Italian Meatballs / Greek Skewers – Thrift / Two for One
The idea here is that you make up one meaty mix that you can use for two completely different dishes, making your meat and your time go further. The first: wine-baked meatballs to serve Italian-stylee with spaghetti. The second: some gorgeous little Greek kebab skewers to serve with pita breads, baba ganoush*, tatziki** (see below) and a big salad. Produce from Jacob's Ladder, Perry Court & Wild Country Organics Farms.
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- 500g minced beef
- 1 onion, very finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 50g stoned black olives, chopped
- 50g breadcrumbs
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- A hunk of fresh chilli, finely chopped (more or less, to taste)
- 2–3 tbsp fresh rosemary, thyme and/or oregano, leaves finely chopped
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Mix everything together really well (this is much easier using your hands). Divide the mixture into two: half for the meatballs and half for the skewers – or just use up all the mix for one of the below.
For the meatballs
- Divide the mix into 12 balls. Gloss your hands with a little olive oil while you roll the meat into little balls. Place in a roasting tin with a little more olive oil. Bake at 220C/Gas 7 for 10 mins, until starting to colour up. Pour a glass of red wine over the meatballs and bake for 10 mins. Then, stir 2 tins of chopped tomatoes, 1 tsp sugar and a handful of chopped. Cook for a further 20 to 25 minutes until the sauce is bubbling and thickened. Serve warm with olive oil glossed spaghetti or wedges of garlic bread and a salad.
For the skewers
- Divide the other half of the mix into 4 (for one large skewer each) or into 8 (for two smaller skewers each). Roll each portion of meat into a sausage shape. Poke a skewer through the centre of each, squeezing the meat around the skewer as you go. Gloss with a little olive oil and grill on the bbq or under your oven grill for 5-7 mins on each side, or just until coloured up and cooked through. For added flavor, slosh a little wine or balsamic vinegar over the skewers as they cook.
- Just roast a whole aubergine until tender and just about collapsing, remove the stem, and whiz it up a little garlic, a few spoonfuls of tahini, lots of lemon juice, salt and pepper.
- Grate a nugget of cucumber, enough to give you3-4 tbsp, mix with salt, set in a colander to drain – the salt will draw out the water, mix the cucumber with 200g Greek yogurt and a handful of fresh, chopped mint, season with salt and pepper and finish with a little olive oil.
Crystal Palace Food Market http://crystalpalacefoodmarket.co.uk/