’ve upped the flavour of my original safe kid style dish to suit their new richer international tastes. With a side of good old spaghetti pasta at the end of a big day, I love these rich smoky meatballs a lot too.

500gm prime beef mince
300gm pork mince
Olive oil
1 large egg
2 medium onions finely chopped
2 garlic cloves minced
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 slices white sourdough bread crusts removed soaked in ½ cup milk
½ 1l tomato passata
A small handful of flatleaf parsley
120ml sherry or masala wine
1 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp golden syrup
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper½

Heat a little olive oil in a pan and sauté the onions over medium heat until softened.
Turn down the heat and add the garlic and continue to cook stirring occasionally until the onions become dark and caramelised. Season with salt and pepper.
Add the 60ml of sherry, tomato paste, and cook for 2 – 3 minutes until slightly reduced. Add 100ml of the passata and cook for a further 10 minutes to make a flavourful paste. Set aside to cool.

In a large bowl add the minced meats, squeeze the milk from the bread and add it too. Beat the egg and add it to the meats along with the cooled onion mixture.
Stir until well combined and make into gold ball shapes placing on a lined baking tray as you go.

Preheat oven to 220°C fan bake and cook the meatballs until they begin to brown – around 10 minutes.

To make the smoky sauce – place the rest of the passata in a saucepan and simmer for around 20 minutes to reduce and thicken. Add the rest of the sherry, golden syrup and paprika with a good slosh of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Stir and cook for another minute to combine flavours, then set aside.

Transfer the meatballs to a snug cast iron fry pan, cover with sauce and cook hot until it’s bubbling. Sprinkle over some roughly chopped parsley and eat straight from the pan with crusty bread or serve with fresh cooked spaghetti pasta and freshly grated manchego cheese.

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