As much as I love to be known as a sweet cake/baking/dessert blog, I do not live off sweets alone. How boring would life be if all that you ate were chocolate croissants, cake and cookies for breakfast , lunch and dinner? Not to mention the sugar rush problems I would get (not complaining about the high but the deep fall from grace)
In addition I will be in more trouble with organic, raw eating crowd than I am in already (sorry but I refuse to go paleo, dairy, sugar, gluten free and shadow food free for the sake of living to 100)
More importantly, as (pretentious as it sounds) food blogger I do want to be pigeon holed.
Pigeon Holed? Well in arty or design type careers people become known for ONE style, whether it be an acting style or food stuff, which prevents them from branching to other styles thus is stuck in their own success.
I remember a conversation I had with another food blogger that they particularly had a difficult time getting views for their savoury recipes. Now I looked at this recipe and I thought it was just as good as their sweet recipes. It made sense, had a good balance of flavours and the photography was stunning.
Problem? They were a sweet blog.
Now some people may think I am being greedy, wanting to be a jack of all trades, but as a baker/ cook I would like to think my culinary skills can extend beyond the craft of sugar, flour and butter. Some bloggers have successfully done this. I am not denying that it cannot be done however I would like to think it would be easier than it really it.
Maybe next time you view food blog; try to look at the recipe before looking at the brand behind it. Just because they are branching out beyond their normal style; does not mean that recipe is bad or is not going to work. Actually I have found that a lot of sweet bloggers can COOK some mean chilli and have produced a recipe for a roast that is better than more trusted recipes on the net.
I have made it no secret that I love cheese and intensely savoury snack foods. I might have developed this taste for dude food from my dad.
Everyone always says that I am more like my dad than my mum; I guess this relates to my taste buds too.
Anyway besides this love of cheese and bread; I also have a thing for stews in particular red tomato based ones. I have no idea what it does to me but the comforting glow of red stew can warm up even the darkest of days.
I admit this recipe is not original; in fact this probably the cheat version of meatballs in tomato sauce. However all the tips and tricks I have learned over the years from many cooks go into this stew which can be whipped up in a matter of moments. Not the mentions if you have time to ponder on the weekend; make a heap load and freeze it. This means this meal can be an instant Hangry crusher (savour when you have a dad like mine).
I am going to list all the tricks I have used here. While I know some of them are not new; they help even the worse of cooks (me) make meatballs which are delightfully light but are able to meld with that cohesive, thick tomato sauce.
- Mix fresh pork fat with lean pork mince.
- Use Sheep’s Feta in the meatballs for seasoning
- Caramelising Onions with a star anise.
- Using a combination of fresh, sun dried and can tomatoes.
- Finishing the sauce with brown butter and a teaspoon of sugar
- Using SOY SAUCE to season.
- DO not be gentle with the herbage.
500 gram lean mince pork
150 g mince pork fat
4 tbsp semolina
2 finely chopped spring onions
200 grams of crumbled sheeps feta
cracked black pepper
1Tbsp finely chopped sage
1/2tsp onion salt
1 grated clove of garlic
2 tbsp oil
For the sauce
1 brown onion, finely chopped
2 tbsp caramelized onion jam
1 carrot, peeled in small dice
4 cloves garland, finely dice
1 star anise
2tsp dried celery powder (or use one finely chopped stick of celery)
2Tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1Tbsp sage, finely chopped
1Tbsp mixed dried herbs (mixture of bay leaf, parsley and basil)
3 cans whole roma tomatoes
2Tbsp tomato paste
100g vine ripped cherry tomatoes, chopped in half
100g sundried tomatoes, drained of oil, chopped in to 4
150ml low sodium vegetable stock
150ml red wine
2tsp low sodium soy sauce
30 grams brown butter
1 tsp sugar
Grinding of black pepper and fresh basil leaves/sage
Combined all the meat ball ingredients in a large bowl. Form each meat ball in to a 2cm round and place on a lined baking tray. Set aside.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large frying pan over high heat, add meatballs. Reduce to medium low and cook for 5 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Set aside in a clean bowl.
For tomato and olive sauce, heat olive oil in a heavy-based saucepan, add onion, jam and star anise and cook for 5 minutes or until soft.
Remove star anise. Mix in carrot, garlic, sage, mixed dried herbs and rosemary and heat for 4 minutes until coated in onion juices. Add can tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, sun dried tomatoes.
Fill one empty tomato can half way with water and wash out the left over juice from all three cans. Pour this into the sauce. Add stock and wine. Reduce the heat down to low and simmer for 15 minutes.
Add tomato paste, stir through. Season with soy sauce, freshly ground black pepper and brown sugar. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until starting to thicken. Finish with brown butter.
Return meatballs to tomato sauce and simmer for 5 minutes. Add more seasoning if need and top with freshly chopped basil and sage.