A few months ago I received a couple of new cookbooks to review from Octopus Publishing (my bookshelf is now severely groaning under the strain of them all). One of the books was Annabel Langbeins Free Range Cook - which I love and have blogged about here, the other was The Ginger Pig Meat Book 'a meat manual for the inquisitive domestic cook'. This is where I found the recipe for these delicious meatballs.
The Ginger Pig, if you didn't know are butchers and farmers of rare breeds reared on the North York moors and have shops throughout London including Borough Market. In the book Tim Wilson, farmer and proprietor of The Ginger Pig has teamed up with Fran Wardle, respected cook and bestselling author, to recommend the best breeds to look for, the right cuts to choose for every style of cooking and to tell you what to ask your butcher in order to buy the very best quality meat. The book is full of inspiring and delicious recipes too, such as Smoked Pork Hock and Parsley Pasta, Asian Beef Curry, Roast Duck with Cherries, Hungarian Pork Goulash and many many more, including these tender meatballs bathed in a rich tomato sauce.
I served the meatballs with another new discovery of mine, garofalo pasta. I hadn't heard of the garofalo brand until recently but I was lucky enough to receive a couple of packets of their pasta in the legendary Cybermummy goody bag. Already popular in their native Italy, they are now beginning to make their mark on the UK market - well we do like our pasta don't we! I just hope that my local Supermarket starts stocking it soon.
Ingredients: to serve 6 hungry adults
1 pint of Passata
1kg Lean Minced Beef
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
Sea Salt and Pepper
Leave from a small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
2 TBSP Olive Oil
200ml White Wine (I used Vermouth)
Step 1: Preheat oven to 180c/160f. Place the beef, onion, garlic, seasoning, parsley, eff and mix well with your hands. Divide the meat into walnut sized balls.
Step 2: Heat the oil in a large frying pan and brown the meatballs in batches, turning until golden all over. Place browned meatballs into a large casserole. Once they are all cooked, pour in the wine, scraping the base with a wooden spoon to dislodge all the meat essences.
Step 3: Stir in the passata and pour over the meatballs.
Step 4: Cover the casserole and bake for 45 minutes. Serve with pasta.