Spiced pork and veal meatballs with tomato sauce

Spiced pork and veal meatballs with tomato sauce

By
From
Spring
Serves
4-6
Photographer
Andy Sewell

Warm, comforting and uncomplicated, this is the kind of food I’m happy to eat at home. I tend to make more than I need, as the meatballs keep well and seem to taste even better after a couple of days. I like to eat them alongside a little bowl of warm, oily chickpeas laced with herbs, lemon and chilli, and a simple salad of leaves.

I often come across recipes that call for the meatballs to be browned before they are added to the sauce but I consider this unnecessary. In fact, it makes them less succulent.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
500g pork mince
100g veal mince
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 lemon, finely grated zest
3 marjoram sprigs, chopped, leaves only
60g soft white breadcrumbs
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
2 teaspoons coriander seeds
2 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
1 small yellow onion, peeled and grated
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

For the tomato sauce

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1/2 dried red chilli, very finely chopped
reserved toasted spices
500g good quality jarred or tinned tomatoes
2 bay leaves
a small bunch marjoram, chopped, leaves only

Method

  1. Put the pork and veal mince into a large bowl and add the garlic, lemon zest, marjoram and breadcrumbs. Toast the whole spices gently in a small, dry pan for a minute or so, just until they begin to pop. Immediately tip into a mortar and pound with the pestle until fine. Set aside half of the toasted spice mix for the tomato sauce.
  2. Add the rest of the spice mix to the meat, along with the grated onion. Season generously with salt and add a little pepper, bearing in mind that the chilli will impart plenty of heat. Using clean hands, mix together well. To check the seasoning, take a little of the mixture and shape it into a small, flat disc. Cook in a small pan with a little oil, then taste and adjust the seasoning of the mixture as you see fit.
  3. Shape the mixture into balls of whatever size you prefer – I like larger meatballs, as they feel more generous. Set aside while you make the sauce.
  4. To make the tomato sauce, heat the oil in a wide saucepan (large enough to hold the meatballs), over a medium-low heat. Add the garlic, chilli and reserved toasted spices and sweat for a couple of minutes, then add the tomatoes, bay leaves, chopped marjoram and a good pinch of salt. Turn up the heat slightly and cook for 15 minutes until the sauce has slightly reduced and the flavours have mingled.
  5. Add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer for 10–15 minutes, until cooked through. The meat will release a little fat into the sauce, lending richness and flavour. Taste for seasoning before serving.
Tags:
Skye Gyngell
seasonal
Spring
London
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