Make Ahead Meatballs
Isn’t it lovely when you come home and someone else has cooked you dinner? You can put your feet up, pour a glass of wine, and casually flip through the latest copy of The Beast without a care in the world.
Alas, sooner or later our turn to cook rolls around again. We’ve all been guilty of not planning ahead and picking up the phone for a mid-week pizza, or deciding that the local pub is the best option for a Tuesday night meal, but it doesn’t have to be this way.
Instead, give yourself a head start on dinner by cooking up a big batch of meatballs when you have some time on your hands. As my husband likes to say: “This way you make one big mess instead of lots of small messes”. Simply freeze them into portions and defrost in the fridge overnight when you want to use them.
You can use any sort of mince you like, but I find that pork gives a nice depth of flavour.
Meatballs (makes 40)
1kg pork mince
2 cloves garlic, finely sliced
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chilli
Salt and pepper, to taste
3 tins chopped tomatoes
1 onion, finely sliced
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp minced ginger
2 tbsp olive oil
First of all, you need to get your sauce happening. Heat the oil in a large frying pan on medium-to-high heat and cook your onion for around 3 minutes. Add the ginger and turmeric and cook for another minute. Pour in your tomatoes, turn the heat up and get the sauce boiling. Turn down to medium heat and allow the sauce to simmer away for around 30 minutes or until it has thickened up.
While the sauce is simmering, mix all of the meatball ingredients (except the oil) together in a large bowl. Wet your hands, and form into balls. Heat the olive oil in another large pan and fry the meatballs, in batches, for 5 minutes until cooked through. Add to the sauce to warm through and serve immediately.
If freezing, allow to cool completely, divide into portions and freeze for up to 3 months. The night before you want to eat them, simply place in the fridge to defrost. Then all you have to do is decide what to serve them up with – a lovely fresh green salad, on top of some spaghetti, as a pizza topping, or even as a good old meatball sandwich.
For more healthy tips and thrifty cooking ideas please visit operationjamjar.blogspot.com.